Monday, March 14, 2011

Dear Foxmorton

After sending out the call for pirates to join us this weekend for Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers, I got this message from an old friend, Mimi Foxmorton, who lives and borrows goats in upstate New York where apparently the weather hasn't been idyllic.

"Dear Asshole,

Greetings from gray, freezing fecking perpetually sunless CNY.

Hope you St. Croixians had a fabulous time.

Don't forget the SPF. I hear sunshine can be a bitch though personally I wouldn't have a clue.

Carry on.

love & kisses

Foxmorton the Pale and Sober"

Hi, Mimi. How're the goats?

First, we on St. Croix refer to ourselves not as St. Croixians but as Crucians. Oddly we refer to things from St. Croix as Cruzan (like the rum.) BUT they're both pronounced the same way, so unless it's a written conversation it's hard to know whether you're referring to a person or a bottle of rum, and often immaterial.

Now, I'm afraid, it gets worse – at least worse from your perspective. Friday at Cheeseburgers was absolutely great. Tom Mason isn't just a songwriter, singer and guitar virtuouso, he's a terrific enertainer. The nine costumed pirates in the crowd were a colorful addition to the proceedings, as always, not to mention quite startling to the large gathered audience. Tom (I call him Tom now, we're buddies, even facebook friends!) knows how to play a crowd. Most of his pirate songs (from his new album, "Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers") have choruses that the audence can bellow along with, which is really the best way to enjoy pirate music, pounding yer mug on the table (beer mug, not your face, although I admit I've never tried the latter.)

For "Throw Me In the Drink," he invited the Crucian pirate contingent onstage to sing the chorus with him, and that was a blast, easily the highlight of the evening as far as we were concerned. When you watch the video (it'll be a couple of days to cut together) you'll even hear some of us going up in high harmony. It's been too long since I shared a stage with Tori, and though it was just a few minutes, damn it was fun!

Another great moment was when he asked for requests. There were two, the classic chanty, "Drunken Sailor," and "Free Bird." He attempted to do them as a medley, although neither he nor the woman who requested "Drunken Sailor" knew many of the words. But "Free Bird" bellowed out as a pirate was priceless! Yes, it'll be on the video. Coming soon!

So a time was had by all. But wait! There's more!

Cheeseburgers (And by the way, it's not just a clever name. they make a great cheeseburger. I prefer mine without cheese, and the cheese I prefer it without is Swiss, but it's still a hell of a hunk of meat, which coincidentally is ... never mind.)

My point is, Cheeseburgers wasn't their only gig on this island tour. They played Saturday night, then Sunday afternoon at Rainbows, which is right on the beach. We wore what I call "pirate lite," because it was quite warm and sunny and the place is open air. Did you hear that, upstate New York? Warm and sunny, open air. Too warm for full pirate gear. Just sayin'

The show was supposed to start at 4. We got there a few minutes late. The stage was all set up for them, but there were no musicians. We ordered beers, which took forever, the place was crowded, and still no band. It was about 15 minutes later that this guy walked up out of the ocean, towelling himself off. It was Tom. I asked if he was concerned about being wet and shorting out on the electrical equipment, but he was pretty calm about it. As he finished drying off and started throwing on his pirate rig over his damp shorts, drummer Paul and bass player Lorne rolled out of the surf, dried off, and the show got under way. What a great gig!

They were joined this time by two local musicians whose names I didn't get, both percussionists, couple of older guys who really knew their stuff. Paul told me later, "Yeah, they were great. I really had to work. I was like, 'Damn, I've gotta be good!'" And they added SO much to the music.

Tom and the band don't have three hours of pirate music, so they interspersed some of their older stuff and an occasional novelty song, including "Sugar, Sugar" (well, they make rum from sugar, and it was a prized commodity pirates seized, so it fit) and "Last Night I Got Loaded." And once again we pirates were back on stage to sing the "Rum diddy" chorus of "Throw Me In the Drink." I think I've got the hang of it, now. Although both times we made sure Millie was closest to the mike, because of all of us Crucian pirates, she's the one who can sing.

Speaking of singing, there was an older guy in the crowd – damn, he must have been as old as me! – who was just hanging out, and then suddenly Tom was calling him up on stage. The story, as I later got it from Tom, was that this guy had come for a vacation from New York in January and sort of forgot to go home, and who could blame him? Tom had heard him singing on the Christiansted boardwalk and invited him out to Rainbows to join them onstage.

He was introduced as "Big Papa," that's all the name I've got for him, and he sang one number, a blues song called "Crosscut Saw," full of wonderful double entendre. Man! He was good! I didn't realize what was up at first, but as soon as I heard the first couple of lines I was on my feet, with my camera, and caught about 90 percent of it on video. It'll be posted this week. And Tom's blues guitar licks were smokin'!

They wound up as the sun went down over the Caribbean. No "green flash," there was a band of clouds right on the horizon, but other than that, it was an almost perfect evening.

Anyway, that was my weekend (with some actual work filling up Saturday from 9 a.m. to about 10 p.m., so you can't have everything.) How was your weekend, Foxmorton?



Mimi Foxmorton said...

Dear Shithead,

Bite me.

Here is CNY we pronounce it:
Bite me.

At this point I am unable to tell whether the smell coming from the house is my double pair of late October thermal bottoms or the three borrowed goats I have free ranging in the back bedroom.

In any case, it matters not as the lack of sunlight has stricken me with a pitiless case of ennui so much so that last week I failed to notice that one of the goats had borrowed the truck and hadn't the decency to return with so much as a pint of good rum let alone a decent tabloid. You know, the one with Charlie Sheen on the cover.

On the plus side the continual freezing drizzle has made a mud pit of the back yard and that, mixed with large, snow sunken, liquid turds gives the dog more reason to frolick through the house in an inane attempt, God love him, at cheering me up.

I wish you a (Swiss) cheese deficiency which, I've heard, causes all manner of indelicate and offensive side effects.
Or perhaps, at your next beach party you might stand in the ocean and offer, as a gesture of good faith, to hold Tom's cable.

At any rate I shall Facebook him forthwith and inform him that I hate you.

Kisses to the children and do send Tori my undying affection. Oh, and get off your ass and send me a scrap of fabric for my Capra Project.

Hugs to Tom and tell him I'm sorry I missed his two day gala. And don't forget to tip heavily at Cheeseburgers. Just because you get your meat without cheese is no reason to be cheap.


I hope you misplace your good sunglasses for a lengthy period.


seika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
seika said... Foxmorton!!! I raise me tankard in yer honour. I believe the cruel n' unusual punishment that Chumbucket be heapin' on us pyrates of the Frozen Tundra with his tall tales of rum n' sunshine should be responded n' kind. A good round o' floggin' followed by a nice long swim under the keel be in order...
I long te see the colour o' blood as the sharks circle... will remind of the beautiful sunsets in St. Shithole!!!

Cheers te ye Chumbucket ye mangy scratchin' rogue...

John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur said...

Arr! Ye do me an injustice, I raise me hand to swear it! Ye must remember, I was once a pirate o' the frozen tundra meself! It as my blessed wench, Mad Sally, as I've oft reported, who looked out the window at the frozen rain comin' down in a 50 mile an hour wind and said, "Why do we live here?" Within an hour she'd found St. Croix on the map and said, "We're movin' here." Now, if ye know Mad Sally ye'd know that he's a lass who can fashion reality to her own likin'. It took a year and a half, but she charted us a course to sunny skies, warm waters, white beaches and cold rum. And we get to *live* here all year 'round, while those sun buned tourists save all year for a taste o' what we've got. I'm just havin' a wee bit o' sport on ye, and perhaps encouraging some of the more ice locked to consider the alternatives. And okay, rubbing it in a little, like salt in a fresh cutlass wound What's the point o' livin' in paradise if I can't taunt others about it?

In the 1960s the motto was, "Challenge Authority." Mad Sally's motto, which I think she should get tattooed over her heart, is "Challenge Reality!"

Mimi Foxmorton said...

Aye.....true pirate love there, Chumbucket.......true pirate love........brings a tear t' me one eye.........