GK: So my sister's in New York and she tells me to meet her at a place on West 51st called Annie's so I walk in (JAZZ TRIO STARTS, LIGHTLY) and I sit down at the bar and there's a trio playing in the back. Playing something, I couldn't tell what -- it was in 5/4, one of those weird jazz signatures. The bass player wore dark glasses and the drummer had some sort of neurological disorder and the pianist kept playing those choppy little chords that jazz pianists have been playing for the past fifty years. And suddenly I remember how much I dislike jazz. You're not supposed to say this and certainly not in New York, but it's true.
TR: What can I get you?
GK: I'm waiting for my sister.
TR: What can I get you while you wait?
GK: Well, let me wait until she gets here.
TR: Can't do that.
GK: No?
TR: No. There's a two-drink minimum. $35. What can I get you?
GK: She'll be here in just a minute.
TR: Okay, I'll be back in a minute.
GK: The bass player looked downtrodden and misunderstood, that's how you knew he was a bass player. The drummer was in his own world and it was not in this building and maybe not in this city. I got the feeling they had never played together before and were not playing together now and that somehow it didn't matter. I tried to look interested in their music and then I noticed that nobody else in the room was listening to them so I didn't either.
TR: So what can I get you?
GK: I decided I don't think I'm going to stay.
TR: You don't think so?
GK: As soon as my sister comes, I'm going.
TR: You're sitting at the bar right now. Right?
GK: Right.
TR: So the two-drink minimum applies, you know what I'm saying--
GK: Right, but--
TR: There isn't a two-week waiting period.
GK: I realize that, but--
TR: So what can I get you?
GK: How about a ginger ale?
TR: You want a $35 ginger ale?
GK: No, not really. I'm just waiting for my sister. Listen-- how about supper? Can I see a menu?
TR: It's a tapas menu.
GK: Fine. Could I see the menu?
TR: Okay. Menu coming up.
GK: And then came the drum solo (DRUM SOLO) which went on and on, and you sort of expect it would be rhythmic but it isn't necessarily, it's like he got lost himself and he's trying to pull it together without being obvious about it.
TR: Here's a menu.
GK: Thanks.
TR: You still want a ginger ale?
GK: Let me decide whether I'm eating or not, and then I'll tell you.
TR: Okay, but there is a $35 drink minimum.
GK: You told me that.
TR: I know but I'm not sure you heard.
GK: Speaking of that, is there a place I can sit where I can't hear the music?
TR: Yeah. On the curb.
GK: Oh. Okay.
TR: Back in a minute.
GK: Jazz goes on and on and wanders around and everything ends on a minor seventh. Which is like ending a sentence with a comma. The musicians never smile at the audience. I read somewhere that 80% of jazz musicians have seen UFOs -- you can sort of deduce that from the music. No matter what they play, it winds up as "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" --
TR: How are we doing?
GK: Fine. Is tapas all you serve here?
TR: Right. It's a tapas bar.
GK: No soup or salad?
TR: Only when you order the tapas platter.
GK: I see.
TR: Just tapas.
GK: Right. I know. Well, let me see what my sister is up for. I'll call her on her cellphone right now.
TR: Can I bring you something to drink?
GK: Let me see what she'd like, okay?
TR: Okay, but there is a two-drink $35 minimum in effect.
GK: Right. I'm aware of that.
TR: So that's $35.
GK: I know.
TR: You can pay me now and then let me know when you want your drinks.
GK: Let me get my sister on the line first.
TR: When she comes, that'll be another $35. Want me to put that on one bill?
GK: If she comes-- I'll find out in a minute.
TR: Back in a minute.
GK: And now we were into the bass solo. (BASS SOLO) He made all these grimaces as if his kidneys were acting up and then he'd play this run that didn't seem to be melodic or have anything to do with the tune, whatever it was, and the piano player sat there anesthetized and the drummer was on automatic pilot, and the drinkers at the bar were settling down for a long night and then my sister called. (CELLPHONE RING, PICKUP)
GK: Yeah?
SS (ON PHONE): Carson?
GK: Yeah?
SS (ON PHONE): Where are you?
GK: What do you mean? I'm here.
SS (ON PHONE): I'm standing here outside the theater. You were supposed to be here half an hour ago.
GK: You told me Annie's.
SS (ON PHONE): What do you mean?
GK: I'm here at Annie's. Waiting.
SS (ON PHONE): Who is that?
GK: It's a club. Annie's.
SS (ON PHONE): I meant the musical Annie.
GK: The musical?
SS (ON PHONE): Yes. What did you think I meant?
TR: Here's your bill. Cash or credit card?
GK: I'm on my way.
TR: There's a $35 minimum.
GK: I know but I gotta get over to the theater.
TR: Hey mister-- you've been sitting here for fifteen minutes.
GK: I ought to make you pay me.
TR: What do you mean?
GK: I mean-- I hate jazz. I hate it. (MUSIC STOPS)
TR: I don't think I heard you right, mister.
GK: I hate jazz. (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS, OUT DOOR, DOOR SLAM, TRAFFIC MIDTOWN) I ran down the street but I wasn't worried because jazz guys are much too cool to run, you could just walk away from them. They would pretend not to notice. (BAND BUTTON)