December 12, 2009

"I really doubt this gesture is about making the world a better place..."

"... for the serendipity-loving people and their penchant for maidens playing banjos under trees."

42 comments:

JAL said...

I vote for creepy.

peter hoh said...

That explains the banjo that arrived recently, addressed to my wife.

Theo Boehm said...
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blake said...

>>Nothing says love like a piccolo


A bassoon?

Lem said...

If he is as big on 'serendipity' as he says he is, she's going to know 'intuitively' that it was him.

Theo Boehm said...
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Theo Boehm said...
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Theo Boehm said...
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JohnAnnArbor said...

Man. That guy takes emo to an entirely new level.

JohnAnnArbor said...

How would he feel if he got a battered saxophone anonymously delivered? Later to find out some former girlfriend he hasn't thought about for a long time has a vision of him whiling his days away on a corner somewhere as a street musician?

vbspurs said...

Nothing says love like a piccolo.

Theo, as you know, piccolo means "small" in Italian. Re-read your message. Teehee.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Real Men Do It With Recorders.

Paul said...

Does she even like the banjo, let alone have the desire and discipline to master it? It's not an easy instrument to play well, and few people except those that like bluegrass music are drawn to it.

This guy is terminally beta and has no chance with women unless he learns some game, but that seems highly unlikely.

ddh said...

The guy wants to give an expensive, eccentric gift to an ex because he has a fantasy about a beautiful girl playing the banjo under the trees on a sunny day. After writing that sentence down, he still wonders whether it's a good idea?

Somewhere, a congressional district is missing a future Democratic candidate.

rhhardin said...

McGarrigle on banjo.

AllenS said...

Back sometime in the 1950's, 4th or 5th grade to be exact, we all had Flute-O-Phones. Were we cool, or what? Do schools still do that?

Michael Hasenstab said...

Creepy, unless he was dating Alison Kraus. Then it'd be only marginally creepy.

Better to spend the banjo money on a few hours with a therapist, methinks.

edutcher said...

First, if she plays it as well as, say, John Stewart in his Kingston Trio days, by all means.

The vision of "serendipity-loving people and their penchant for maidens playing banjos under trees." strikes me as very Southern, as in 1850 or so, when Stephen Foster and Daniel Decatur Emmett were all the rage and the War hadn't yet destroyed a "genteel" way of life (can I pick up a nuance and run with it, or what?). That sort of thing either calls up images of white-gowned women frolicking on the lawn in front of a white-columned plantation house as the field hands labored in the background under a blazing sun or floozies watching from a ramshackle landing, hoping to lure passengers into the hands of John Murrell, as a packet made the run from Memphis to Natchez with young Sam Clemens at the wheel "learning the river" (this is turning into a novel, isn't it?). I can see why this guy has a problem with women.

In any case, the guy is acting like a weenie. Be a man, tell her who sent it - no strings attached (figuratively), and wish her well.

Bob_R said...

Theo - Normally I'd be with you on the accordion issue, but Madison, Wi is the home of Lou Berryman, so I have strangely pleasant associations of this blog and accordions.

rhhardin said...

Everybody can play the banjo, but a gentleman chooses not to.

That's a proverb from somewhere.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Never once does he consider what the woman in question might want. Talk about self-centered. If he uses even gift giving as a chance to fulfill his own needs it's no wonder his relationships end up badly.

traditionalguy said...

This affected me, So he is very successful in life. But my life has been wasted for the time it took to ponder over his fantasy of a banjo psy-ops job done to an innocent friend at her parents home on Christmas.Is her name Susannah?

Beta Conservative said...

This sounds like the onset of stalking.

Which suggests the writer is a trombone player.

Bissage said...

My humble advice to that Metafilter question-asking dude (Mr. Archibald Edmund Binns) is that effective, wacky, imaginative, half-true writing like that requires concision, ostrich, b a c k – s w i n g , DOOR HINGE, E S T U A R Y!!!1!!!!!1!!!!!!

Freeman Hunt said...

Yes, he should give it to her. This is his great chance to birth serendipity into the world with his midwife, the banjo.

Freeman Hunt said...

That Metafilter thread is absolutely hilarious. After reading dozens of comments explaining to him how creepy his gift would be, this one made me laugh out loud:

Just send a goddamn banjo to a random person in the phone book if you're so desperate to give a banjo to someone who doesn't give a shit about a banjo. Christ.

ddh said...

The same guy who wants to send a banjo to his ex has a post asking whether he should change his psychiatrist. He says he's depressed, and the symptoms he describes sound like depression. Seeing a banjo-playing maiden won't solve the guy's problems.

traditionalguy said...

This writer has a DNA problem, since all reality is material according to Hitchens. He obviously suffers from an extra gene that the rest of us have evolved out of during the 1990s. It is a Bluegrass gene from inbreeding in the West Virginia hollers.( See, movie Deliverance for a North Georgia subset of this pathology).Robert Byrd has a case of this genetic defect as well. He likes to build Federal Buildings all over the West Virginia landscape instead of banjos by UPS.

EDH said...

Maybe he should take a lesson from the real "experts" and try something a little more overt, like this:

Eat that cheese, lady...

Ah-ha, pluck that banjo.

Yes, you have very nice looking shoes, miss...

ricpic said...

The Man Who Got Away

Giving is its own reward.
So do yourself a favor --
Slap a gift on the broad
And her "might have beens" savor.

Pogo said...

I was going to pile on, until I read his responses:
"Bummer. You guys are probably right, I have a lot to think about.
I just wish i lived in a world where this wasn't creepy.
It just felt like such a great idea. That's all. Forgive me for being idealistic or romantic or narcissistic at the expense of strangers.

Thanks guys, I really came pretty close to doing this. Dodge a bullet i suppose.
I still think it's a good idea, at least from my side, but as you have all pointed out, my pompous idealism has repercussions that have nothing to do with me. I won't do it.

I just didn't think it through, and thinking back, I've done stuff kinda like this in the past. Never really thought about it. It makes a lot more sense now.
So sincerely, thanks....
"

Shit.

It's pathetic and immature and wrong about romance and clueless about real women, hell, clueless about people in general.

Life ain't an indie movie, Archibald Edmund Binns, it ain't a Pomplamoose song, it ain't e.e. cummings and the lower case "i", it's hard as stone,and kicks you in the balls and hates hates hates serendipitous banjo giving with the heat of a thousand suns.

Life is pretty fond of coffee, though.
Wake up and smell it.

Paco Wové said...

People like that are why I hate Metafilter.

WV: metires. I'd like to leave marks from metires all over this twerp's face.

Modern Otter said...

Creepy, perhaps to the extent it entails making somebody do something they probably wouldn't be inclined to do. But I wonder which, if any of the following best conform to the writer's image--give or take trees. I rather like all three.

Peggy Seeger, Hedy West, or Alison Brown?

kathleen said...

anonymous gestures that compel other people to feel a certain way without having to accept any responsibility whatsoever for that feeling's existence are a red flag for malignant narcissism. It's not charming, it's not generous, it's not whimsical.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I like blue grass music and already play the guitar. I've always wanted to play the banjo.

He should send it to me.

bagoh20 said...

I like the idea of anonymous gifts. I do it all the time, especially around Christmas. But, it's just smarter to do it for people who truly need something. Does anyone NEED a banjo?

A musical instrument, if it sticks, is probably one of the most wonderful gifts you can give, but they don't usually stick unless the person already shows an interest.

It's a great idea, just not in this situation. Sext her instead, and imagine her sitting under a tree pondering it.

Jason said...

My favorite banjo player: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEHLdhtEhnQ

Ann Althouse said...

@DBQ Maybe you're her!

Charlie said...

The worst part is he's considering buying it from Musician's Friend. Dude, find a local music store.

k*thy said...

So much of our suffering is of our own doing. Too bad he can't enjoy what's right in front of him instead of what he wishes were there.

Bissage said...
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Penny said...

Archibald, I have no reason to believe you are reading this, but in case you are, your intentions only became "creepy" through the telling of your story and the asking of your question. That is to say that "others" processed it that way.

Next time, quietly send your serendipitous gift.

If I were ever to receive a beautiful banjo, sent anonymously, I can assure you that I would think of you with great fondness.