Sunday, April 29, 2012

Creating a cigar box guitar changes the way you think.

I vaguely remember going to a hardware store, a secondhand store, a swap meet, or various other commercial establishments to acquire whatever I needed for a project, without thinking about how it might adapt to a CBG. 

But, those days are long gone. 

Everything I see now rattles around in my noggin and what shakes out has nothing to do with the intent in which the product was intended . . . right down to a bag of pretzels.

It's a real dilemma.  My wife won't go shopping with me.  My friends, the only two I have left, always have something more important to do, when I suggest a fun trip to somewhere.  My sons just look at me with glazed-over eyes.  And, my granddaughters simply stare at me with silly grins.  That's the upside attention.  Store clerks and their customers gaze at me quizzically and may utter something remotely connected, like, "Gee, I never thought of using it that way."  Or, "Really!"  Even, "You're shitting me, you really plan to make a guitar out of that?"

I walked into a run down, over crowded, grungy secondhand store the other day to look around, and I spotted a bedpan that was pretty beat up.  I asked the old gal running the place if she had one that was in better condition?  She said, "Oh, I can understand not wanting to sit on that old thing, but, that's all I got right now."  "I don't plan to sit on it, but that one's a little nasty to play with", I said.  She looked at me funny, like I was from another planet and asked, "Well, just how do you plan to 'play' with a bedpan?"  I said, "Music."   She said, "You sure you don't want a trumpet, the sound may be a little more enjoyable than the oompa-roompa that comes with using a bedpan, and the mouthpiece is a little smaller, hee, hee?"  "Nope", I said, "I'm gonna make a guitar out of it, and I think the sound will be just right."  She gave me the thing . . . to get me out of the store, I think . . . before other people started to question my sanity.  It's going to make a helluva guitar.

When I see a broom, I think instantly of a Lowe bow -- one-stringed instrument played by finger picking or with a stick.  Cabinet hinges, spoons and cake servers look like tail stock string retainers to me, and some are missing from our home.  Drawer pulls suddenly become sound hole covers or bridge covers, while pop rivets look good as string guides to me.  And, everything I see somehow appears in my mind as a decoration of some sort for the headstock or box of a guitar.  A cookie tin suddenly becomes a guitar body, not quite as dramatic as a toilet seat or a bed pan, but just as much fun.

Oh, well, it's a hoot building these things, but watching the expressions on people's faces is what makes it really fun.

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