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Thursday, March 14, 2013

There’s No Business

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I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? Listen, I heard the job rate is on the upswing of late, but for the young people, and me, not so much; so I think it best we commence with a little show business story I recall from some years back at the old Jazz Oasis.

This instructive anecdote came to me by way of a musician pal of mine and I’d like to pass it on since I believe it may be particularly helpful to the younger readers here, especially those who entertain the deluded grandiose illusions that got yours truly hooked up with professional show business in the first focking place. It’s the only gift I’ve got to give to our wayward youth, but it cost a lot, you bet.

“So the guys are on the job, the kind your musician would call your pick-up gig. And wouldn’t you know, one of the boys on the bandstand likes to tip a couple, three tall-and-frostys at the drop of a downbeat, any kind of downbeat you got, 24 hours a day Jack, as any working musician is wont to do. But unlike any tried and true working musician, this guy just doesn’t know the right arrangement for when it comes the time that your constitution is fully ratified, and that you make room for your next double-Scotch amendment at least somewhere near the bar, out in the parking lot during a break, better yet, or even in the bathroom toilet bowl for crying out loud.

“But a tried and true working musician does not heave his guts out right there on stage when getting ready for the next set, which he did. Puked it up all over the piano bench big-time, and now he’s ready to jam. But wouldn’t you know, the piano guy on the job happens to be blind, I shit you not; and moments following the launch of lunch-blow courtesy of the trombone player, he gets on the stand and sits right where he ought to, and sits right in it. OK, ‘The Way You Look Tonight,’ in C, let’s swing fellas.”

I bring this up, so to speak, as an example to our young people that show biz can often be more than just trying to make ends meet by only having to work a couple, three hours a day, receiving a mention in the media once in a while, and GETTING HOUNDED BY THE IRS TWENTY-FOUR FOCKING HOURS A DAY. NO sir. (Hey, what’s the difference between a prostitute and the IRS? A hooker stops when you’re dead, you betcha. Ba-ding!)

I also bring this up for the young people since it occurs to me that many of them are currently torn at a crossroads by having to make a life-long choice between a career in the food service industry or professional show business.

Allow me to recommend show business for several important reasons, the least not being that you can often sleep the live-long day through, then show up for a mere couple hours in the nighttime somewhere, do some schtick, have some cocktails and call it a focking day. Nice work if you can find it, ain’a?

But be warned. This occupation can lead to the acquiring of what they would call in a church, “bad habits.” These are habits that scientists have supposedly proven will kill you dead if persisted upon. In response to this alleged fact, the crafty show-business person always asks, “So can I do it ’till I just need glasses?” My answer would be yes.

What the neo-focking-phyte needs to know about these so-called “bad habits” is this: You will either die from them (O Death, where is thy sting?) or if you have health insurance, a trained professional will therapeutically teach you the error of your ways and means. The upshot is that if you got bad habits, enjoy them while you can. Plus, that joy can be communicated to an audience willing to be entertained in an age where joy seems to be in mighty short supply. Everybody wins, what the fock.

So in conclusion, I feel behooved to hand out the following caveat: Maybe be careful what you wish for. Example: When I was youthful, lo, those years ago, and harassed by my local draft board at a time when that could happen and I had no use for such a happening; as a joke, I would always list “professional entertainer” as my occupation on all correspondence I received from the U.S. Death Machine, even though the only stage I was appearing on was post-adolescence. And come to think of it, the damn thing is that even what you don’t wish for can come true, and what the fock is that?

Hey, you tell me, ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.
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