Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Simon Cowell and George’s Last Long High Note

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Simon Cowell and George’s Last Long High Note
George was a funny young fellow in the youth group.  At least he tried to be funny.  It was painful to watch at times.

The other kids were cool or like to hang out with cools kids. George wasn’t too cool.  And George didn’t connect with the other kids in the youth group. They tolerated George but he could get on your nerves easily.

His jokes were ill-timed and at times had nothing to do with what anyone else was talking about. Hardly anyone would laugh but many would groan or just role their eyeballs.

George was very different to say the least.  I felt sorry for him as he tried so hard to fit in.

George could sing but he never sang what the other teens wanted to sing.  The Youth Group we had enjoyed their guitars and piano… and “were with it” as far as the up to date music of their times is concerned.  George’s music wasn’t up to date.

You see George liked to sing Opera – stuff that was perhaps 100s of years old.  The other teens had no idea what he was talking about when he tried to show them his talent and tried to explain why it was fun for him to do what he did.

But at that time George didn’t have the range with his voice that the music he liked demanded.  That is a nice way to tell you that he couldn’t hit the notes that even untrained ears KNEW IT WAS ALL WRONG!  Yikes! In fact it was painful to listen to George back then.

George was skinny and he wore strange clothes – in comparison to the other teens around him. They came to the Youth Group in their Jeans and Sweats – he came with a Robin’s Egg Blue suit on… and three piece at that!... no tie just an open and sometimes frilly shirt below… just like the other Opera Stars did – on their days off.

Why tell you about George today?

Well George popped into my mind when I read that Simon Cowell has suggested that Canada should have its own “X-Factor” TV

Simon doesn’t know what I know – George is lurking around every corner for a chance to sing to any of us… and that could be painful.

I have no idea where George is today or what he is doing. He is not on Facebook yet. He is not on LinkedIn either – or other social media connecting programs on the Internet.  But George will be there when you least expect him.

A few years back I was riding on the Go Train into Toronto.  The train stopped and more people climbed aboard making the train about quarter full.  And there came George looking for a seat along with everyone else.

George broke into a big grin when he saw me and even a bigger grin when he saw the three empty seats with me.

In a loud voice he exclaimed his excitement upon seeing me and loudly said, “Pastor Lincoln, how are you! It has been awhile hasn’t it! My oh my! It is so good to see you.”

By this time the entire Go Train compartment knew that I was a minister and that George was an old friend of mine. As George continued, everyone on the car found out how George knew me and also how many people he remembered from that old Youth Group.  George’s voice was loud and he liked to speak in dramatics of all kinds including expressions and mannerism that kind of sounded weird.

Listening to George was like sitting in an interview session where he wanted me to hire him. My oh my, could he ever tell a story.

Yep he had on a light blue colored suit and he also had on a frilly shirt sticking up through the vest he was wearing.

YEP – and that moment I asked the absolute WRONG QUESTION! YEP! I was stupid and unthinking… and I regretted every syllable of my question as it slowly went out across the Go Train.

“So George are you still singing…?” Dang!  I should never have uttered that question!!!

George beamed from ear to ear and said loudly, “I am so glad that you asked.  I am just on my way to try out for a part in an Opera in Toronto.  Here let me sing something for you – it will be good practice for me!”

I knew immediately that I shouldn’t have said anything and should have never asked that stupid question!!!  I also knew immediately that I couldn’t escape – it was a fast moving train on the way to Toronto – with no stops due. Ahya!!!

George then stood up in the aisle as my mouth dropped open.  He did an action like he was flexing his muscles and pumping up his chest to achieve full access to the most air possible.  Then with a gusto that I have never seen he started to sing… loudly and longly and weirdly and I reacted with my inner voice with, “Holy Cow I wish I was dead now!”

After his first strains of the first line of the Italian Opera everyone on that Train was looking at him and me.  And they kept looking with their mouths open as well… right through the next five minutes of one very long solo part that George was practicing.

Good Lord.  The frozen smile on my face would not go away.  My mouth had shut 4 minutes ago and now I tried to maintain that, “Sheesh George.. I didn’t know you could sing!” look.

But as I well knew and so did everyone else on the train … George wouldn’t likely get the part.

His animated arm swinging and his playing to the audience was cool… if you were on stage… but on that Train it was too weird.

When he belted out that last, long, higher note that he couldn’t quite reach… no one clapped or cheered for an encore.  It was silent except for the sound of the Train whizzing along the tracks… and jaws on people slowly closing.

George then asked me in an excited voice (this guy was pumped), “So what do you think Pastor Lincoln?”

I was silent… and everyone else was listening for my response at that moment – at least it seemed like they were…

“Well George I don’t really know much about Opera or Italian Operas… I am kind of an Old Rock and Roll person.  I don’t know what to say…”

That was about all that could get out of my mouth. I had no idea what to say to poor George.

The Train stopped and we all left – following George down the platform.

I can tell you that George has guts… no glory but rather guts to do what he did on that train… and still remain positive and ready to take on the Toronto Opera scouts that day.  Guts definitely!!!

When Simon Cowell stated what he did – he has no idea that “Canada has George”.

Oh I know that Simon’s program is entitled the “X-Factor” in that he has no problem hitting the X on people.

But Simon needs to know that George will not stop until he hits that last high note – however he can and wherever he can.

Simon Cowell is no match for Canada’s George!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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