12 March 2014

Announcing the return of the Banjo Busker

One of our shelves at Nambour Collectorama.

Yes it’s true, my pleas have been heard, all other buskers at the Caloundra Street Fair have been renounced and Banjo Busker has been reinstated to his spot. 

But you know, after some time with him away and after being subjected to a stream of appalling replacements, I have  perhaps recalled Banjo Busker a little more fondly than I should have.

More Collectorama offerings.
True to his word, Banjo Busker had indeed worked on a perky version of Stairway to Heaven, and it’s everything you could imagine a banjo version at triple speed would be.  It even included the occasional Yee-Ha.  Can you picture us all standing there with squinty eyes and gritted teeth, trying to laugh and say That’s just wrong at the same time?

We offered a good selection & had a good day.
But Banjo Busker hadn’t just perfected the ever-so-cheery version of Stairway to Heaven during his hiatus.  How on Earth do you play a bouncy version of Riders on the Storm (The Doors) to the same chords as The Boys Light Up (Australian Crawl)?  With real dedication, that’s how.  And perhaps by being tone deaf. 

Finally Banjo Busker took a break, but the owner of the espresso bar across the road seized the opportunity to bring out his guitar to entice passing coffee aficionados into his premises.  You may recall during my last Blog I mentioned how colour, smell and music are often used as marketing tools.  It really is scientifically proven, you know.  If you are interested in a plain English explanation of the psychology of colour have a look at this link:  http://www.precisionintermedia.com/color

Our old shop sign, now used at Fairs & Markets.
As an aside, long before I knew about this type of psych report I had already designed our corporate branding in black, white, red and blue.  So yay that I got that right, even though I was winging it.  I expect that the font used on your signage means something too, but I haven’t found those reports yet.

So accepting that music can attract or repel customers, answer me this:  would you be lured into a cafĂ© where the owner is mournfully yowling You’d Better Be Home Soon (Crowded House) in the doorway?  At least he was in tune, but he was no Neil Finn.

Have you seen more baroque pearls than these?
But just then Banjo Busker returned from his break and discovered the interloper across the road.  There was nothing for it, but a duel.  And not a dueling banjos type duel, which might have been entertaining.   It was more in the way of a my-music-is-way-louder-than-yours duel.  This is a musical variant of the mine-is-bigger-than-yours competition played by boys the world over.  But, oh dear, both of these boys had microphones.

So from across the road came a growing crescendo of Neil-Finn-esque yowling, while Banjo Busker countered with a Pump Up the Volume rendition of The Beverly Hillbillies which then morphed into some type of Whacky Races car chase music.

French enameled metal trivet.
They were so intent on out-doing each other they both failed to notice customers fleeing in droves.  And yes, that included from our stand as well, so thanks a lot fellas!  We literally had to yell at customers to be heard over the racket, which certainly didn’t encourage anyone to linger and browse.  The espresso bar emptied and while Banjo Busker appeared to emerge the victor, there were no listeners in the vicinity by the time he finished.  Except for us, the involuntary listeners.

So here is my new idea:  if we must have buskers at the Caloundra Street Fair, why not impose a musicality test?  But I would have no say in who passes the test, and where’s the sense in that?  Except that my new-found pathological hatred of buskers would probably mean that no-one passes. 

A selection of stock at Peregian last time.
For my final word on buskers (for now), go to the link below and turn your volume to maximum.  It is utter, total, 100% proof that all of my advice to Banjo Busker has been utterly, totally, 100% correct.  Why can’t the buskers at the Caloundra Street Fair listen to me in all things and be like this?  They’d make a total fortune.

Click here to see evidence of my untold cleverness as an advice giver to buskers:   http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/83896505/

The Peregian Beach Market has no buskers, preferring to let the ocean and sea breezes provide the background melody, and that works well.  We’re back at the Peregian Beach Market this coming Sunday, 16 March, our last time before we head off for the buying trip.  We’re still putting plenty of new things out so come by, if you can, for your last look for a little while.

Calypso sunning herself before visiting the vet.
Meanwhile, we’ve had worrying days with Calypso this week, with lots of tears on my part.  I am inconsolable when my pets are in harm’s way, although I tried to keep it together to ask reasonably intelligent questions of the vet.  Pet owners will know exactly what I’m talking about when I say I could not clearly identify a problem, only that I knew there was one.

Blood tests showed high creatine levels, so a potentially serious kidney problem.  She spent three days on intravenous fluids, and in the end that seems to have flushed out her kidneys and returned her to normal.  The vet said she had suffered a toxic insult, vet-speak for she ate something – probably an insect – that poisoned her.  Geez, no matter how you try to protect them, bad things can still happen.  But it’s ended on a happy note. 

Can you see her shaved neck & front legs?
The poor chook has a shaved neck, belly and both front legs, so she looks a mess.  Somehow – the vet doesn’t know how, but somehow – she managed to get past the giant Elizabethan plastic collar that was meant to prevent her from injuring herself to twice pull out her catheter.  So her legs are a mess.  But she’s alive and we have our little Spotted One safely back home.

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