John’s Recon

February 10, 2009

The Craning Neck

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Prichard @ 9:35 am

So I am using our computer upstairs … still investigating my options on the other one … Sony has a speciality store in the Galleria … Guess I will go over there to get some install disks. Found a very sophisticated procedure to try ( confirmed by several sources) but I have to fire up the OS from a CD. We will see.

So back in 1995 I was in the middle of my classical guitar phase. I really jump in with both feet on my hobbies. We gathered up some money to join the Classical Guitar Society giving us a year worth of concerts. This way I could see the guitarists live performing their art. We had no idea how snooty this society was (probably like a lot of other classical societies). Really, if they walked outside when it was raining they could drown because their noses were turned up so high. Tux and full evening dress was not out of the question and yet we were only wearing ties and nice dresses. I also found out later that they told/negotiated with the artist what they were going to play. So when I would go see an artist expecting to hear something I knew, instead I heard some extraordinary virtuoso pieces that were very hard to play and not that easy on the ears … no favorites for us common people. Any way I do have a poster from that era that was hanging in my office.

The highlight of the season was Inti-Illimani, an ensemble from Chili (at least I think it was this group). We brought my son, 12 and daughter, 10 since the group played a wide range of unusual instruments with a great set of haunting sounds that I thought they would be interested in. I didn’t think too much about the lute player in the middle because he was facing us … I could see he was keeping time with his head but it wasn’t anything noticeable. Then they shifted positions. From our vantage point (we were in the balcony … all we could afford with kids) he then showed from the side. This is when I noticed he was moving his head a full 7 inches or more. Picture those Egyptian and Indian dancers who can move their heads side to side where the head looks like it is on an independent leveling swivel. Now picture him able to do the same thing front to back … it was like he had complete independent movement and that his head wasn’t really that connected … very dramatic … I was having a hard time focusing on anything else … yet this was a well to do type of thing … my son was wearing a tie even and all I could notice was this guy’s head keeping time. Ah he left the stage because his instruments weren’t performing for this song. Ah now he is back and at it again. I turned to my son and whispered, “Do you know where he went last song?”. “No, Where?”, he whispered back. “He went to get his neck oiled,” I said.

From what happened next it was obvious that my son had also been watching him closely. There was this rather loud escaping of breath as my son tried to contain his laughter. Even though both hands were over his mouth there was laughter bursting through his fingers. And then I caught it. I couldn’t contain myself. No matter how I tried I couldn’t contain it either. Both of us are in hysterics mostly brought about by the fact that this was a ultra dignified event … there is no laughing at a classical concert. We both got up quickly and went to the bathroom as my wife looked over with disapproval. There we laughed for about 3 minutes until we splashed cold water on our faces to wash away the tears. OK we are all better now. I told him I was embarrasssed to influence him on such things and I was no example to be followed and I was sorry. We didn’t even get back to our seats (still 5 rows up … hardly any people up here) before one look had us back in stiches. My wife turns around and gives us the evil eye but we just couldn’t stop. Now I’m worried they would throw us out like they did the drunks in old western saloons … I imagined us both in the gutter with our ties all disgusting from whatever was there. I signaled my wife that we were going outside. She followed a few minutes later. We had to leave the concert.

My dentist has me refresh her image of this story about once a year since. Although she probably thinks I have the neck movement about right, I think I’m still missing about 2 inches of travel. You see she was a member of the Classical Guitar Society too. So she just relishes how we broke the haughty protocol of such an event.


  1. I’m not sure which is funnier, you and your son cracking up in a sea of tuxes or the part about a brand new Vista install bricking itself because it thinks it’s pirated.

    Good luck getting it working. 🙂

    Comment by Rob — February 10, 2009 @ 10:49 am

  2. Reminds me of a Seinfeld episode called “The Pez Dispenser” where Jerry puts a Pez Dispenser on Elaine’s lap during a concert pianist performance and Elaine starts laughing uncontrollably and has to run out of the music theatre.

    You’re probably a big Sienfeld fan and what you experienced was a Seinfeld-induced reaction – quite common 🙂

    Comment by KenF — February 12, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

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