Good afternoon. Gigi the parti poodle here on my usual Thursday to introduce chapter nineteen of my story Power Grid Failure. This week I went through the horror of my dental cleaning. It was sprung upon me by my novelist without a warning. I was whisked off to the vet early in the morning, thrust into a small room and then taken from the arms of my beloved novelist. The rest is but a blur. I found myself waking up sometime in the afternoon with abnormally clean teeth. It was mortifying. I was stuck in a holding cell until my novelist came to gather me that afternoon. It took me a couple of days to recover from the shock. But I am back to my usual self and glad to not be facing such a kafuffle for another year. I can point my focus towards spring and the onset of the next holiday…
I say Easter, you say bunny Easter…!
Get out of here you insane Maltese! That’s not for entire month! And now here is chapter nineteen of my story Power Grid Failure. Cheers!
Power Grid Failure
Gigi the parti poodle
“You’d better figure this out quick, Reynolds,” Martin says. “The girls left twenty minutes ago.”
“Women,” Adam’s says. “You are supposed to call them women, Mr. Peak.”
“Shut up, Adams. There’re more important issues at hand than your political correctness. How are we going to get Adams in that control room, Reynolds?”
“I think I could sneak over to the Mesachie building and get into Unicorn’s control room without them catching me,” Adams says. “I’ve played enough first-person shooter games. I’ve gotten stealthy.”
Sloan scoffs. “Craggy and Remmel will bag your ass before you even get out the door.”
“I hate to say it, Adams,” Reynolds says, “but Sloan’s right. There’s no way you could accomplish this on your own.”
“At the very least you’d need a diversion.”
“Martin could have a heart attack.”
“A heart attack?” Martin says skeptically.
“Not a real one. A fake one.”
“I’m not faking a heart attack. Those two goons will use that defibrillator on me that’s just outside the door.”
“Good point. I suppose you couldn’t stop your heart for a couple of minutes, could you?”
“No, Reynolds. I could not.”
“Sloan and I could get into a fake fight. But we’d have to synchronize it. Adam’s would have to start heading out the door to the bathroom or something and then Sloan and I could start fighting.”
“If you hit me in the face, Reynolds,” Sloan says. “I’ll kick you in the nads.”
“That’s such a girl move, bro.”
“It’s street fighting.”
“Like a girl. And kicking is a last resort.”
“They don’t want to be called girls, they want to be called women,” Adams says.
“Shut up, Adams,” Sloan says, “or I’ll kick you in the nads.”
“What’s going on, ladies,” Remmel demands.
“We’re having a gentlemen’s disagreement,” Reynolds says.
“Yeah? About what?”
Remmel scoffs. “Since when do you pansies street fight?”
“Martin was in the Marines.”
Martin’s eyes widen and he glares at Reynolds.
“Yeah? Doing what? Laundry?”
“He was a trainer.”
“Training what to whom?”
“You’re up, Mr. Peak,” Reynolds whispers to Martin.
Martin narrows his eyes. “Training what to whom?” Remmel repeats.
“Lip sync,” Martin says.
“I taught Marines to lip sync.”
“In the Marines you need all the skills you can get and one of them is to send other Marines code through lip sync.”
“They even have lip sync battles,” Reynolds says.
Remmel looks at Craggy who shakes his head and sticks a cigarette in his mouth. “You’re yanking my chain,” Remmel says.
“No, it’s a thing.”
“No, Peak’s serious.”
“Craggy’s girlfriend is into lip sync.”
Craggy spits out his cigarette and growls at Remmel.
“Craggy hates lip sync. Too artistic.”
“Sometimes when you’re on a mission,” Martin says, “lip syncing can be one of your best lines of defense.”
“If you’re such a hot shot, Marine lip sync trainer, why don’t you teach Craggy how to do it?”
“You’re on, Martin,” Reynolds says.
Martin, who had in his youth done some lip sync battles in high school, knew it was one of the few talents he had. But high school was a long time ago.
“We’re going to need some music,” Martin says.
“I’m bringing up YouTube as we speak,” Reynolds says whipping out his phone.
“Craggy, is there a specific song you know most of the words to?”
“He likes “That’s All Right”,” Remmel says.
“Good choice since “That’s All Right” is public domain. Can you find it, Reynolds?”
“Give me a second,” Reynolds says. “Elvis, right?”
“Okay, here it is.” Reynolds plays “That’s Alright”.
“Alright, Craggy. Stand right there.”
Craggy looks at Remmel. Remmel nods towards the spot Martin is pointing at. Craggy slogs over and stands in front of Tiffany’s chair.
“Okay, Craggy,” Martin says. “Now, what you’ve got to keep in mind while you do this is how you move your feet when you mouth the words. Use your feet to keep the rythem. But not in the usual way folks keep rythem. It’s like a dance, see.” Martin demonstrates by twisting the ball of his foot and then the heel out and back then spreading his legs and bouncing the heels of both feet. “See, it moves you. Makes your hips twist a bit. Now you try.”
Craggy looks at Remmel who nods his head. Craggy shakes his and then attempts to copy Martin’s moves.
“Now, when you want to emphasize a point, go up on the balls of both feet,” Martin rises on the balls of his feet and juts his hips out. And if you’re really daring you go all the way up on the tips of your toes. But for right now let’s just have you go up on the balls of your feet.
Craggy tries again but he looks awkward.
“You’ve got to stay loose, son. You don’t want to fight the music; you want to feel it. Okay, Reynolds. Play the song.”
Reynolds plays “That’s Alright” by Elvis. Craggy shakes out his shoulders and kinks his neck side to side. Then he tries dancing again.
“That’s it, kid. Keep going. Don’t worry about the lyrics just move those feet. Do you know how to do rubber band legs?”
Craggy shakes his head.
“Okay, watch me.” Martin bends his knees and starts moving them in and out. “Now, if you really want the full effect you get up on the balls of your feet, like this.”
Martin rises to the balls of his feet and starts moving his knees in and out faster. Craggy studies him with intensity and then he tries it. He stumbles a little then tries it again.
“Not bad. Okay, Reynolds, stop the music and go back to the beginning. Now, Craggy are you sure you know the words?”
Craggy nods his head.
“Good. Now, let’s have you mouth the lyrics first time through and then we’ll start incorporating the moves. Reynolds, are you ready?”
“As ready as I’ll ever be, Mr. Peak,” Reynolds says.
“Phenomenal. Alright, Craggy, let’s see you lip sync.”
Reynolds starts the music and Craggy mouths the lyrics.
“Put some expression into it, kid.”
Craggy tries adding more energy.
Reynolds stops the music.
“Craggy, you need to think about who you would sing this to. Do you have someone in mind?”
Craggy looks to the back of the room and points at Windy. Windy’s eyes widen, and she looks around embarrassed.
“Come up here, Windy,” Martin says. “We need you.”
“Of course,” she says cautiously. “Happy to help.”
“Sit in Tiffany’s chair here.”
Windy creeps up to where the men are and sits down gingerly.
“Alright, Craggy,” Martin says. “You’re going to sing to her as if you’re delivering the most important message in the world. Alright, Reynolds. Hit it.”
Craggy gets positioned as Reynolds turns on the music. As soon as it starts Craggy, his eyes laser focused on Windy, starts bouncing to the beat. As soon as he starts singing, Windy is all in. She starts bobbing her head and tapping her foot. Craggy shakes around and gyrates as he mouths the words.
Suddenly, Windy shoots up out of Tiffany’s chair and screams. This only serves to fuel Craggy more. He swings his hips, he poses, he swings his hips some more. Windy jumps up and down as if in a fever. Craggy moves in, looks her in the eye and continues his routine. Windy, unable to resist any longer throws her arms around his neck and kisses him. Startled, Craggy jumps back, regains his composure and finishes the song. Windy faints.
“Adams,” Martin says. “Go get Windy some water.”
“Now’s your chance,” Sloan whispers.
Adams nods and rushes out the door.
You can check out my books Chicane and all five installments of the Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!, Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!, Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!
STREAM OF THE WEEK: TAR (2022)-PEACOCK
This week’s film boasts one of the best if not the best performance of 2022. Kate Blanchet is riveting as the lead character Lydia Tar, a fictional maestro who is about to record the performance of a lifetime. Lydia is ambitious, brilliant, driven, gifted, arrogant and manipulative. The question is if she wasn’t all these things, good, bad, and otherwise, would she have gotten as far as she has in her career? The world, especially the western world wants to believe good people do wonderful things instead of bad people sometimes do great things. And the first order of business is to punish them because human beings haven’t figured out a better way to handle them. If one could extract all the good Harvey Weinstein did for movies and separate it from all the pure evil deeds he carried out, how much better would film be now?
Lydia is a brilliant conductor/composer who is about to record Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 as the first female principal music director of the Berlin Philharmonic. At the same time, she is about to release her long awaited memoir. But as her recording date draws closer, the seams around the fabric of her brilliance begin to tear. An apprentice of hers commits suicide and all the arrows begin to turn Lydia’s direction. The arrows become sharper as she discovers a young new talent in her midst, cellist Olga Metkina (Sophie Kauer). Jealousy and frustration grow for both Lydia’s partner violinist Sharon Goodnow (Nina Hoss) and Tar’s long suffering assistant Francesca Lentini (Noémie Merlant) who are both aware of Lydia’s recent and long buried dirty little secrets.