Wednesday, January 24, 2007

From the mailbag...

Psachya contributes some more 'Peeps":
Okay, you got me started again. Here are a few of what I call "Invisible Peeps". You know they're there, but you never see them.

Invisible Peep #1 is the subject of the following announcement: "Will the owner of a black Lincoln Town Car (substitute any big, obnoxious set of wheels), NY licence plate IDIOT, please move your car. You're blocking about 700 cars from leaving the parking lot & are about to have your tires slashed." The car always gets moved, but no one ever sees the guy.

Invisible Peep #2 is the guy (or gal) who steals all the band chairs during a break. Actually, this Peep is sometimes visible. "Is anybody sitting there?" she (or he) will say regarding a chair very obviously right behind an instrument. (Best actual line: "Oh, he's a trumpet player - he doesn't actually need to sit, right?") Most often, however, no one sees the felony taking place.

Invisible Peep #3 are the kids who get hold of live house microphones and scream into them as loudly as they can. Somehow, they are the opposite of the childish ideal - they are heard and not seen. (And inevitably, everyone glares at the band.)

I apologize in advance for Invisible Peep #4, but it must be said. These are the guys who use the public bathrooms at simchas and, er, don't flush. You'd be surprised at how often that happens, from the cheapest hole-in-the-wall places to the Hiltons and Marriotts. Check the stalls & urinals at the end of a simcha, & you'll see that I'm right. C'mon, guys - were you born in a barn? (I obviously can't comment on the ladies' rooms - my guess is that it's not an issue there.)
Here are some more:

The "Shrink-wrap Boys"

The "Shrink-wrap Boys" are the Bukharian band who showed up to play a recent wedding with us. (The groom's family hired them seperately). These guys, two keyboardists and a vocalist, showed up with all of their equipment neatly gift-wrapped in clear plastic. There were holes cut out for the sliders and dials, and the plastic around the keyboard keys was cut away as well. It was an odd look, but all of their equipment which ranged from 15-10 years old or so was in mint condition.

The "I'm With Them" guy.

He comes along with the "Shrink-wrap Boys". Comes over with cables to help run them into our system. Introduces himself as part of their group. Etc. Then, he brings a CD player and asks to plug it in to the system. We oblige and he runs off to change into his stage clothes. Says he'll perform his "special" set right when he gets back. While this is happening, one of the other Bukharians notices the CD player and calls over the groom's parents. A heated interchange occurs and when "Sasha" returns in his stage outfit, he's quickly sent packing.

Turns out, he used to be in the band, but isn't anymore. He'd found out that they had a gig, so he tried to sneak himself a set, relying on the fact that we didn't know who was/wasn't in the Bukharian band. I assume he'd have demanded payment afterwards, had he been successful, but who knows.

The "Idiot Party Room Manager"

This is the guy who somehow manages to snag a really upscale crowd for a Sheva Brachos in his restaurant, a less than ideal venue that was chosen for it's convenient location as much as anything else. At any rate, he now has a chance at booking some more upcoming events from the moneyed, frequent party-making crowd.

So, naturally, the "Idiot Party Room Manager" does everything possible to annoy the guests like the following:

Stacking unused tables and chairs in the room. Check.
Sending waiters in to loudly deliver mains during a speech. Check.
Failing to order tablecloths as in the contract AND not letting the clients know until they arrive and see cheap paper on the tables. Check!
Loudly telling waitstaff that the client is unreasonable. Check.
Failing to repair stuck door between party room and restaurant, meaning restauraunt noise will be "bleeding in" throughout the event. Check.
And on and on...
Odds this place will book another event from that crowd. 0%

Mark asks:
Is it permissable to sing the word "Jesus" in a song? Let's say I want to sing James Taylor's "Fire and Rain", which has the line, "Won't you look down upon me Jesus"?

Is there some halacha I'd be traversing? Or is it just frowned upon? What if I want to sing this song for non-Jews? Do I have to skip the line?