I WENT TO a guitar show recently and when I went in the door to the huge convention center, a security guard stopped me and pointed to a metal detector.
"I'm sorry sir. No guitars allowed inside the guitar show," he said.
"I know. I know," the guard said. "But you can't be too careful with drop-tuning maniacs and guys who pick with their pinky finger."
I went through the detector and walked into the hall and was amazed to see row after row of empty tables and guitars with no strings. Most of the vendors looked pissed. I checked my ticket - I paid $89 to get in and there was nothing to see or play or drool over.
So I went up to the information table. A guy with a man bun and shirt that said "PLUCK YOU" was behind the table. He gave me a harried look and held up his hand.
"Stop" he said. "I know what you want to ask. You want to ask why no guitars are allowed in a guitar show. It's a safety thing. Plus you know who is giving a speech here in half an hour and we can't have somebody playing Stairway and causing a stampede before he arrives."
I looked around. The place was packed. Nobody seemed upset about not bringing a guitar or being able to see or play a guitar.
"It's the times we live in," the man behind the table said. "It's all those bleeding heart liberals and their idealism about harmonics and inverted diminished chords. They've ruined it all for us. They want to take away our rights to own guitars. So we have to be more careful."
"I want my money back," I said.
"Sorry. No refunds," he said. "But here. Take a complimentary E string for your troubles."
I walked into the middle of the room to look at a Cort acoustic with no strings. "This is nuts," I said out loud. There were about 20 people around me. "This is like an NRA convention where guns aren't allowed."
Silence instantly enveloped the room. The thousand-yard stares were aimed at me and fingers pointed. Finally, a woman said, "That could never happen." And everybody in the hall erupted in laughter.
Silly me, I thought. I walked to the exit. I was going to miss a famous guitar player give a speech but not play his guitar. There was a long line forming to get in, and my head was spinning as I left.
Thoughts and prayers to everybody attending a guitar show with no guitars. It's the least I can do.