And Gutenberg Lived Here: Singing And Technology: The Pling And I

Monday night was rehearsal for one of the great comic roles for a dramatic Mezzo:


half of Friedrich von Flotow’s  pair of royals turned bucolic Annie Get Your Guns.

Who end up being sold as maids

to two bucolics

who turn out to be royals,

and if this sounds like a cross between Shakespeare and Monty Python,


And that in 1844.

And add to that that the group I’m working with are fun,

and even the rehearsal hall is good…

Unfortunately, there was just one small problem.


no piano.

No, actually, there is a piano.

The kind of four octave childrens’ learner thing you buy in a supermarket,



has a tendency to go ka-plink.

And ka-thunk,

(the sound of the mechanical keys)

And  cayooga

(if you accidentally hit the buttons for other strange instruments)

Or the beat box,

at which point the singer suddenly sounds like some idiot singing along to the BeeGees’ Stayin’ Alive.

And since a piano like that is never built to be tuned…

Anyway, we got through the piece,

and had a lot of fun,

and got old friends together.

Which was the idea.

At which point I went home to find:

a note on my door

telling me the condo committee,

who get themselves elected each couple of years

to tell all us condo owners how to live,

and how high our flagpole on the balcony can be,

and that our flower boxes have to be inside the balcony railing,

and that we can grill bacon, but not fish…

you get the picture,

have decided our water meter has to be replaced with one that is correctly standardized and sealed by the Gutenberg land bureau of national measuring and sealing.

Oh yes, there is such a thing.

And that they would arrive on Wednesday.

At 8 am.

Which meant that Tuesday night found me,

at 7 pm

after a full day of work,

swearing (politely)

and trying to figure out how to empty the basket on our new vacuum cleaner,

an English brand I got on sale,

which is brilliantly designed,

but unfortunatley has an instruction manuel apparently translated by the seven dwarfs.

Who, as far as I can tell,

speak many many European Union languages,

like Finnish,


at least from the Gutenberger translation,

don’t really understand technical English.

Which was probably why I gave up in disgust several months ago,

having discovered that the original English manual wasn’t delivered,

and decided to wing it.

After which the vacuum still worked,

but a bit oddly.

And finally,

at the last minute,

like Tuesday at 7:53,

just before the 8 pm house noise curfew,

decided to sing La Marseillaise

in the key of F

instead of doing the floors.

At which point,

I called hubby,

who asked where the manual was,

and, realizing we weren’t going there,

then listened to a few bars by the machine,

which he agreed did sound a bit like La Marseillaise,

when it probably should have been Rule Britania,

mentioned he thought it didn’t really sound right,

and added the theorem for the day:

Maybe there was a manual online.

Bless his logical little math-loving heart.

At which point I went online,

and found a glorious you-tube page,

with an adorable six year old,

obviously someone’s grandson,

in a company jacket

with logo bigger than he was,

who explained to me,


how to push the silver eject button,

and if the machine is too full,

how to push the silver emergency button,

then line up the red emergency stripe

with the yellow emergency pad…

And since he was right.

And it worked…

Maybe I could write him and get him to explain

how to load the pop-gun rifle I have to use as  Nancy?

copyright 2016

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s