Speedy downfall


The band cheers when you tell them about the show. It only takes 10 minutes to get there. It looks like a house party from a movie with hundreds of people in the yard and live music blaring. Everyone helps you move your gear in, you’re due to go on in 15 minutes. You decide that it’s time to take charge of the group.

“Band meeting.” you announce. “First of all… the band name, ‘Apologetic Reply.’ It sucks. I thought of a better one, ‘Centaur of the Year.’ All in favor, say ‘Aye.’”

No reply.

“OK… Connie. Keep the beat tight, alright? Or we’re gonna replace you with a drum machine. Serious. Monty… those bass lines are OK, but you’re so predictable. Catch the groove man! Count… try not to be so flashy on that wah pedal, it’s annoying. Jeffrey, I’ve seen dogs play acoustic guitar better than you can. Chaz, your handclapping could use some practice. So tonight, why don’t you do handclaps in the crowd… where you belong. Lisa. I’d be lying if I said you were good at the keyboard. Joe-dog, you’re pretty decent at rhythm harmonica. You asked me to lead your band for one reason… I’ve got the chops! I have to be brutally honest with each of you from time to time. Don’t take it personally, OK?”

“You’re out of the band!” Chaz yells. “C’mon guys… let’s go! Leave the gear!” They follow Chaz to the van and flip you off one by one as they walk by, never saying a word. They peel out in the mud before speeding away. You hear the announcer speaking over the PA.
“Our next band hails from Plainfield with their own brand of rock!” He pumps up the crowd with a little dance number. “Give it up for APOLOGETIC REPLY!”

You don’t have anything planned, but the sound of the crowd compels you to take the stage. You strut to the microphone with confidence and announce, “Apologetic Reply is dead, but this is my solo thang.” You break into a free-style acapela that pops into your head. The crowd seems unsure about the whole thing. Some of the rhymes you use are embarrassing and nonsensical. You start beat-boxing sloppily and begin to lose your composure. Laughter is building like a skyscraper throughout the crowd. More people are paying attention to the spectacle on stage. They curiously wander in and fill the room to capacity. You decide to spit some more rhymes….

“I rhyme with the likes of Digital Dracula….. and act in a show starring, Scott Bacula. I gotta fistful of fists in a fight……I got the skills to fly a kite. I like ketchup on my fries…. And my eyes are on the prize. I’m crashin’ on my bike….PSYCH!”

There’s applause mixed with laughter that erupts when you finish the “song.” You grab a guitar for the second song. You’ve never played one before, but it looks pretty easy on TV.

“This song goes out to anyone who’s ever loved and lost.” The guitar is harder to play than you thought. Nothing really sounds right. People begin exiting in herds. Your song is worsened when you start singing. You hear people making fun of you as they walk away. The song comes to a sudden stop.

“What’s wrong? Where are you going? I wanted to rock for you a little bit longer! Please come back!” The crowd continues to exit and laugh.

Will you openly cry on stage?


Will you buy a bus ticket home?


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