Wednesday, December 15, 2004
It's hallelujah day!
People who walk through the pedway connecting the Washington stops on the Red and Blue lines are familiar with the Funky Keyboard Guy. He sits on a bucket midway down the corridor and plays endless descending series of jazzy chords that always sound like they're about to resolve and then *don't*, and you want to knock his hands aside and just play the damn C-major and END THE SONG. Or maybe that's just me. Oh, and while playing these funky progressions, he shouts "Wooooo!" because he's imbued with the spirit of music. It's quite uplifting, really.
Well, yesterday I cut through the pedway to avoid the cold as I made my way to Border's (and why I dared enter the only major bookstore in the Loop a few days before Christmas remains a mystery to me) and there was Funky Keyboard Guy, trying out a new shtick. While erratically tapping on a five-gallon bucket, he sang with great joy in his heart, "It's hallelujah day! It's hallelujah day!" to the tune of the Howdy Doody song.
Now how did I never notice before that Howdy Doody and "Ta-ra-ra-BOOM-de-ay" are the same song?!
I stopped at the Kristkindlmarket (sp) on Daley Plaza and was immediately adopted by a sweet old German lady who decided that she and I were going to solve the mystery of what these glowing candleholders were made of. As she kindly clutched my arm and expressed amused shock at the price tags, my eyes darted around the crowd looking for a polite way out, which finally came in the form of a guy who works for the candle company. "Salt rock," he informed us. "Hunks of salt mined from..." well, somewhere with a lot of salt. "Probably don't want to get it wet," I kidded, and he laughed and said probably not. "What's that you say?" said the sweet German lady, and he told her we were saying you shouldn't get the salt rock wet. "Oh, no, no, it's not for water, it's for candles!" she protested. I let the employee try to talk his way out of that one and skedaddled.