>Excruciatingly slow past couple of days in Metsland – if the Mets are going to sign Bengie Molina, they should have done it over the weekend so there’s something to talk about other than “the Kniesta Bowl.” Or to keep some idiot blogger from deciding to put up an poorly thought-out and intensely stupid ad on craigslist. Sorry about that if you found it to be – well whatever you found it to be. I also didn’t realize that even jokingly talking about leaving your team is a capital crime, putting it on par with regicide and terrorism. So then. My bad I guess.
Anyway, to illustrate the drag that is Metsland, did you see what yesterday’s posts on Metsblog.com were? One link dump, one about the X-man, one about the Brewers, and two about spring training. Which apparently cannot come soon enough – nothing is happening, and I’m not a Jets fan, so I got nothing.
So instead of trying to make some Mets news up, I’ll share a story about the time I sort of met Kenny G, the musician. For those of you unfamiliar with Kenny G, he’s a saxophonist who plays something kindly referred to as “smooth jazz” – the stuff played primarily in elevators and your dentist’s office while they drill directly into your skull. Soothing, utterly non-threatening music – the sonic equivalent of white bread and water. And some people like bread and water a lot – he’s sold millions of albums. But there are also countless critics who absolutely despise him and everything he stands for. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t play a cool looking saxophone like Clarence Clemmons – his saxophones are always bent straight so they look like less awesome instruments, almost like a recorder. Wikipedia states that he’s worked with Celine Deion, Michael Bolton, Whitney Houston, and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Among others. So, yeah that’s all you really need to know about him right there. I always found Kenny G amusing, mainly because of the hair – he’s got a curly, yet controlled mane. Fascinating hair, like a tamed version of Slash.
Anyway, one day, I was wandering around the Borders in the Shops at Columbus Circle, I think trying to read as much of some Bill James book as possible without having to buy it. If you’ve never been there, this is a big enough Borders that sometimes authors and musicians come in to promote their products. Kenny G is one such act.
So I was in this Borders, completely unaware that Kenny G was also there, getting ready to play a set from his newest album. I was wandering back to the sports section, which is sort of in the back and off the the left, past the cds and dvds. I heard the faint sounds of a wind instrument from somewhere, but I ignored it and kept wandering the aisles. But the music kept up and got louder and louder as I got closer. Then I noticed the stage set up to the left, with a couple of tall conga drums and a big “Kenny G Here Tonight” sign, which explained the noise. I could still hear the saxophone warming up, like a ghost, always close but never appearing. Then I turned the corner into an aisle, and there stood the man himself – Kenny G, curly locks shining, lame looking saxophone in his mouth. Ten feet from me. And we stared at each other across the aisle, like two cowboys in an old western. It was such a bizarre sight and my brain was so befuddled by it that all I could do was laugh. And I did. I laughed at Kenny G while he was standing right there, which I guess could be construed as rude, but I didn’t mean it to be. These things just happen when one is confronted by the absurd.
So I laughed. And all Kenny G did was smile and walk away, saxophone still in mouth. But the smile told me everything I ever need to know about him. With one look, he said to me, “Yeah, that’s right. I’m a hack, a sellout, whatever you think I am. Laugh it up. But you know what? One of us here is a millionaire, with a mansion and a plane” – and he actually does own a plane – “and everything you could ever want. And it’s not you.” It was the smuggest smile I’ve ever seen. Kenny G is completely aware of who he is, what people think of him, and is totally cool with all of it. He knows who he is and doesn’t give a crap about what I think or what his critics think or what the guy getting the root canal thinks because he’s happy. He just smiles and walks away.
That gave me some new respect for Kenny G. It’s fun to laugh at clowns – and Kenny G is no doubt, an absolute clown – but if the clown is the one flying off in his own plane with millions of your dollars, who is the joke really on?
So that’s my Kenny G story. Bet you didn’t see that coming on a purportedly Mets Blog, did you?
Please Mets, make some news. Please. Anything. Good, bad, whatever. I have maybe two stories, and that was one of them. Until something happens, here’s an awesome saxophonist at work, back when the Magic Rat drove his sleek machine over the Jersey State line: