piano

Jonesing for KC

A friend and I hit Kansas City one evening. We’d booked into the Raphael, which was an indulgence on my part, but was a pretty classy joint, right across from the Plaza. We spotted a bar opening off the lobby and went in for a nightcap after a day on the road.

It was really nice. Dim light, a piano player, bar staff in formal clothes. Instead of my usual beer, I ordered a martini, and sat there sipping it, basking in the glow.
The piano player was quite an entertainer. Believe it or not, he had a pet monkey, and he talked to it and it did tricks as part of the act. Sat on his shoulder, reached down and tinkled a few keys, waved to the audience.
The musician took requests and was rattling out some good tunes. “Piano Man!” someone asked, and he gave us a great version, rolling his eyes and voice in over-the-top Billy Joel.
The monkey hammed it up for a while and then went visiting, jumping up on tables, begging for pretzels and nuts. It came to us, squatted over my drink, and then to my astonishment and horror dangled its testicles into the glass.
“Get away out of it, yer filthy little bastard!” I snarled, and it scampered back to its master.
I followed, fuming, and the piano man looked up at me as his monkey sought refuge on his shoulder.
“Do you know your monkey dunked his nuts in my martini?”
“Uh no,” he replied, “but if you hum a few bars I’ll pick it up.”