A plate of prawn tempura rolls had just arrived at the table. I was ravenous and couldn’t wait to tuck in. I had kept my bowl of dipping sauce ready and had reached for a roll when a strange sound reached my ears. It sounded as though a cat had been run over and was dying a slow, painful death. I dropped the tempura in alarm and pricked my ears. A cat inside the restaurant?
It seemed unlikely. Even if the creature had managed to sneak in, tempted by the smell of food, who was causing it bodily harm? I looked around, over the heads of my fellow diners to see if I could spot the aggrieved feline. I couldn’t see it anywhere. No one around me seemed the least bit bothered. They were either stuffing their faces or talking with one another. It was Saturday evening and people were clearly in a mood to unwind. Not even a tiny shred of concern for the cat.
I felt annoyed. This wasn’t right. Perhaps I should have a word with the manager. I pushed my chair back and got ready to take up cudgels on behalf of the cat, probably lying injured somewhere, the poor kitty.
That’s when I heard the sound again. Only this time, the cat had managed to string a few words together.
“Kiiiiiiilllling meeeeee softly
oohhhhhhhh ohhhhhhhh ohhhhhhh
With his song,
ooohhhh ooooh oooooh”
Realisation dawned. It wasn’t a hurt cat. It was a singing cat … erm .. human.
That’s when I saw him, over the bobbing heads. A young boy with a guitar in front of a microphone. The restaurant had hired him to provide live music. Caterwauling actually. That was his voice. No one was hurting animals. On second thought, perhaps a cat might have sounded better.
“Strumming my pain with his fingers
oooooh ooooh oooh”
I winced. My temples throbbed. I could feel the start of a headache. All of a sudden, the tempura roll didn’t seem appetising anymore. I just wanted to get away from the boy, his voice and the guitar.
The fellow was killing me with his song. And he wasn’t even being particularly soft. Rather he was loud and tone-deaf.
Now I'm all for supporting young, musical talent but some youngsters clearly need to be discouraged from pursuing a career in music.
Sushi-Smushi. I’m calling for the cheque!