Monday, March 30, 2009

sandwich clap

There are sandwich shops in the Chicago area, and other areas I imagine, that employ guitar playing (sometimes harmonica wearing) musicians during the busy lunchtime hours. These singers will cover Bob Dylan, Wilco, and a Jack Johnson song.

I am not complaining. This is not a complaint.

Today, I ate a turkey, ham, and roast beef sandwich to a solo guitar cover of Michael Jackson's Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'. It was very good. So was the sandwich. And if you've been in the situation of live musical performance in a non-concert setting, you run into the clapping dilemma. The song ends, and it is very good, and this is the point where the audience claps to express appreciation for the musical talent/entertainment/enjoyment.

But you are trapped. Trapped in a sandwich shop, eating a sandwich. In these sandwich shops, nobody claps. The hands are busy with the sandwich, or mid conversation, or not really caring because they did not come for a musical performance.

Perhaps you are caught in a fit of solipsism and the thought of a musical performance occurring outside the friendly confines of your skull is too much to think about while you eat your sandwich.

Also, there is no tip jar for the musician. So there's not even that. No tip, no applause, no nothin for your fellow man.

I don't lose sleep over this issue, but would like to acknowledge a subtle awkwardness when a song ends and nobody claps. If you feel like clapping, you should clap, even if you are the only one. That sounds like a variation of a famous quote I don't feel like Google searching right now.

A three year old boy gave the musician a potato chip on the way out. I know that sounds adorable, but otherwise, the kid was fucking annoying, and I was happy when he left.