Playing to the tune of confusion
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.chandlersfuneral.com.