I've been known to spend money unwisely. I buy books I'll never read, produce I'll never cook, and toy accordions that sound like an emphasemic old man humming into a crumpled newspaper. Now, I could justify any of the above purchases (the cover was intriguing, I thought I liked cauliflower, it sounded good in Toys 'R' Us), but why try? The point is, the book is burried on the shelf, the cauliflower is already molding in the trash, and the toy accordion still sounds terrible, despite my feeble hopes that it went through accordion-puberty while I was away at work.
I mention this because I saw a guy on the street this morning selling a marimba. In fact, it was not just an anonymous gentleman, but the same man I bought my now-broken melodica from. Weirdly enough, he was selling the marimba back then, but $400 seemed a little steep for an instrument I didn't even know the name of before asking. (A slight, didactic tangent: the marimba, the xylophone, the glockenspiel, and the vibraphone are nearly the same thing; the marimba is wooden and lower than the xylophone, the glockenspiel is made of metal as well as the vibraphone, which has resonators underneath it. The xylophone is useful only to perplex kindergarteners who refuse to believe that "xy" could make a "z" sound, which, to their credit, it really should not). This morning though, the marimba was half price. "Half price!" my brain yelled, like a grandma at Tuesday Morning. "It's a steal! Quickly, legs: to the ATM!"
See, this should not have been the first thing that came to mind. Instead, I should have wondered: where will I put a three foot long marimba? Why would I want one? Wouldn't this money be more wisely spent on food, clothing, and shelter? I was halfway down the block before I realized that I was an idiot and, instead of heading to the ATM as I promised that certain elderly gentleman, I scurried to the bus & headed off to work. Score one for team self-restraint.
The thing is, I can't see an instrument without wanting it. (Except the didgeridoo, which should only be played Australian Aboriginals or unwashed twenty-somethings in the middle of failed spiritual awakenings). Do we all have this problem? I mean, replace the word "instrument" with "book" or "scarf" or "video game" or "wooden depiction of a particular rodent" or whatever your hobby is, and I bet the answer's "yes." I don't think it's a bad thing, really, it's just on my mind after my near lapse this morning. Plus, well, I had to write about something and my yesterday consisted of little beyond cooking some gnocchi and screaming at Jeopardy! (Trebeck was drunk; we're sure of this). Until soon.