Play­ing to the tune of con­fu­sion

The Queens County Advance - - COMMUNITY - Les­ley Crewe

This ac­tu­ally hap­pened.

It was two days af­ter Christ­mas, on our way home to Cape Bre­ton.

“Let’s go look at that pi­ano key­board that’s on sale for half-price, be­fore we head out.”


“All you do is talk about tak­ing pi­ano lessons. Here’s an op­por­tu­nity to get a key­board.”

I hate when he’s right. “Fine.” But I wasn’t in a good mood. I needed yet another root canal and we were both in­cu­bat­ing the flu, but didn’t know it un­til the next day. The park­ing lot was a dis­as­ter. No one could get in or out be­cause of the traf­fic. The store was even worse. It was packed solid with peo­ple cough­ing and sneez­ing and drag­ging 100-inch tele­vi­sions un­der their arms.

We went to the mu­sic sec­tion and found the key­board. There was a young as­so­ci­ate with long hair be­hind the counter rub­bing a gui­tar clean with a cloth. Hubby went up to him and asked him about the key­board that was on sale. The kid said he had to find out if they had any more be­sides the floor model. He leisurely strolled to a glass-en­cased room where they had gui­tars hung up for peo­ple to try out. He rum­maged around in there for awhile and then came back out and went back be­hind the counter. Hubby asked if he found any. “No. I’ll look in the back.” I thought that’s what he was do­ing, but there’s the back and then there’s the real back. He shuf­fled off into the main part of the store. I watched him. It was like he was moon­walk­ing. How can some­one be mov­ing for­ward but seem­ingly back­ward at the same time? It took him three min­utes to fi­nally dis­ap­pear.

“What is wrong with that kid?” I grumped. It was hot and stuffy, and I was in pain and an­noyed to be stand­ing there. I just wanted to sit some­where but I didn’t dare sit on the flimsy metal bench in front of the key­board.

Hubby can be amaz­ingly pa­tient in th­ese sit­u­a­tions and he was un­ruf­fled, which ticked me off.

“This is stupid. Let’s just go.” “Les­ley, you have been talk­ing about learn­ing how to play the pi­ano again, like your mom. I’d like you to be able to do it. Con­sider it a Christ­mas present.”

When peo­ple are nice like that, it’s hard to re­main grumpy, so I sighed and waited. And waited. And waited.

Fi­nally, I spy Michael Jack­son drift­ing our way. He’s in no par­tic­u­lar hurry, which strikes me as odd. When a sales as­so­ci­ate is gone for a length of time, they usu­ally hus­tle to get back to you to let you know that they’re work­ing hard, and they apol­o­gize for the de­lay.

“We don’t have any more,” he says.

The three of us looked at the key­board. “How old is this floor model?”

“Not sure. I’ll find out.”

And be­fore we can ob­ject, he heads off into the bow­els of the store again.

“Who is he talk­ing to? Why does he have to keep go­ing out back there to find the an­swers?” I blus­ter.

Hubby shrugs. I am feel­ing so rot­ten at this point, I don’t even smile when a kid walks up to the key­board and flips a switch. The key­board starts play­ing or­gan mu­sic with a flamingo beat. His fa­ther tells him to knock it off.

Fi­nally, I see the sales guy com­ing our way again, but he stops to talk to another customer first. I want to reach out and grab his name tag. He even­tu­ally reaches us.

“Don’t know how old it is. But if you want it, it’s the only one here. It’s be­ing dis­con­tin­ued.”

“What do you think, Les? Do you want the floor model?”

All I can think of are the hun­dreds of germy kids who have fin­gered those keys in the last few months. I make a face.

“I might be able to give you a dis­count,” our help­ful guy says. “Just a minute.”

And he walks away to the glassedin por­tion of the gui­tar room. “What’s he do­ing now?” I hiss. He trudges back to the counter with a gui­tar and stays there, so we walk over to him.

“What’s the ver­dict?” Hubby asks him.

“You can have this gui­tar for 10 per cent off.”

Hubby and I look at each other, and then back at him.

“But we don’t want a gui­tar.” Hubby points at the key­board. “We’re ask­ing about that.”

“Oh. Let me check.”

And he shuf­fles off and dis­ap­pears out back.

We stare at each other with our mouths open. Did that just hap­pen?

“OK, this is a sign. Let’s roll.” We left. I’m sure Michael Jack­son never no­ticed.

60, of Brook­lyn, Queens County, passed away sud­denly on Tues­day, March 27, 2018, in Queens Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, Liverpool, NS. Born in Liverpool, he was a son of Del­phine (Hill) Dex­ter of Brook­lyn and the late At­wood “Put” Dex­ter. Stephen was an elec­tri­cian work­ing for var­i­ous com­pa­nies through­out Nova Sco­tia and New Brunswick, hav­ing spent the past 15 years as elec­tri­cal su­per­vi­sor for G.J. Cahill. He en­joyed golf­ing, wood­work­ing, fish­ing and boat­ing. Stephen will be lov­ingly re­mem­bered as be­ing loyal and al­ways giv­ing a help­ing hand to any­one in need. Above all else, he was most pas­sion­ate about his fam­ily and spend­ing time with them. He is sur­vived by his lov­ing wife of 37 years, Pa­tri­cia (Hall); sons, Graham of Hal­i­fax, Matthew at home; sis­ter, Ros­alee Smith, of Ea­gle Head; grand­chil­dren; Chloe and Piper; mother in law; Edith L. Hall, of Bridge­wa­ter; brother in law, Peter Hall, of Bridge­wa­ter; sis­ter in law, Pam (Peter) Cormil­lot; nieces, Sophie and Sil­vie Cormil­lot, all of Sum­mer­land, B.C.; his ex­tended fam­ily, Tammy, Michael and Scott Smith and their fam­i­lies, all of On­tario. Stephen was pre­de­ceased by fa­ther in law, Wal­lace Hall; brother in law, Mur­ray Smith. Cre­ma­tion has taken place un­der the di­rec­tion of Chan­dlers’ Fu­neral Home, Liverpool. Visi­ta­tion was held Fri­day, March 30, 2018 from 7 un­til 9 p.m. and fu­neral ser­vice was held Satur­day, March 31, 2018 at 3;00 p.m. both in Chan­dlers’ Fu­neral Chapel, Liverpool with Rev­erend Dr. Harry Gard­ner of­fi­ci­at­ing. Re­cep­tion fol­lowed. A pri­vate fam­ily in­ter­ment will take place at a later date. Do­na­tions may be made to the Queens Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion or a char­ity of your choice. To share me­mories or condolences, please visit www.chan­dlers­fu­

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