He's Doing the Best that He Can

16 March 2008

Last night, at David's Coffee Place, a large, odd fellow came and sat near the pianist. He began aggressively coaxing the pianist to play this-or-that in particular manners, paused in doing this to talk loudly for a while over his cell phone (it perhaps did not occur to him that the he could step outside for a while, and that the rest of us might not want to hear his part of the conversation), and then returned to the dominating of the pianist. The large fellow did put some money in the pianist’s tip jar. But his manner was still odd and very pushy. I tentatively mapped-out how to forcibly intervene if things got clearly out-of-hand.

After the fellow left, the pianist noted that the interaction had been difficult. I noted that I'd been wondering whether I might have to bail-in, but hadn't seen real signals of impending violence. I suggested that the pianist work-out a signal that regulars would recognize as a call for assistance. He tried to think of an appropriate tune. Since he plays a lot of show-tunes — yeah, it’s Hillcrest — and indeed songs from West Side Story, I suggested Jet Song. He liked that.

I don't know whether he understands that I would, indeed, bail-in.

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