Saturday, September 1, 2012

Winning At Being Dad

Busy day today. We had one extra with us -- the eldest Double-Banger child -- and we headed into Launceston to run a bunch of errands. Some of those errands took us past the music store: notably a trip to clean and refurbish Genghis' cornet.

Bit of a side story there. Launceston has one pawn shop I know of, and the proprietor is an amiable, interesting fellow. He gets a lot of odd stock through, and Launceston being Launceston, some of it is interesting musical instruments. I mean, right now, hanging in the window, there's a bowl-back lute, a very large zither, and an interesting stringed instrument I don't even recognise. Plus lots of others.

Anyway, a while back I'd dropped in there, and what should they have but quite an old, silver-plated cornet. I was curious, and asked to see it. Turns out it's a Besson, Australian made, and (estimating from the serial number and some Internet research) made somewhere around 1910-1920. But it had been beautifully looked after, and Besson make damned good instruments... so I bought it. It was priced under $200, so it wasn't exactly a gamble, but now, a couple years later, Genghis has taken to the trumpet like a much smaller, much whiter, much more sober Miles Davis, and the investment is paying off. (Yes. He's still playing bass, and enjoying it. But why not two instruments?)

So, we were at the music shop, putting the cornet in for a cleaning and service. And the Mau-Mau... she noticed the ukeleles.

I fuckin' hate ukeleles. I acknowledge their increasing popularity. I acknowledge that the ones coming onto the market now are generally a lot better than the fuck-awful pieces of shit that haunted my youth. I acknowledge that many of the people who play them do so with a sense of irony that adds an extra layer to their enjoyment. But... I fuckin' hate ukeleles.

I was, therefore, less than impressed when Natalie acquiesced, and the Mau-Mau acquired a shiny new music-fucker. However: about five minutes later, in the car, the universe spun dizzily on its axis. The stars aligned... and lo! It was good to be dad.

My seven-year-old daughter was sitting in the back of the car, picking out her first tune on the ukelele. Plucking the tune purely by ear and memory, she did it quite clearly, with decent timing, and a great deal of determination.

Yes. It was Smoke On The Water, by Deep Purple.

That's it, folks. I. Have. Won.