Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The home organ of doom

When you see two men carrying a Hammond home organ into the room, you know you're in trouble.

It's something like watching evil clowns pile out of a tiny car or suddenly noticing the milk you put in your coffee was two weeks out of date. My life started flashing in front of my eyes, reminding me of all the other bad Hammond experiences I've ever had. Like Anzac Day ~shudder~

The latest Hammond Incident was at an official sort of dinner I attended recently. The company was delightful, the food was tasty and the vino was abundant. But the entertainment. Oh Ford. The entertainment.

Why entertainment (and I use the term very loosely) was necessary was beyond me. It was a dinner with a guest speaker and a rubber chicken-clutching MC who rolled out every stale old joke under the sun. Luckily, he became funnier as my wine glass emptied.

The singer, on the other hand, was a horror. It was just like the Australian Idol auditions, except I couldn't change the channel when my ears started to bleed and Dicko wasn't there to tell her how irredeemably arse she was. Her mum was accompanying her on the Hammond and I think between them they might have found three true notes.

The lassy was a soprano and obviously everyone in her family was very proud of her. And very, very deaf. She sang a few churchy things and a song from a horrible musical that she'd been in with the local No-Talent Musical Society.

Then there was a singalong. The words were on the back of the menu.

There I sat, with a forced smile on my face that must have borne more than a passing resemblance to rigor mortis. The only thing I could do to defend myself was drink chardonnay. I hate chardonnay.

And the only thing worse than drinking the chardonnay was realising the bottle was finished BUT THE "MUSIC" WASN'T. I turned the bottle upside down hopefully, looking for a false bottom, but no dice.

In the end, I just hung on to the glass, hoping if I shielded it from the shock waves of sound, it wouldn't shatter and take out someone's eye.

Dicko, where were you when I needed you, you great Pommy git?

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At 11:19 pm, August 15, 2007, Blogger Sakura said...

Bloody hell Red what did you do in a past live to deserve this kind of treatment? Another question, were people actually getting into it, I mean were people enjoying this entertainment?

At 12:48 am, August 16, 2007, Blogger Eleanor Bloom said...

Man, you've really got some baaad Hammond-karma. I cringed the whole way through that post.

They plug them things in don't they? Maybe next time you can find the meter box...

At 7:49 am, August 16, 2007, Blogger Jo said...

I won't have a bad word said against my mate Hammond.

And quite seriously, red, your night sounds like a hoot (except for the chardonnay). I'll be happy to stand in for you next time - perhaps we can organise an I'm A Non-Entity, Get Me Out Of Here hotline?

At 9:38 am, August 16, 2007, Blogger Milly Moo said...

You poor, poor thing Red Cap and made even more sadistically cruel by your good efforts on putting together the Paper Drunkards Book Club.

My cousin had a casio organ and used to like adding the little drum beats to his, er, 'songs'. He got, er, so 'focussed', on his, um, 'music' that he failed year twelve. Twice.....

At 9:46 am, August 16, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

sakura, I really don't know. Kicked a Hammond? Other people were smiling politely and some of them were even saying, "Oh, isn't she lovely?" And they all joined in on the singalong.

eleanor, I wonder if an electric cattle prod would have taken the thing out?

jo, well, at least it made for reasonable blog fodder, I guess. If there'd been sauvignon blanc, I might have seen the funny side sooner.

Ooh, I love my word verification! pshuza. It sounds like a Mediterranean expression of delight :)

At 9:47 am, August 16, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

milly, like sakura said, I must just have been really, really evil in a past life.

At 10:44 am, August 16, 2007, Blogger Ariel said...

'suddenly noticing the milk you put in your coffee was two weeks out of date'

That was me last week

What on earth kind of event were you at, Red?!

At 11:59 am, August 16, 2007, Blogger Steph said...

You should have yelled, "Yay, Karaoke" and jumped up on stage to have a singalong WITH her. ;)

At 3:41 pm, August 16, 2007, Blogger Nai said...

A mention of Hammond organs always leads me to fond memories of watching Red Dwarf. "Take it away, Scutters!"

At 6:10 pm, August 16, 2007, Blogger River said...

I suppose it would have been poor taste to surreptitiously slip a pair of earplugs out of your pocket and insert them.

At 8:22 pm, August 16, 2007, Blogger gigglewick said...

hee hee.

I once went to an "official" type of function and was delighted to hear that dessert was chocolate cheesecake.

"Excellent," I thought to myself, "I do like chocolate cheesecake".

First, naturally, was a main course. My father and I pushed the meat around the plate, unsure what it was. I thought perhaps it was pork, except there appeared to be jam on the plate.

"That's not jam!" my dad hissed. "It's cranberry sauce!!"

"Oh my god," I replied. "You're not saying this is....TURKEY?"

It was hideous.

When the dessert arrived we were starving. Chocolate, chocolate cheesecake, chocolate chocolate cheesecake (to the tune of "I am Evil Homer") etc.

We should have guessed what was coming.

It was so full of gelatine, you could have played basketball with it.

And, like other stories of bad service, that is one I will be telling for 28 years.

At 10:52 pm, August 16, 2007, Blogger Miss Smack said...

Oh you make me laugh and laugh. I love the way you tell a story!

At 10:59 am, August 17, 2007, Blogger killerrabbit said...

You're kidding me right? A rubber chicken, a Hammond organ and chardonnay. Is that what they call entertainment in Adelaide! I must move there. Was it a Freemason's convention or something?

At 11:15 am, August 17, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

ariel, erm, sort of an association dinner ~she says trying not to blow her cover, just in case a workmate stumbles on this~

steph, if it had been Dancing Queen, I would have been fighting her for the microphone! The song of choice didn't quite suit, I'm afraid.

nai, ah, Red Dwarf. If only they hadn't tried to make Rimmer human and again and brought stupid Christine Kochanski back from the dead, it would have all been fine. But no. They had to go and introduce new characters. Grr.

gw, euww, you poor thing! I suppose at least the turkey wasn't set in gelatine. I've never been able to deal with potted meat ~shudders~

ms smack, thank you missy :) At least my misery gave someone a cackle.

rabbit, admittedly he didn't actually have a rubber chicken. It was a bit of a metaphor for the sort of hokey, Benny Hill MC he was. It wouldn't have surprised me if he'd had a plastic chook in his pocket, though. The Hammond and the chardonnay were horribly real, though. There was plenty of red wine on the table, but I don't drink red. And while it could easily have happened in Oddelaide, it was in a rural sort of spot. Do you mean that this isn't the sort of place you want to go for dinner when you come to visit?

At 12:57 pm, August 17, 2007, Blogger Nai said...

What they failed to understand with Red Dwarf was that it needed to be about a bunch of boys with nothing in common apart from their isolation. Adding a lass just ruined the equilibrium. Moan. Still season 1-5 were gold of various purity levels. With the occassional platinum episode thrown in.

At 3:55 pm, August 17, 2007, Blogger actonb said...

This here is the reason I am secretly happy that I am never invited to 'functions'.

Or if I am, I send MrB on his lonesome, pleading 'babysitter issues'. Works every time. No hammond-horror for me baby!

Heh - word verif sounds like your MC - qznob.

At 4:19 pm, August 17, 2007, Blogger ashleigh said...

Oh come on some of the later Red Dwarfs were ok.

Like blowing up Mr Bingleys Gazebo. I just about wet myself laughing at that one.

And the tribute the Ace Rimmer was kooky, to say the least. Certainly memorable.

Oh and by the way, such functions... Erk, how awaful. I've been to a few where the "entertainment" was unusual, but nothing quite as awful as you describe. I hope to keep it that way :)

At 4:19 pm, August 17, 2007, Blogger ashleigh said...

Awaful = awful.

I *hate* typos!

At 4:40 pm, August 17, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

nai, they could have brought in another guy and it would have been crap too. New characters never work. It's the Poochy principle.

acton, would that I could get out of such things. Sadly, being a half-hearted flack means I can't ~sobs~

ashleigh, afraid I couldn't tell you about too many of them. They just seemed to lose the plot and I stopped watching. Now the earlier ones, like Better Than Life, they were gold, Jerry, gold. But typos are, like Hammond organs, a fact of life.

At 10:46 pm, August 17, 2007, Blogger phishez_rule said...

What a dinner party. You should have stolen wine from other people. And if they didn't have any I would suggest drinking their blood. Concentrates the alcohol better. And its got more protein than a protein shake.

BTW, this post is listed in The Australian Index as a story of interest.

At 10:50 pm, August 17, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

phishez, um, actually I did. I'd blush, but you'd know they were just booze blossoms. The next table over pinched a bottle of red from our table (somehow I'd ended up with a mob of tea-totallers!) so I helped myself to their cardonnay. Any port in a storm. Post of interest, eh? I wonder how they choose those? I suppose it's random, but it's still noice :)

At 6:43 pm, August 18, 2007, Anonymous Teddy said...

No no Steph, dont say the K word---Red will murder Dancing Queen again.
Great writer---singer, Hmmmmmmm

At 6:56 pm, August 18, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

ted, I know, I know. Can't carry a tune in a bucket. But I admit it and avoid karaoke.

At 11:45 am, August 19, 2007, Blogger PetStarr said...

what the hell dinner were you at???

At 6:16 am, August 20, 2007, Blogger Snoskred said...

Hey, it's Snoskred again.

I also dislike this kind of entertainment. We should all have a Dicko megaphone, which spouts Dicko-esque wisdom at the press of a button. Maybe we could make it purse size? ;)

The local RSL keeps having this same band - a guy who can't sing. It is terrible. It makes my ears bleed. :(

Every few months or so I like to drop by and let you know I'm still reading you via the google reader. I do want you to know that I love your work and enjoy your writing.

On this visit I have something else to mention. I've finally bought myself my own domain. I've also had a facelift. No, not to my actual face, to the site. ;) I made a new title graphic, changed the template, and a few other things. If you are reading my blog via a feedreader, you don't have to change anything as far as I know, you'll still be getting my posts.

If you're not reading my blog, and you have a spare second, maybe you can drop by and say hi and let me know what you think of my new layout! ;)

Snoskred - has a new home at -
please update your linkage, if you link to me! Thanks!

At 9:26 am, August 20, 2007, Blogger Nick said...

And I thought my life was bad...

At 4:49 pm, August 20, 2007, Blogger Hungry Hungry Hypocrite said...

Hammonds are like banjos: amazing instruments in the right hands. Sounds to me like these guys were little thalidamide babies playing the sounds of suffering.

At 10:08 pm, August 20, 2007, Blogger londongirl said...

Good god. I'm with Sakura, is this your previous life coming back to haunt you?

Maybe you should invest in some earplugs to be taken with you at all times, in case of emergencies?

At 9:53 am, August 21, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

snos, I think there's just a plague of delusion sweeping the country. And my link to you seems to have updated itself automatically, which was rather clever of it.

nick, I console myself that at least I didn't have to do it sober.

hhh, oh it was the sounds of suffering all right. I'll have to take your word on the Hammond thing, though. I've never heard one played properly.

LG, actually, I do have a pair of disposable earplugs that I got in a sawmill last month. (Don't ask.) The only problem is that they're bright yellow and green and stand out like the proverbial when you're wearing them.

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