>The Carpenter

>Every night I walk through the ship after I finish work, to check on all the other musicians playing around the ship. Carlos, our dark and broody Argentinean lighting man, was standing in one of the bars. This is something unusual for him as he is a big advocate of everyone going straight to sleep after work.

He greets me excitedly.
“The Carpenter, he’s in the piano bar! He’s in there right now!’
Me: “The carpenter, yeah I know him, is he fixing something?”
Him: “You don’t know the Carpenter, he’s in there right now!”
Me: “Yeah, I know the carpenter, why, is he building something this late at night?” I picture construction happening in the piano bar while Collin is singing and playing his heart out.
Him: “No nono, The Carpenter, I recognize him, from the 70’s , you know, The Carpenter, the band?”

I go to the piano bar and I’ll be darned if it isn’t Richard Carpenter sitting there in the front row. Two lifetime cruisers wave me over to their table, and for once I accept their offer for a drink – one of the new ginger cosmopolitans.

Mr Carpenter is sitting right next to the pianist. He is highly involved and calling out requests. “Do you know the verse to the song ‘I’ll be seeing you?,’ ” he asks. I am on the edge of my seat. That’s my favorite verse of all time and I’ve only ever met one other person who knows it. I am always talking about this verse. Collin doesn’t know it. “That’s too bad,” says the Carpenter, I think it’s one of the top ten verses of all time!” Wow. I want to run over and push Collin over and play the verse myself for Mr Carpenter. I remain seated. I did spill my drink, however. Collin keeps playing Burt Bacherach. Mr Carpenter requests “My one and only Love”. Collin doesn’t know it. Oh, oh, I know it!! I am thinking.. Mr Carpenter requests Slow Boat To China. “How does that one go? Asks Collin.. I know that one too, aaaaah!! I think…
Mr Carpenter hums the song. “Why don’t you play it?” Collin gets up, slightly fed up with these oddball requests. So a drunk Mr Carpenter sits right down at the piano to sing and play “Slow Boat to China.”

The second verse comes along. “Out of the briny, with a moon big and shiny, all to my self all alone…” A Frequent Cruiser Lady screams out a correction from the bar. “It’s ‘Melting my heart of Stone!’ ” “You tell him, Suzanne!” I almost yell. Actually I think I did yell it. And I will never forget the day I saw Ms Suzanne correct Richard Carpenter on the lyrics to Slow Boat to China. It just made my night.

The next day at our jazz jam I played all of Mr Carpenter’s requests. I really hope he wasn’t there, as there was a trombone solo I hope everyone missed (including the trombone player).

I dedicated “Slow Boat To China” to Ms Suzanne and she was tickled.

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7 Responses to >The Carpenter

  1. christina says:

    >Oh, THE Carpenter. I used to kind of have a crush on him. That must have been amazing. I was trying to tell my kids about The Carpenters the other day (poor, poor Karen) but was only met with blank stares.

  2. Anonymous says:

    >Ah Stacey,That was so funny – I had tears flowing…laughing so loud it sent the cats a running… now I know what you were talking about this morning.Wish we could have been there!M

  3. Anonymous says:

    >Stacey, you rule like the Carpenters only wished to.Take care of all the acts the way you take care ofWingTip’s needs and life will be grand on a slow boat to China! Puppetboy

  4. >Oh WOW, the Carpenters, that’s a blast from the past for sure. My mum used to hum Slow Boat to China whiule she did housework, but I’m not sure that she ever knew any further than the first verse. Maybe she needed to take lessons from Ms. Suzanne.

  5. Goofball says:

    >I’m afraid that I have no clue who this post is about :(…sorry

  6. R. Duckie says:

    >Goofball, I’m sure you will recognize some of the songs they played, like ‘We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Close To You”Here is a link to the band “The Carpenters” on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Carpenters

  7. Ginnie says:

    >LOL at goofball. Now all of us who are laughing have just aged ourselves. What a glorious post, Stacey. I’m glad you had your day in the sun the next day!

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