Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quincy's Driving Adventures

I know a lot of role-players. I’ve even tried it myself and it was pretty fun (I pissed off Boudica and saved London from the plague). But I’ve never been particularly into it and I had issues with it at one point because I felt that it used up a lot of boyfriend-at-the-time’s time.

My main hobby has always been music (I promise this slight change in theme will make sense) and, being a string player, I’ve been involved in a few string quartets. A few of these quartets even earned me some money, though sadly not enough to live on.

One of these quartets was hired to play at a wedding which took place in the countryside - about a 4hr drive from the capital where I live. The four of us went in a single car to make things simpler and took an available Volvo, belonging to the family on one of the violinists. Our reasoning was that Volvos are notoriously safe cars (unlike their drivers), and none of us were particularly experienced behind the wheel. We figured that this was the safe option.

So, we crammed ourselves and our instruments (cello in the front seat, cellist driving, smaller strings in the back) and drove. Half an hour from our destination, as we were pulling into a small town, the car started making weird clunky noises. We had no idea what it was doing, and decided that the safest bet was to stop at the next service station.

We got out the manual, and the Men decided to Get Manly and try to decipher what the the instrument panel was trying to tell us with its bright, yellow light. They were clearly Not Manly Enough, as we had no idea. We also didn’t have time to wait for the road-side assist guy to come along, as we had a gig to go to. Taxi!

At the end of the gig, one of the guests was kind enough to drive us back to town. I don’t actually remember how we managed to fit everyone and everything into his car, but we did and we got there. We made a call, waited about an hour and a half, and eventually a guy turned up to look at the car. He took one look and told us we weren’t going anywhere. The guest from the wedding had hung around, and drove us to the shabby local little pub.

We ordered drinks, and Cellist got right into playing pool with the locals while the rest of us tried to figure out what to do. We had just been paid, so staying at the local hotel was possible, but we weren’t so keen on giving up our hard-earned cash. The possibility of sleeping in the car came up. At this point, the publican called me aside for a chat. He told me he didn’t normally take guests, but he had two spare rooms in the back and would gladly put us up for the night and give us free drinks if we played some music for him.

How could we refuse?

So, after dinner, the publican put up the “Live Band” sign, and we started playing some music. This town is small enough that they hadn’t ever had a quartet come through before - people were taking photos of us playing around the billiard table (our stands were in the car, which was locked at the servo by now). This was several years ago, and we are still actually remembered - I went through the town recently and called in on the publican who was so kind to us.

We were rescued by a kind parent of one of our members the next day, and made it home with most of our earnings.

I have a lot of role-playing friends. A lot of them have probably role-played travelling bards at some point.

I’ve actually been one.

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