I should take delivery of a ukelele today. That’s a fun word to write. Try it. Ukelele. The instrument is coming in the mail.
It’s been twenty years since I played the guitar. My fingers have grown soft and lost their muscle tone. I have muscle memory of chords and songs and licks, but when the flesh hits the frets, bearing down on those strings, memory will do me no good. I have muscle memory of water-skiing too and have no delusions about ever doing that again. Nylon strings will help. Little ukelele-size nylon strings will really help. I’ve Youtubed ukeleles (I never thought I would enjoy writing a single word so much) and now know what “my dog has fleas” really means. Mainly it means I’m going to be memorizing new ways to play chords on the stringed instrument. The dog on your guitar does not have fleas.
What’s the first song I want to play? I think it will be that Paul McCartney song “Everybody Gonna Dance Tonight,” which sounds very ukelele and possibly in the key of G, which I know from my Youtube research is a one-finger chord.
Fresh out of bed I checked out the front porch thinking the little box might be there this morning. It wasn’t.
As luck would have it, we have a lot of leftover spaghetti from yesterday. If I can eat a cold hot dog for breakfast, I can surely eat cold spaghetti. This one remembered next to the stove, an unlikely remainder from our daughter’s 40th birthday dinner yesterday, spaghetti with tuna sauce, made with spaghetti di Gragnano.
You think spaghetti is spaghetti. And it is spaghetti. But some are more spaghetti than others. Tizi and I had the Gragnano for the first time on Fat Tuesday, when she prepared her world famous spaghetti alla carbonara. What’s special about these Gragnano? Well, they’re long. About two feet long. What’s that in the metric system? Who cares? And they have a rough texture, so the sauce adheres and the spaghetti do not become slippery. And come to find out, this spaghetti can be resurrected, reanimated, it’s more than re-heating, they come back to life in a frying pan with a little bit of water.
After looking for the little ukulele box by the front door, I remembered that dish left over, sitting next to the stove, I had not seen it since 2:30 the previous afternoon, anything could have happened to it, it could have been eaten, it could have been thrown away, it might have gone down the garbage disposal, horrors, but no, it was still there, along with the giant serving dish with little spaghetti bits and not-yet-crusty glops of sauce.
It looked kind of gross. In the pan on the stove, its body temp rising, the spaghetti looked kind of gross. Maybe because I was thinking “Everybody Gonna Dance Tonight” and some things Beatle-related, I pictured John Lennon in Magical Mystery Tour shoveling spaghetti to Aunt Jesse. I seriously doubt they were Gragnano.
Tizi sits down at the table. She sniffs, says, “Are you going to eat those?”
“I’m gonna eat these,” I tell her. I start humming the McCartney song. I can’t help it. She’s reading about the Academy Awards ceremony last night.
“Good,” she says.
“I know what song I’ll learn first on the ukelele,” I say.
“Anthony Hopkins won best actor.”
“You know the Paul McCartney song ‘Everybody Gonna Dance Tonight.’ Only I’ll rewrite the words and make it about eating spaghetti. Everybody gonna eat tonight. What do you think?”
“I don’t know that song.”
I sing the first line, new words.
“Nope,” she says. “Don’t know that one.”
“That’s too bad.”
“Will you make me a cup of coffee?”
“Yes. Do you want some spaghetti?”
“Award winning spaghetti.”
Ukelele. Four strings. Gragnano. Good reheated. Today is beginning to look like a fine day.