Accent the Positive

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During the last week of June, 2009, I took a real vacation. I planned a trip for a specific purpose all for myself. The last time I did something like this was shortly after my divorce, when I went to Vegas and didn’t tell anybody about it. Good Lord! It has been eleven years now?

I went to Louisville, Kentucky! What? Yes! Louisville. And it is not pronounced LEWIS-ville, I found out. So why did I go to Louisville? I attended a very unique workshop. It was a jazz band camp for adults. It was a fantastic workshop, well worth the money, even though a fourth of the student body was comprised of high schoolers. (Most of them were phenoms!) And if you play an instrument for jazz at any level, I highly recommend going. For me, personally, it was truly an enlightening once-in-a-lifetime experience. For my own reasons, I don’t think I’ll go again, and I’ll tell you all about it someday, but for now, I want share a funny thing that happened to me there.

People from all over the world attend this camp. I met people from China, Japan, Australia, United Kingdom, the Yukon, Switzerland, and Brazil. And then there were the Americans: Texas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Florida, etc. For one solid week, Saturday through Friday, jazz was crammed into every nook, cranny, and orifice of my body. It was played at lunch, and dinner, and at the concert hall every night. Every band room had a jam session every night until all hours of the night. And then there were the classes, practice, and rehearsal.

Did I mention lunch and dinner? Well, there was breakfast too. In addition to paying for tuition, you could pay for an entire week’s worth of meals at the camp, which I did. Getting fed was easy. All I had to do was show my badge which had my name and student number on it. My number was number eighty.

I instantly took a liking to the angelic little red head who was taking the student numbers. She was cute with a capital “C.” She had long straight strawberry blonde hair, brilliant green eyes behind wire-frame glasses, slender tight little body, smooth pale skin, and rated quite high on the perky meter, if you know what I mean. Yeah, she was my new girlfriend, but she never knew it. It was time to turn on the charm!

The first time I saw her was Monday at lunch. I grabbed my badge between thumb and forefinger, held it up, leaned into her and said, “My name is John, and my number is eighty. Don’t forget it now, because I am going to see you later today <wink>.”  She gave me a surprised look and smiled a little. That was cute too!

Later that day, when it was dinner time, I said, “See? I told you I was going to see you. My name is John, and my number is eighty. Now that you know my number, you should give me a call <grin>.” This time she lit up when she smiled. The charm was working!

Next day, lunch, a similar thing: “Well, I waited for your phone call, but <sigh> you didn’t call. It’s okay. I know you’re busy. My name is John, and my number is eighty. See you later. Call me.”

This went on, lunch, dinner, lunch, dinner, etc. until Friday’s lunch when I held the badge up backwards and said, “Even though you’ve not called me, you must know my number by now.” To which she replied, phonetically, “Num-bah Ay-tee!”

Oh-my-God-and-his-only-son-Jesus-on-Earth-as-it-is-in-Heaven! She had a British accent! I nearly had a spontaneous orgasm! It never occurred to me. I mean, I spent all week turning on MY charm, that I never had the chance to fully experience hers. And she had a British accent! I mean, here I was thinking up some clever things to say, knowing that I was only going to SEE her for a week, but I only heard her voice once. And she had a British accent! I had dreamed of her actually going through the trouble of finding my phone number, and calling me. But she had a British accent. It was summer time, so everyone dressed skimpy, and she wore clothes that – She had a British accent!!

You know that little kid, Ralphy on A Christmas Story, when he’s sitting on Santa’s lap and Santa asks him impatiently, “What do you want for Christmas, little boy?” And Ralphy can’t remember what he’s doing there? Yeah, that was me after she said “Num-bah Ay-tee”. With what little composure I had left – the look on my face must have been just like Ralphy’s—I said, “Uhh—yeah—number eighty. Cool.” But I was anything but cool. I really did forget what I was doing there until I saw everyone picking up their plates and loading them with the day’s entre. She could have offered me a “nice football” and I would have just said “Uhh—yeah—football. Cool.”

Yeah, this was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I never did get her name. And I know I’ll never see her again. It’s all for the best, anyway. If we had married, her accent would have just made trouble here in Podunk New Mexico.


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