Smile and wave at the pianist.

Today being Wednesday, I’ll be leaving shortly to play piano for a couple of hours at our local mall. Last Sunday I was also there, filling in for the Sunday pianist who helped me out whilst I was away with my family in Johannesburg. Unlike the Wednesday crowd, which are mostly ‘Platinum Pensioners’, as our mall management has seen fit to label every shopper over fifty-five, Sunday is very different, with many more younger folk with their families out for a weekend shopping spree and maybe a meal at one of the restaurants here.

Last Sunday there was a fair on, with lots of stalls displaying wares from the shops in the centre, plus a few antique stalls. The atmosphere was very festive, and the piano had been moved to make way for a wedding dress display. I was now right next to a massage set-up, with young Indian ladies offering passers-by a free neck and shoulder massage. I love people-watching, and was fascinated to see how many men took advantage of this.

So there I sat, amid all the bustle and noise, trying to concentrate on my playing whilst watching and smiling at all the shoppers who came past. I had just started playing that lovely Michel Legrand song, “How do you keep the music playing?” (which as it turned out was very apt), when I was startled by a six-foot-plus guy in a ‘penguin suit’ who stationed himself in front of the piano, and proceeded to conduct me right through the song until the very last chord. Now, you might think that this should have helped me to keep in time with the rhythm,Β  but I was actually laughing so much that I almost fell off my seat. I had to keep going though, as any self-respecting musician would do, with such a stern-looking conductor waving his arms around in front of them.

When I’d finished, I whipped out my iPhone and insisted that he owed me a photograph. He obligingly posed for me,Β  before waddling off to terrorise a few more people. πŸ˜€

I guess today will be much more tame, with probably just a few ‘smiles and waves’ from platinum-haired pensioners, rather than penguins. πŸ™‚ Wishing you all a great day.

75 comments on “Smile and wave at the pianist.

  1. This was hilarious! I could just picture it happening and you trying to retain your composure, but all you could do was laugh. Good story.

  2. Wow! Sounds like a fun day, especially with the penguin conductor. But now I’m bummed to know I am a platinum pensioner!! Over 55!?? Come on!! πŸ™‚

  3. Good ol’ penguins, always so reliable especially when you least expect it. So tell me, do you get to choose your own playlist or do you get some guidelines to stick to? Sounds nice though, nice music and not just radio stations blaring in the background.

    • I play exactly what I like, and it seems to be what everyone who hears it, likes as well. That makes us all very happy. πŸ™‚ I don’t have a playlist. It’s totally spontaneous, depending on what I feel like playing. πŸ™‚

    • You do ask a lot of question. Are you writing a book about me? πŸ™‚ No, I don’t usually play from memory. The chords would suffer a bit, if I had to remember all the notes.; besides which, I rarely play the same stuff from one week to the next. I have piles of books, and pick out several to put in my bag. It’s very heavy, so hubby carries it for me. πŸ™‚

      • That makes sense. People keep on saying that – why all the questions? I have really an inquisitive mind and watching people and how they plot and plan and scheme. No writing books, thank you – I have a hard enough time stringing basic sentences together πŸ™‚

  4. I was fooled. I love piano music. If I were there I would have camped out in the massage booth so I could get massaged while listening to the wonderful music that I am sure you play. My idea of relaxation. Our NHL hockey team’s name and mascot is the Pittsburgh Penguins, so I love seeing yours.


  5. Just when you thought you had experienced all that could ever happen to the piano woman, along comes a new one. A conducting penguin would not be high on the list of things one might easily predict!

  6. Had me fooled, too πŸ˜‰
    Yesterday I watched some people having their feet nibbled by the callus-eating fish.
    At R100 a pop I’ll see to my own callusses.

  7. Just not always sure if our idiom or slang translate across the board… speaking of which: I’ve been listening to an audiobook in the car where the reader has the most darling accent purportedly from Botswana. I adore accents. It’s The Kalahari Typing School for Men (Audiobook). Have you heard of it?

  8. What fun! I love the penguin…. though you had me thinking it was a guy in a tux until I saw the picture. After all there was the mention of wedding dresses, so a gentleman in a tuxedo didn’t seem too far fetched. Did you do that on purpose, you funny lady? πŸ˜‰ SO glad you got the picture.

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