Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Mr. Betty and I wandered down the hill on Saturday night to hear Cake (that's a band) from outside the venue at the Yachting Center. I might have felt guilty, like some sort of freeloader, but both our kids were inside amid the teeming screaming throng, so I figured we'd paid, sort of. And it seemed like a good time to take two of our weekend house guests — canine house guests — for a walk.

Besides, what's so bad about listening to the music from the sidewalk, or the wall outside the post office, or the pier heading out to the Yachting Center's fuel dock?? That big white tent is right there; it's not our fault that we can hear. (Thank goodness we can hear.) We hear these concerts — the beat, at least — all the way from home, if the wind is blowing in the right direction. We hear the Folk and Jazz festivals, too, sending forth vibes (sounds waves are vibes, right??) all the way from Fort Adams. I'm not complaining; it's delightful, not to mention economical, especially if one likes the music du jour: Cake, getting back to the matter at hand.

And we do.

In fact, we wandered down & up the hill twice, as we really wanted to catch the encore (often the best part), and the dogs, belonging to Super Son's girlfriend, had started to get uneasy about that distinctive bass line, or maybe the drums, or maybe the brass (was it shrill??), or maybe the dark shadowy surroundings half-lit by the half-moon overhead, or the unfamiliar smells and cobbles and people and cars and pedicabs whizzing past. And let's not forget those fearless kids who scampered up the giant anchor at Bowen's Wharf as if it were easy (a piece of cake??).

So we took them home — the dogs, that is — during which time they kept swapping positions, thus entangling their leashes, thus challenging Mr. Betty and me to stay alert lest we become entangled ourselves. And, along the way, I wondered aloud, "Hey, what's that 'Good Time Lime' business on the back of the pedicabs all about?? It can't possibly be a good time lugging people, let alone two or three people, let alone two or three drunk people, uphill or across the cobblestones in the middle of a heat wave ... "

Mr. Betty explained that it was all about beer.

Speaking of good times, or just time itself (is there any issue other than time??), we overheard some of Cake's banter between numbers including one long meandering thought about 3/4 time, and how music in prior centuries was often written in 3/4 time, and why don't musicians use as much 3/4 time lately?? "Really, what's the rush??" That was the lead singer's question (and I venture to say he's much younger than I to ask such a thing). He went so far as to announce that the balance of the music that evening would be played in 3/4 time. But it wasn't; he was just blathering.

Then, later, when all was quiet, and Darling Daughter and her concert-going friends were home eating birthday cake (mine) leftover from a few days prior, I had a thought. Not about the coincidence that they were eating cake after a Cake concert. Not about how The Mad Hatter (that's a bakery) makes a really great cake. It was a question as much as a thought, actually: Could the kids please save me a piece?? Not the piece with my name on it — that's not important — but the piece with "happy" scrawled on it in perfectly cursive frosting??

And they did.

I ate it for lunch yesterday — the happy piece — though it was fairly well squished and should have been relegated to the garbage at that point. It just seemed like the thing to do ...