We are over the hump. Less shows to do than we have done. Went to the Lobster Stop in Quincy to celebrate. Lobsters just caught and fresh steamed. Good stuff!
Food is a big part of road touring. It is hard to plan for and harder to find. I think its because no one really understands each other out here. I say "out here" and I mean "away from home". I think we must all have a kind of homespeak that no one understands but the immediate family. The circle of homespeak starts out small -- like when an infant starts communicating and only Mom or Dad or someone very close knows that "gerbitraganath" means "pretty picture".
But there is a homespeak for all communities of any size as any linguist will tell you.
Today Joe and Chris and I went to a diner in Fall River and the owner came up to us afterwards and said "How is everything?" We all nodded and smiled that "just fine" smile we all flash as an answer to any restaurant owner who asks that --regardless of how bad things are.
But then he launched into a homespeak announcement -- a particularly cryptic gibberish that was a cross between telling us about his schedule and recipes and the airplane announcements that the flight attendant says while cleaning up. "Federal regulations require that all seabackas and tratables and smoking detectors are in use while crew is moving about the cabin to make sure in flight baggage is no longer below the seat pocket and all belongings are part of the lavatory where smoking is never allowed or has shifted during the flight."
It was unintelligible and untranslatable. He talked for about two or three minutes in a sing-songy rehearsed patois that to us was only pure meaningless sound floating on air. When he left Chris said "I did not understand one word he said" I didn't either. The food was good -- but the homespeak announcement shall remain forever unknown to us.
It got a touch stranger on the way to the venue. Some one in the car -- maybe the driver -- said in homespeak "Ask in the battleship scurry around to see the marks upside the water." I think he was pointing out a sight we should be seeing. Then again I am not even sure it was him who was talking.
The performance is usually a short moment of general clarity. I try to speak slow and distinct -- I have a microphone -- and I am careful not to employ my own homespeak. I know how important it is to be understood by a crowd. Which is not to say that I am always understood by them -- only that I know how important it is. Singing is much easier. Many people seem to understand that message without much trouble.
Life on the road is plenty fun -- and it has all sorts of little twisty-turnies that make me laugh. It's a good way to get out of myself and listening to homespeak other than your own opens whole new worlds.
Tonight Fall River MA-- tomorrow Englewood NJ and then points west until I am home. Singing all the way.
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