Wednesday, July 02, 2008

What effing flute?

Last night as Jay and I were heading back to our apartments he said I was to be sure to remember the flute the next morning (today).

My brain begins a scan of the memory banks. Now, I must concede that the short-term memory buffers are extremely, as they say, volatile. I am trying to think of any moment when he and I have ever discussed any flute. Coming up blank.

Of course, it only took the time I spent typing the first word of the previous paragraph for the most seriously puzzled look to form on my face. I was driving, so he had the luxury of watching my reaction. Mind you, he was not yanking my chain. I was just totally flummoxed. My expression said it all: "What effing flute are you talking about?"

I was more polite, though. "What flute?" I queried. "You know, the one downtown," he respoonded, or something along those lines. My expression becomes more puzzled and a string of "What?" "What flute?" Perhaps there were overtones of "I don't know nothing about no flutes, bro!"

"The one you want to take a picture of," he finally says.

"Oh, the clarinet," says I.

We had talked about how impressed I was from day one with the clarinet painted in trompe l'oeil fashion on the side of one of the downtown Holiday Inns. I had been wanting to take pix of it from the beginning yet still had never done so.

Needless to say, Jay is not a connoisseur of wind instruments. We had a good laugh. Actually, we roared and enjoyed this confusion and my reactions and his reactions to my reactions most of the rest of the ride home.

And this morning we pulled over into a vacant parking lot and I took out the camera and shot photos of "the flute." There was also ribald male humor about saluting the flute.

Anyway, here it is.

The detail is truly amazing.
And that shadow is paint, of course.
And that is my photo anecdote for the day.

I took lots of other pix at lunch today but will save those for another post.

Tomorrow I (and most of my coworkers) fly home for the weekend. Woohoo! We are all quite keen about the prospect of seeing our own homes, being with our own loved ones, sleeping in our own beds, etc.

May you and all those you love have a glorious, patriotic, and safe Independence Day.
--the BB


Grandmère Mimi said...

That effing flute!

Paul, that is a trompe! It's wonderful. And you got the detail in the pic.

Have a safe trip, love, and have a great time while you're home. I know you will.

Kirstin said...

I thought that was cool too. But I knew it was a clarinet. :-)


susan s. said...

How clever! Which came first, the elevator or the clarinet?

Paul said...

Where else do we have conversations like this?

Susan S. inquires, I google. According to Wikipedia: "Around the turn of the 18th century the chalumeau was modified by converting one of its keys into a register key to produce the first clarinet." Also from Wikipedia we read:"The first reference to an elevator is in the works of the Roman architect Vitruvius, who reported that Archimedes built his first elevator, probably, in 236 B.C. In some literary sources of later historical periods, elevators were mentioned as cabs on a hemp rope and powered by hand or by animals. It is supposed that elevators of this type were installed in the Sinai monastery of Egypt. In the 17th century the prototypes of elevators were located in the palace buildings of England and France."

So, contrary to my expectations, it seems the elevator came first, Mr. Otis notwithstanding.

Granted, Susan S. was undoubtedly not asking such a woodenheadedly literal question, but I could not help pursuing it anyway.

I saw a little trompe l'oeil painting this afternoon in ABQ but felt it unwise to slam on the brakes for a photo, thereby endangering myself and the vehicles behind me. It was not on the scale or finesse of the Holiday Inn clarinet.

Grandmère Mimi said...

ABQ trompe l'oeil will never approach the quality of NOLA trompe l'oeil. Give it up, Paul.

Paul said...

We New Mexicans are wily enough but we lack the elegance of New Orleans when it comes to artful deception.

Grandmère Mimi said...


susan s. said...

Well, I think although I don't know for sure, that the structure it is painted on is the elevator shaft. Am I right?

And, I have been known to be woodenheadedly literal! So there!

Paul said...

Susan S., I figured that was what lay behind your question, but that did not stop me from running off in another direction. If I stuck with your question I would have to respond the elevator shaft, of course, unless they painted on air and the substructure arrived later, but that would be way too literal for me.

Then again, if I took a more Platonist approach, I might say the idea of the clarinet preceded the idea of the Holiday Inn.... Still, the idea of elevators was manifested among the ancients....

susan s. said...

I have enough problems with the Bible....Don't make me read Plato!

Paul said...

Hell, I don't think I've read Plato since I was in my late teens. Have no fear.