I Almost Bought A Ukulele

Sometime after midnight last night, my brain became stuck in this round of ukulele-centric thoughts. It was ukuklele, ukulele, ukulele for about two hours straight.

I am not sure what brought it on. It might be the Paliinode's talk of banjos lately that got me thinking about my own experience with stringed instruments, or maybe it was some masochistic drive to peer back in on the overarching suburban malaise that coloured my elementary school years. Whatever it was, I remembered that we took ukulele in grade four music class, and I secretly wanted one for my very own with a hardshell case and a guitar pick.

Every kid in elementary school learned to play the ukulele, which makes me think that I wasn't giving my drippy music teacher enough credit at the time. Anybody that can stand to listen to 32 nine-year-olds weakly strumming "Octopus's Garden" on 32 barely tuned ukuleles for months on end has found the good drugs.

We also played "Country Roads", "This Land Is Your Land", and "Delta Dawn", but we managed to devolve the lyrics of those songs into tasteless shadows of their former selves. Someone had picked up some dirty lyrics to "Delta Dawn" that only the most corrupted among us understood, but still we snickered while we sang the part about a porcelain penis with our heads ducked below our music stands. We all knew what penis meant, and that shit was high comedy.

Just as nearly anything can be, given the right twist, I figured that the ukulele could be cool. I actually really like them: they're nice and portable, they're not that expensive, and it could be another creative outlet for me. I have ways to get out my written, visual, and crafty creativities, but not my musical side, and the ukulele is quiet enough to keep the neighbours from registering complaints with the landlord.

Last night, after I'd mentioned the ukulele several times in a row in the tone of an infatuated 14-year-old, the Palinode asked me, "What would you do with a ukulele?" I said, "I would write haunting yet beautiful works."

Even though I am close to dead broke, am recently unemployed, and have to wrangle the trickling stream of income I once wrung out of my recently borked iBook — (Apple? Think sponsorship. Let's talk.) — I found myself cruising through eBay and found a couple of pretty dashing and cheap-as-borscht ukuleles to dream about.

The first is the spashy Kala Makala Red Sparkle soprano ukulele:

And the second is the sweet Kala Makala Blue Burst:

Yep. I headed straight for the sparkles and the fancy paint job numbers, because when you dream, you should dream big, people.

My first musical composition, once I've crocheted my way into building up a ukulele fund, is going to be an ode to a cat what sticks his feet on his owner's eyelids at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday and then completely ignores her when she opens her eyes. It will be called "Ode to a Bastard Cat, Son of a Homeless Whore".