Make that Piano Men. In the fall Tim and I had a serious talk about how we needed to improve our social life. Working from home cuts down on the number of people you interact with and you start to accept the isolation. Previously our groups of friends tended to come from our children's activities, but they have now flown the nest and those friendships have drifted away. Family is too far away for any kind of social activity as are our closest friends from softball and mousing around. So in order to become more social and expand our circle locally we have started dating of sorts.
Last year with the kids at school and Tim working away in Connecticut I discovered meetup.com. It's a lovely website where people can start groups based on a common interest and others can join in. I became a member of several groups just to get me out of the house, though I rarely went to any of the meet ups they had. There is a wide variety of people looking to get together and I joined a photography, poker, game night, dining, over 40 and movie groups. We've met some nice people at these meet ups. Although I confess I was a little uncomfortable at the movies during a humorous adult scene that made me howl with laughter while a pastor in the group was seated next to me.
We met a couple at one of our groups and decided to meet outside the group to get to know each other better. Going "out" presents a challenge for people our age. We think we are young and hip and cool, but are constantly reminded by our children that we are the most uncool beings on earth. So we needed to think outside our normal box of dinner, ice cream and then home to bed. Tim had heard about a dueling piano bar uptown. In fact Salt Lake has TWO dueling piano bars. Who would have thought that? So we chose the Tavernacle and headed there after dinner with our meet up friends.
This being my first dueling piano bar, I wasn't sure what to expect. The format worked this way. There were request slips on the tables. You could suggest they play any song for free, but your suggestion was bumped to a request if a tip was included. The bigger the tip the quicker it was played. But there was a twist...if you hated a song being played you could get them to stop if you paid $1 more than the original tip. If they stopped a song (and they paid to stop several) you could add another dollar to the total and get it restarted. Either no one loved their song enough to get it started again for double the price or they were too embarrassed to admit they were the ones who requested it in the first place.
From 9-11 the songs were PG-13. C Lo Green's song would have been Forget You if it had been played at that time. Instead it was played after 11 and most of the patrons sang along to the more bawdy chorus. There were quite a few groups there celebrating birthdays and one bachelorette party. The piano men bantered, told jokes, and had audience members up on the stage to perform various antics. The only duel though seemed to be which piano player collected the most tips.
Life is like a piano, what you get out of it depends on how you play it and these guys played it well. Overall we had a great time. It was entertaining and we got to let our hair down without buying any of those $8 drinks at the bar. My only complaint was one of my songs, with a $5 tip attached, never got played. I'm not sure if those who were drinking were tipping higher as their common sense faded or if I just got lost in the shuffle. But even with the awol request it was a pleasure to see the ivories tickled along with our funny bones. While it wasn't classical, to quote Arnold..."I'll be Bach"...