This past Friday, I worked one of my favorite early shows, Shame That Tune, a monthly “game show” in which contestants tell an embarrassing story from their past and are interviewed by the very funny Brian Costello, after which the ridiculously talented Abraham Levitan whips up a song about the shameful details on the spot, on the piano, in a musical genre determined by the spin of a giant wheel.
I’m a fan for a couple of reasons — first off, everyone’s sitting in the back room, which means they’re much more likely to be in need of my services (ka-ching!). Secondly, you’re pretty much guaranteed to hear something you never expected, like a Superbowl Shuffle-style song about drinking contact solution, or (as we heard last week) lyrics on the theme of faking an abortion. Not to mention the joys of watching our talent booker Jeanine play the part of their dweeby assistant.
Really, though, it’s one of my favorites because of the strange mix of bits and pieces I end up with at the end of the night, since half my time is spent filling orders in the front, overhearing scattered conversations with the bartender. That means things go from a story about pooping to recollections of childhood (involving a 6-foot crocheted python that our lovely Andrea used to carry around). It’s like a strange, mobile Mad Libs of sorts.
This is true of any cocktail shift, but there’s something about walking into the back just as someone starts talking about pooping themselves, then walking back out and re-entering a conversation about a recent artistic creation that tickles me.
Leaves me wondering, too, what next month’s mix will involve: Drunken trysts combined with sober political debate? Or maybe tales of bed-wetting blended with an awkward first date at the bar? Who knows!