Monday, February 23, 2009

I Am Transported By The Pan Flute...

...Then Flummoxed By It.

It starts in my car.


I am driving on the 405 freeway with Morticia
. Traffic is moving pretty well and we're listening to some sweet tunes on my new satellite radio system.

Morticia scrolls through the XM stations, checking them out, one by one. All at once the car is filled with the dulcet and soulful tones of the pan flute.

Its ethereal melody whisks away the urban sprawl around me and by the time the wind chimes begin their enchanting tinkle in the background, I am an eagle soaring above the breathtaking rock chimneys and sand pipes of our great Southwest, thrilling to the rush of dry air under my majestic wings and wondering when Georgette (that was her name, right?) is coming back to start my 60-minute Swedish massage.

I am also asleep.


[Note: this is not cause for panic, fo
r two reasons. 1. As a mom, I am a champion multitasker. 2. I come from a long line of sleep-drivers, chiefly my father, who once napped peacefully while piloting our Delta '88 the entire length of the Great Smoky Mountains Parkway in a hailstorm.]

Morticia tells me when I awake that the XM channel is called "Spa." Really? Massage music? A whole channel of it? What's up with that? I picture the DJ in a terry cloth robe with little cucumber slices on his eyes. Do people call in requests and, if so, what are the song titles?

"Uh, yeah, dude, can you play 'My Heart is a Hot Stone Without You' by The Exfoliators?"

And who are these bands? Do they know they're making massage music? Do they get together in their garages on the weekends with a cooler full of longnecks, slapping high-fives, griping about their old ladies and talking about how they are going to raise the effing roof - yeah! Does the pan flute player walk in wearing a studded leather jacket and holding a little black case lined in red felt and covered with AC/DC stickers? Or is it just the opposite - his pan flute hangs jauntily from his shoulder by a strand of raffia, nestled against his organic cotton messenger bag?

I need to know how this
works.

What about record contracts? Does some fat cat
music executive suddenly jump up from the massage table in the middle of his weekly Lomi-Lomi, spit out his cigar and yell, "By God, that's the sound I've been looking for! Get those kids on the phone, now!"
And think about this: do they play gigs? If so, where? I picture a guy with a pan flute and another holding a wind chime, standing on the sidewalk outside The Whiskey up on Sunset Boulevard with all the Lycra-wearing hair-band guys. Hmmm. Or maybe they're more of a coffee-bar act, playing where the audience has at least a fighting chance of staying awake if they mainline enough espresso. Senior centers seem like a non-starter - that's just asking for trouble.

More importantly, do they have [gulp]
groupies? What would that situation even look like? The pan flute guy stands at the edge of the stage, one foot perched on the monitor as he rips off a scorching solo while scanning the crowd and motioning with his eyebrows to his security guard: That one there in the second row...the one in the embellished t-shirt with the crystal glasses chain...bring her to my dressing room after the show?

What does the crowd fling onto the stage when they get worked up, sprouted bread? Dream catchers? Birkenstocks? At the climax of it all, doe
s the lead guy smash his pan flute over an amp? Or set it on fire like Jimi Hendrix? Do they trash their hotel rooms like The Who? Or play Mancala with the roadies instead?

It's about this time that the frantic burbling of an accordion explodes inside the car and Morticia announces that she's found the all-pol
ka channel.

Polkas? Really? Now, how does
that work?


I want to send a huge thank-you to Margaret at Nanny Goats in Panties for this hilarious tabloid-style "interview." Margaret is a true comedy ninja whose posts consistently bust me up. She also builds all her own furniture. Go figure.

And thank you to Mommy's Martini for this delightful lemon drop:

85 comments:

Laurel said...

Oh I don't know how I'm first. This cracked me up because I've had the same thoughts about Tibetan chant music. "Baby, this is hot! You're gonna be big!"

Funny funny Anna!

Beth Kephart said...

Anna. This is your best one yet. I have said that before, but I mean it. You've now mastered the art of the lyrical humor blog. I'm on my knees.

blognut said...

I've seen pan flute performances at the mall. They dress like hippies and their groupies look stoned. Just like the real thing, huh?

MommyTime said...

What does the crowd fling onto the stage when they get worked up, sprouted bread? Dream catchers? Birkenstocks?

This might be the best of a very fine series of questions you ask here. The only other thing I wonder: WHO thought massage music designed to relax you nigh unto sleep was a good idea for satellite radio to be listened to while driving??? Most people do not have your multi-tasking capabilities...

only a movie said...

Definitely throw dream catchers. Funny, Anna.

Sornie said...

Thanks. Now I have this image of dirty hippies throwing their hippie blankets on stage as they sway from side to side during a face-melting pan flute solo.

Janna Bee said...

LOL! Have you seen Serendipity? I think Kate Beckinsale's fiance plays the pan flute and is really popular in the movie. It's pretty funny!

Sassypants Wifey said...

What is next on the xm sound frontier? Honestly, I think I should apply for my own channel. I could have a live streaming channel of my kids 24/7 and call it "the total birthcontrol channel" no joke it would scare people until they are totally ready. And I totally say thats worth whatever they are paying howard stern, so I say, where is my big ass check?!

Blissful Babe said...

Oh Anna.


xoxo

MuseSwings said...

One can only hope they burn the pan flute after the performance. Hilarious - a good laugh with my 2nd cup of coffee except I've got that tootlie music ringing in my ears now

Chase said...

so great!

i did some work as a Concert Emcee (I also booked, and could imagine the gripe and grime I'd get for this).

What an introduction that would be: "This next act will scrub your face off! Let's give it up forrr..." *checks sheet to make sure I'm saying it right* "the.. Exfoliaters? uh, Give 'm a rip-roarin loofa and show 'm sum love. . ."

La Belette Rouge said...

I am totally against massage music. Really. New age music can make me much more tense. I have a knee jerk reaction that says, "You can't make me relax." Put on some Phillip Glass and under that tense tension of scratching Post-modern music I might start to relax.

jennifersusan said...

Yea, those all polka channels really crack me up. My kids always roll their eyes when I crank those when we're driving down the highway.

A New England Life said...

Hah! Good thing you're a multi-tasker. That really comes in handy when you want to snooze and drive at the same time ; )

Maybe it's all a one man band kind of thing. Like in a room with a synthesizer. Either way, however it's made I'm surprised they can stay awake long enough to play the whole thing!

Kelley with Amy's Angels said...

MommyTime took the words right out of my mouth. TOO FUNNY!

K said...

Maybe I'll become a polka groupie now. Sounds like there might be a few openings for that job even in the tight economy.

Anna said...

Ah, the ability to be on an auto-pilot power nap! Motherhood truly rocks.

Hillbilly Duhn said...

All I can do is giggle. That was TOO FUNNY!

My Side of the Story! said...

Ahhhh... I for one am still on the elusive search for the "Elevator Music" XM station.

NO ONE can bust out "All the Single Ladies" or Soulja Boy's "Crank That" like Kenny G can!

Frank said...

I have like four CDs of pan flute music. Coincidentally, they were all purchased in Old Town San Diego… after 1am… after consuming one or more pitchers of margaritas at a the Café Coyote.

Apparently, after a few drinks, I’m quite the pan flute lover. Although, three of the four CD’s are still in their plastic.

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Not sure anyone should listen to that spa music while driving in the car..... could be a tad bit too relaxing and dangerous.. there oughta be a law against it... lol

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Gladys said...

I have also wondered about the yoga music. Where does it come from? Are there bands out there who play tapes of Yoga classes and then orchestrate their music to match the poses? "Yeah, I call this piece down-ward facing dog into lion."

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

Ok, the idea of someone pitching their hemp necklace on stage to the "spa" band is making me crack up.

Lisa said...

Well, you've changed my approach to XM altogether. I've been torturing The Actor with 80s music on the way to school, but this post gives me all the ammo I need to ratchet up the abuse/payback.

That'll teach him to stuff half eaten mozzarella cheese sticks between the sofa cushions.

Jeanne said...

This ranks right up there with your epilator post....

Bar-b said...

damn anna, this was funny. pan flute huh? I find it whimsical and eerie. There is an xm channel for anything these days. Apparently they get used b/c you know if not they wouldn't be around.

willie's place, pink channel, road dog (truckers), martha stewart...need I go on?

angie said...

I had no idea. Good thing I stopped by today. :)

nikkicrumpet said...

Anna Anna Anna....do you laugh when you write this stuff? I can just picture you sitting at your computer...hooting when a seriously funny line explodes in your brain. I can't imagine you not cracking up as this stuff hits the page. You are something else!

flydragon said...

"That one there in the second row...the one in the embellished t-shirt with the crystal glasses chain"...Did she have a moustache?

Comedy Goddess said...

As a massage therapist, I will say, I am just as challenged by that music as you are. I have been Enya'd since '94. I have gotten really good at not hearing it anymore.

Imogen Lamport said...

I think the record execs are onto something - the amount that massage music is played endlessly on repeat in spas, they must get heaps of royalties - not an obvious source of income, but a smart one.

lizspin said...

And elevator music??? Where, exactly, does that come from???? Come to think of it, they don't really play music on elevators, do they???

Leslie said...

Wow, I think I'd love the spa channel in my bedroom every night.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Oh great. As if my furniture orders aren't backed up enough already with family members demanding custom goat fur toilets, you had to tell everyone about it?

By the way, I was an Exfoliator groupie. And I've still got the autographed left breast to prove it. (I was young!)

Thanks for the link love, darlin'!

Mammatalk said...

Just stopping by for a quick High Five while out on my Blog Jog!

Ooops! Hope I didn't drip too much sweat all over your blog. THis has been quite the work out!

♥ bfs~"Mimi" ♥ said...

Hilarious, Anna!!! And very scary, too!

Thank goodness you CAN multi-task! AND that you live far away from me!

HeeHee! :-)

♥♥♥

The Great Fox Hating Potentate said...

Did you ever see the episode of South Park where all the pan flute bands were rounded up and detained in the name of national security? Bloody fantastic!

I dated a girl once (very briefly, and mostly because of this) who only listened to Enya. Not to get graphic, but can you imagine how bad the sex would be? Maybe she would be a pan flute groupie :D

Lizzie said...

oh my God you had me spitting wine out my nose when i started picturing the dream catchers flying through the air!!

I do want to know though more about this, I'm off to sit in my car, put on XM and find this "spa music"

would be nice if i could get a massage while i am out there, not by some sidewalk stranger though... that would be weird :)

Rhea said...

Have you heard that weird harp player who like, screeches child-like singing as she plays?

Gone Crazy said...

Oh. My. God. I laughed so hard I couldn't read it out loud to my husband, who was also cracking up. Tears rolled down my face, and I may or may not have peed my pants (not telling). Pure genius. You are a goddess of comedy.

Swirl Girl said...

so I gotta tell you - I always thought a panflute was a euphemistic expression. Like trouser monkey ...

duh.

Joanie said...

Hahaha!!! Oh that was so funny! Now every time I get a massage, I'll laugh hearing the music Tina' plays while she works her magic.

Saw your stand-up.... very funny!!!

The Self-Deprechaun said...

Anna, I am your groupie if you will be mine. I play a mean kazoo.

Braja said...

Dear sweet Jesus the image of smashing flutes on speakers a la Jimi is too much :)))))

The Wife O Riley said...

The only 2 good times to listen to the pan flute are:

1) Lying face down, covered in a towel having a big muscular swedish guy rubbing you.

2) When you're making fun of the 16 year old with acne and tights playing it at the Renissance Faire.

And that's it!

the mama bird diaries said...

You don't have time to sleep when you have satellite radio. A massage music channel? Wow.

jubilee said...

I had imagined a lot of peasant skirts and frilly blouses, but your description is much better.

Music like that is too haunting and eerie to listen to.

But your post was hilarious.

bernthis said...

I'm often surprised the people actually playing the instruments don't put themselves to sleep

HermanTurnip said...

I've seen these "masters of the pan flute" more times that I care to mention. They can typically be found at large mall locations or at the local street fairs. It's odd to be walking down an oil-stained street, chowing down on Churros purchased from a scurvy-looking immigrant sweating in a graffiti covered third wheel, mindlessly rounding a corner and bump into a small band of Zamfir pan flute blowing Musakicians (hey, I just made up a word there!).

As for "fat cat" record producers, I'd have to say "No". These guys are always hawking their home-burnt CDs out of a conveniently placed basket lined with an ethnic looking blanket from whatever country they lay claim to this month.

http://terribleanalogies.com

dizzblnd said...

LMAO you crack me up. I can actually picture every bit of those "concerts" as they are happening in your head.

Margaret IS a genius. I loved that interview.

Lisa said...

pan flute ?
a whole station of it ?
surely that cant be legal.....

Kulio said...

I am impressed with Morticia. I can't listen to pan-flutes for more than a fleeting second or two before the Teenagers leaps across the center console of the car to jab at the buttons in order to fill the car with sounds of metal things smashing into each other.
I'm probably gonna miss that.

Joanna said...

(gasping for air) hee hee that is hilarious!!

Blicky Kitty said...

Hahaha do they wave incense in the air during the pan flute rock anthems?

My First Kitchen said...

My sister and I play at coffee shops sometimes. We've never had a name... until now. The Exfoliators are coming to town! And I just saw that I'm on your blog roll! For real, that's awesome. Channeling Sally Field: you like me! You really like me! Seriously, does she look any different now than she did 20 years ago? I'm gonna say no.

Blicky Kitty said...

Hahaha do they wave incense in the air during the pan flute rock anthems?

Jenny and the Princess Peonies said...

You are craking me up....

midlifeslices said...

Pan flute? Polka? That's as bad as the Book channel on Sirius. You never know what book will be on nor when it will start and it's always some weird story about Unicorns or eunuchs, which I always mix up anyway so it wouldn't matter.

Wouldn't the job of production director be a grand one for those channels??

Krëg said...

I'm pretty sure the pan-flute crowd frowns upon "flinging" things at one another, as that might unbalance one's delicate sense of well-being. But if they had to toss something, they would probably throw "auras of love" or some such free-spirited nonsense.

Beth said...

It is amazing what is on the XM stations. Recently, I started a little obsession with the 20's station. What cheesy, cheesy music. It makes me want to drink. And dance. And wear flapper clothes.

You are hilarious!

Reddirt Woman said...

There's a group from Equador or somewhere down south that plays at the Tulsa State Fair every year... you can see them and listen to them as you eat your bloomin' onion, fried snickers and/or funnel cake with extra powdered sugar on it as they play where a lot of the food booths are located. They encourage purchases of their CD's and they do have followers, or rather sitters and eaters that try to time their piggin' out when the group is due for another set. And, yes, they play the pan flute, the regular flute, even the kazoo if they think they can pry a nickel out of their faithful followers.

Great post.

Grand Pooba said...

Wow, you mean I'm missing out on Spa music? Maybe I do need to get me some XM radio. Is this for real? Only you can take something so boring like spa music and make it a hillariously entertaining post!

Peace Lefler!

sherri said...

Get your ass over to my house and let's have a drink b/c you crack me up. Using jauntily and pan flute in the same sentence about did me in with chuckling. The genre of massage music has been overlooked way too long. Thank you for putting it out there.

Michelle said...

Wow. Now I know what I'll be thinking about when I'm awake at 3am tonight!

And umm what channel is that one? I've been totally stuck on 164 (Old Time Radio) for ummmm how long have I had XM again now?

Out of curiosity, have you seen the South Park episode on pan flute bands? That may answer some of your questions....

Debbie said...

I am slightly upset by the thought of sleep driving. Although I find pan flute performances to be completely normal.

CaraBee said...

Very funny! I keep thinking of John Corbett in Serendipity. All guru philosophical. This also reminds me that I have a gift certificate for a massage that I need to use.

WhisperingWriter said...

I can honestly say that I have never seen someone play the pan flute.

I think I'd giggle as I can't take things like that seriously.

I wonder if anyone has ever dated a man and he was all, "Well, I actually play the pan flute.."

ZenMom said...

Oh man, I cannot get through any of your posts without laughing like an idiot. No, not ladylike titters and giggles. I'm talking full-on guffaws and snorts. Sometimes there are tears. But good ones.

Even now, I still sound like a buck in heat as I am picturing "spa bands" strolling minstrel style through Beverly Hills.

*snort*

Damn you, Lefler!

doug said...

Wow! I'm sorry I cant say anything witty here. I'm just full of gushing compliments. That was so elegantly written. I mean...wow...you just simply ROCK!!!!

Kathy said...

Thanks for a giggle in the morning. Off to the old tax mine.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I listen to the digital TV music station "Soundscapes" that sounds like a similar experence. It is the candle, relaxing, and No I am not driving station ; -))))

I have somthing for you on my post today....I know you have won a lot of awards, but I think you don't have this one.

Eudea-Mamia said...

Excellent questions!! And post, per usual.

Don't think I'm not looking that one up the next time I hop in the truck. My days, and my boys, could use a big ole helping of "Spa."

Polka? Not so much.

Shonda Little said...

I have to say that I don't know much about polka music, but I do know about funny women and you are definitely on the top of that list. I would be lying if I said I weren't jealous. ;)

One Hypo said...

I wonder how many accidents "spa" causes every year on our highways.

Anna said...

Anna! This is when it's my turn to shout I'M NOT WORTHYYYYYYY!! Thanks for your comment - made my day, because I think you rock! xxxx

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

I'm pretty sure that they do gigs at retreats in Arizona and stuff. And they get paid in colonics.

CDB said...

Also great for the relaxation part of yoga class.. mesmerizing. Like this post!

Very cool that Beth interviewed you--off to check that out, too!

LarryG said...

ahhh the polka channel, xm always amazes! always!

Aubrey said...

Oh. My. Gawd.

You totally have me in laughing hysterics right now! That was some good stuff.

Things that make you go hmmmm...

The Mom Bomb, a/k/a Folksy Mama said...

Tee-hee! Remember the South Park episode where the government rounded up all the Peruvian flute bands and imprisoned them?

I wish they would do that to those "Celtic Women". Sorry, Celtic Women fans. I'm Celtic, I'm a woman, but they drive me batty.

Fragrant Liar said...

I thought I was weird. I once had a dream about a bunchy of priests walking around the abbey as they chanted in Gregorian, the sounds of their voices echoing off the hallowed cathedral halls. And then one by one, they each came by me at the holy water station and asked me to lift my skirt. Well, they were chanting: how could I say no?

Chaka said...

Funny stuff. I hope I'm not redundant but I don't have time to read all 7,000 comments. When I hear a panflute I think of Peru and Zamfir the master.

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Reddirt Woman said...

Try channel 164 on XM. Old radio shows that we listened to before T.V. came along.

Yes, I'm that old.

Helen

Being Me said...

Exactly what nikkicrumpet said...

Anna Anna Anna....do you laugh when you write this stuff? I can just picture you sitting at your computer...hooting when a seriously funny line explodes in your brain. I can't imagine you not cracking up as this stuff hits the page. You are something else!

I heart you - for making my day :) I went off after reading this imagining a Pan Flute Odyssey (if you've seen This Is Spinal Tap, you'll be with me), free-forming polka bands and hmmm some nasty nasty macramé wall hangings.