The Nuts and Bolts...
A native of Toledo suspected to be living in a cave somewhere in the mountainous region between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Pakistan, Steve Sonday's an accomplished writer, poet, and musician. He's written music for everything from symphony orchestras to TV documentaries and even college marching bands. His jazz piano stylings are often heard backing big stars and a bunch who aren't. He's that rare-bird artist who's never had a job and has always made a living without teaching school or selling drugs. (The ibuprofen the feds found in the fish tank belonged to his cousin.)
And it Went Down Like This...
One night, after enduring another gig accompanying the tone-deaf girlfriend of a club owner, Steve sat forlorn at Hookers & Hornys Grill and Bar lamenting that he'd not studied harder for the notary exam. Suddenly a noxious rapids breached the pasteboard restroom wall. Bartender Quiet Quentin bellowed, "Goddam tawlet's backed up! So youse assholes temporary use the alley 'round back!" Then from this giant of a man, tears of joy. "Thank you, Jesus," Quentin wept. "For in thy gift, I can talk dirty again!"
Yes, it was a miracle of speech regained! Quentin's voice box had been impaled on a pointy clown hat the night his Harley wiped out a troupe of mimes he thought were semaphoring salacity about his mama. They were actually offering "may the Good Lord bless and keep you, sweet drunken motorcycle man!" Had the police not cited the mimes for improper signal, Quentin might well have lost his driver's license.
And the Plunger Shall Sound!
Meanwhile, back at the Hookers & Hornys fetid restroom flood — the schloop-schloop of Quiet Quentin's toilet plunger dueted with the miracle vileness of his born-again voice. And, lo, the night's second miracle was visited upon this most hallowed of public houses. The Archangel Gabriel appeared to Steve Sonday in a bowl of cheap bar snacks.
"Hey, schmuck," Gabe said unto Steve, "I been playin' trumpet in the pearly joints since before Jehovah sold Jericho to Walmart, and I'm tellin' your ass that you ain't gonna make no money playin' jazz piano. You coulda had class. You coulda been somebody. You coulda been a notary!"
The newly-plunged toilet flushed unobstructed as Archangel Gabe faded into a stale clod of what was once Beer Nuts. And in that magical flush, Steve Sonday was freed at last from the shakles of the keyboard! After again flunking his notary exam, he worked a brief stint as a world-renowned sculptor, then as a crocheting consultant. But despite the profusion of state fair ribbons, he remained unfulfilled.
And the Pawn Shop Shall Sound!
From the Gates of Heaven at the chime of Christmas Day, Gabriel's Bugle anointed the night, and Steve knew his road inner peace could only be paved with joyful noise. He ran enraptured from his bed proclaiming his destiny into the snowy midnight street. But his joyful noisemaker was cloistered in the backroom of Fatboy's Gifts & Pawn. Behold, the course had transfigured clear — Sing! If Pat Boone can do it, anybody can!
The denizens of Hookers & Hornys were elated upon hearing Steve's chosen path. "Oh, joyous friggin' day!" belched Quiet Quentin through a Christmassy mouthful of goose-flavored Cheez-Its. "Sure, you'll never sing as out of tune as Pat Boone, but with God's love, a couple of bad motorcycle accidents, and a severely botched throat surgery, you can come real close!"
And the rest is history. Actually, everything is history — except Calculus and Biology 101.
Either the Korean tour or the VFW fish fry — Steve can't remember