How about a hump-day break from house projects to talk music. I mentioned that mama loves her music. Back in the day I used to tickle the plastic ivories of a double-decker organ. It all started when I was around 10 years old and I started taking organ lessons. Not sure how it went exactly but I am fairly certain that Harpo said, “Kim, I want you to learn to play the organ.” And, naturally, in a British accent I responded, “But, Papa, I want to play the piano!” Harpo has a keen sense of selective hearing, especially when his daughter is giving him sass. So while I begged to take piano lessons like most girls my age, he heard “Yes, father, I would love to play the organ. Thank you for this opportunity to bring honor to my family.” The thing was, even if he had said I could play the piano, we did not own one. Since the family business was a funeral home, clearly, we owned an organ. Organs and funerals just go together. Harpo, being the wise, savvy businessman he is, knew exactly what he was doing. He knew if his daughter was an organist he’d save himself some money by “hiring” me to play at services instead of paying a professional. As you’ll find out, this did not work out in his favor.
At first I was excited about becoming the next organ prodigy; but that excitement faded when I realized I had to practice every damn day. I will say the practicing didn’t bother me so much as the fact as WHERE I had to practice. The organ sat in the corner of the funeral home chapel. The chapel is where the casket was placed for funerals. When you sit at the organ, you face the wall; which your back was to the chapel… and the deceased in the casket. And if there’s one thing we all know, it’s that you NEVER EVER turn your back.
I already told you that at 31-years-old I have a disturbingly wild imagination. Now take that imagination and amplify it by ONE THOUSAND and you will come somewhat close to what was going on in my tiny, adorable, perfectly shaped head at the age of 10. Even if it was daylight outside, at 6pm in the funeral home I felt like I was sitting in a graveyard on Halloween. I even moved my music book slightly to the left so that I could use the plexiglass stand as a mirror to watch my back. Typically it was my idiot brother imitating the cackle of Chucky (yes I’m referring to that awful doll from the horror movie). JP once snuck up behind me and let out the loudest Chucky cackle he could muster and I shot off that organ bench like a firecracker had been lit under me. Once the shock subsided and I realized who it was, all I saw was red and all I wanted to do was PULVERIZE my brother. I can only imagine what my parents thought when they heard us straight up brawling in the funeral home chapel. Needless to say, Harpo had to intervene and separate us by the scruff of our necks.
Since the organ didn’t work out, my new goal is to become the tambourine girl in an indie rock band. That girl has the best gig ever. She just has to have sweet dance moves (uh, hello, CHECK) and play the tambourine to the beat (I’ve got rhythm for days). Done. Sold. Sign me up. Some day when my daughter tells me she wants to play piano, I’ll hand her a tambourine and say, “Trust me, you’ll thank me later.”