I got a new day gig in the Midwest.
This gig will bring us closer to our family roots and closer to real estate prices that feel grounded in reality, rather than high up in the coke-filled clouds of a subprime speculator’s drug-fueled wet dream. With cheaper real estate comes the ability to get more space for less moola, and you know what that means: space for a grand piano.
I searched Craigslist for musical instruments in Des Moines, IA. Listed among pianos, guitars, amps, keyboards, trumpets, clarinets, and some weirdo contraption called a diatonic autoharp (which looks like something an evil wizard would use for mind control) was a Murray Select 38-inch cutting deck.
For those of you who aren’t up on the latest in yard work equipment, the Murray cutting deck is designed to attach to a Murray riding lawn mower. Getting fat while sitting on your ass and being productive at maintaining your casa’s estate—it’s the weekender’s dream.
What qualifies as music is subjective, but I’ll wager most would agree the Murray, while it probably deftly performs its intended function, fits into the category of obnoxious noise, not music, so why is it listed as a musical instrument?
I have a theory.
* * *
Murray Music (not a stage name) has always wanted to play for crowds, but he can play a guitar as well as a butter knife can cut a diamond. He hasn’t let this stop him, though.
He’s formed a band with his buddy from the lawn care industry, Machete Mike of Machete Mike’s Mowing (last seen in our piece titled Machete Mike’s Mowing). Right now, it’s just the two of them, but they are undeterred in their quest to become the new Fab Four of the lawn care-turned ear care genre.
TFF eavesdropped on Murray and Machete during a recent jam session. Let’s drop in on them as they discuss a low-budget approach to recruiting new band members.
* * *
Murray: I think the Worx electric weed whacker, if run at half throttle, could be a substitute for a DJ’s turntable. Wha’choo think?
Machete: The string will whir, and the cats will purr.
Murray: Cool, cool. That’s what I was thinking. All them cats don’t know nothing about new sounds. We’s gonna bring it to them. Alright, next idea. You seen Jorge on the Green Box ground crew? Dude with the forearms like a caveman’s club?
Machete: Arms are the instruments, and hands are the sacraments.
Murray: [nodding] Deep, Bro. That’s deep, and again—just what I was thinking. Jorge’s arms got power, which is exactly what we need—somebody who can keep that trigger pressed down all night long and not get tired.
Machete: Fatigue comes uninvited, and only the weak can be slighted.
Murray: That’s right. Jorge’s dedicated. He don’t quit, no matter how tired he is. Perfect for our new rhythm section. Last item of business: recruitment method.
Machete: Whither they come depends on thither of dither and tiller of schiller.
Murray: I got you, Bro. I got you. You’re saying Jorge don’t use no traditional means of communication; he use Craislist ads to talk to his homies, yeah?
Machete: So it will be. So I agree.
Murray: And he always be looking at the musical instruments section because he’s a closet cat like us, so what we’s got to do is place an ad for the Worx model in the musical instrument section. That’ll catch his eye, and we can start a conversation.
Machete: The words will come, the world undone.
Murray: Right on, right on. We starting a revolution, Bro. [fist bump].
* * *
If you’ve ever wondered why incongruous items appear in a Craislist category, it’s not because lazy web programmers don’t adequately filter by category; it’s because people have dreams.
Dreams show themselves in strange ways, not always understandable, or perhaps impossible to understand, by anyone outside the thought state of the dreamer.
But like the power of a 38-inch cutting deck.
Those dreams are real.