I was in New York yesterday and I visited Gray’s Papaya, one of the great hot doggeries the world has ever known.
While in the BIG Apple, I was reminded of many funny stories.
First and foremost in my mind is a time I was in Atlantic City and there, on the boardwalk, was a street musician “playing” the clarinet. This man was awful. I mean he was ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE.
He was probably in his sixties or seventies, and perhaps he was good at the clarinet at one point in time. However, the particular day I heard him was clearly not that point in time. He played major scales, and that was it. Each note he sustained would warble, constantly from sharp to flat and back, but never settle to anything remotely resembling correct intonation.
As I headed down the boardwalk his tone began to seamlessly blend into the melodious tones of squawking seagulls. I walked several miles and ran into many more street musicians, but none were nearly as terrible as my claritnetist friend.
Several hours (and cheesesteaks) later, I wended my way back down the boardwalk. I was surprised to find the claritnest in question still going to town.
As I passed our aspiring woodwind virtuoso, a cop suddenly forced him to stop performing because “he didn’t have a permit.” Instantaneously, he switched from a musician with a delusional concept of his own ability to what I would describe simply as a very disgruntled person. He created quite a scene. All the while, several other street musicians in plain view of the officer played on. No one, including the police man, made any attempts to stop them. 78.