A noxious pest that hasn’t bothered us for a long time has suddenly returned to haunt us. Actually, make that two noxious pests, what with the return of “American Idol’s” Ryan Seacrest.
The slightly less noxious problem is an electric guitar that we weren’t smart enough to get rid of a long time ago. No. 5 son, age 12, is thinking about learning to play it. He figures since he’s still a few years away from the start of his Hall-of-Fame NFL career, he’ll just spend that time becoming a rock ‘n’ roll demi-god, which will enable him to permanently ditch school bus rides and homework while simultaneously becoming Lorde’s main squeeze.
His legend will begin with a Squier Stratocaster, a guitar produced especially for parents trying to spend as little as possible on an object destined to be sold, barely used, at a garage sale.
We bought our Squier Strat several years ago, barely used, at a garage sale, when No. 3 son was chasing his rock dream, which wheezed to a speedy halt upon his stunned realization that mastering a musical instrument requires a repetitive, not to mention repetitious, routine known as “practice.”
Don’t tell No. 5 this, but for the sake of my cochlea, I fervently hope his rock star gets sucked into the same black hole as No. 3’s. Unfortunately, as I write, he’s in the basement, wowing some neighborhood pals with the famous riff from “Smoke on the Water.” (He can only pluck it out on one string, but it’s somehow comforting that a bunch of hyper-stimulated 12-year olds can still be so easily wowed.)
At the moment, No. 5’s amplifier is dialed to the “May Bruise Non-Vital Organs” setting. I can probably deal with that, as long as he doesn’t crank it any higher. But what if he decides to specialize in the music of Deep Purple, for whom “Smoke on the Water” was a huge hit in 1973? If he emulates those guys, he’s bound to discover that the Guinness Book of World Records once named them the World’s Loudest Band. This will greatly excite him; in all his endeavors, he firmly believes that loudness equals greatness.