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, 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, before waddling off to terrorise a few more people. 😀
I guess today will be much more tame, with probably just a few ‘smiles and waves’ from platinum-haired pensioners, rather than penguins. 🙂 Wishing you all a great day.