Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Henry According To Marilyn

Here's another "according to Marilyn." To you new readers, Marilyn has been my best friend for over 50 years. We share a brain. Marilyn is a gypsy. As I write, she's driving to Minneapolis in her gypsy-wagon and is smack in the middle of Nebraska with her flamenco guitar. Woo those corn-huskers with a little Alegrias. (Or is is Iowa corn-huskers? I've been away from the mid-West so long, I can't remember.) Help me out.

Henry's Story~~~~~~~According to Marilyn.

Henry is a talented, retired musician who for 25 years, has played a Saturday night piano bar in San Francisco just for the love of music.
It wasn't for salary he played but for socialization.

He connects with old friends, and reaches out to new ones, as he plays requests with his drink sitting on top of the piano. Kinda reminiscent of Hoagy in Casablanca. On this particular night, a new pompous young executive introduced himself, with .....

''I'm your new manager. You can't leave that drink on the piano."

Henry answered with, "I've put my drink there for 25 years."

"Yes, yes, new rules. Take it down immediately," the young exec ordered as he turned his back to walk away.

Henry had enough. His answer was, "You're just a corporate pussy."

With that, the young executive whipped around and zinged out at Henry, "You can't talk to me like that. That's going to be one mark against you. Three more and you're finished."

"How many more did you say?" asked Henry.

"Three. You get three more and your're outta here."

Henry stood up, closed his piano and said, "Corporate pussy, corporate pussy, corporate pussy." Picked up his drink and walked out.

What do you think? Should Henry have moved his drink and kept playing or do you think he did the right thing?


  1. I applaud Henry. But I'm also thinking that Henry also knew he would be okay without the job. I don't mind new rules if I'm also told the why's for them.

  2. "A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life." - James Allen

    That about covers it.

  3. Without thinking it through, Henry gave up that particular connection with friends, his routine Saturday night performance and probably more benefits he enjoyed. Should he have? Yes! I am with Henry. I would have walked out and so would have Sam in Casablanca, right in the middle of "As Time Goes By". Gerry

  4. Wasn't it a Piano "Bar" . . . Often times, the charm of those places is the pianist sipping his/her cocktail and telling a personal story or two.

    I don't like the "P" word, though, so he would have had zero! zilch! nada! more chances with me, and the drink would have suddenly found its way smack-dab in Henry's face. Then we'd be even, and we could continue on working in harmony (pun intended), and yes, he could have his cocktail. Any good manager knows that changing the "culture" of a business takes time.

  5. Thanks for commenting everyone. Some interesting responses.

    Big. Well put or good choice of quote.

    Su-sieee... totally agree. A man has to do what he has to do.

    Gerry, I'm with you. We both must like Casablanca. Has always been one of my favorites and I've seen it, perhaps 25 times.

    Kj. Yes. I'm sure Henry did just that, He sang too. Good voice I hear.

    Here's my take on this. ( I don't personally know Henry. Just know about him through Marilyn.) If I owned the bar, I'd fire the Corporate Pussy, run after Henry and beg him to come back.

    As boss, I own this bar to make $ and I can only make $ with a great entertainer who fills the place with happy, drinking customers. I would let Henry put his glass on CP's head or anywhere he wanted. CP's are a dime a dozen but an excellent extertainer with a following is almost impossible to find. And Henry didn't even work for a salary. He did it for the love of entertaining and to socialize with his fans.

    It was a petty ego push on the part of CP to change something that was working. A glass on the piano in a piano bar. Com-m-me on. Henry said it's been happening for 25 years. But the twit still insisted that it was his way or the highway. Grow up. You didn't learn much in manager's school.

    Sequel. Henry started playing piano in another bar down the street and all of his fans followed. The owner of the 1st bar did try to get Henry to return but Henry and his followers were happy in their new location. And all over a glass.

    I think that the word Pussy has generational meanings. I use the word as a Pussy Cat. I call all cats Pussy's. And if I call someone a Pussy Cat, I mean a fraidy cat, a wimp. Henry is my age and I'm assuming that is what he meant. He could have said, "You're a corporate wimp" giving the same meaning but not as much punch.

  6. I totally agree with you, Manzanita.

    (About Casablanca: That movie has to be the very best in its class, hands down. I have been singing that song all afternoon. See what bloging will do to a person?)

  7. Once the joy is gone, from anything, one should remove onself. Henry did what he needed to do for himself. I applaud him. Too many of us stay where we are because of fear.

    Bravo, Harry!

    As for Marilyn, she sounds delightful. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be a gypsy...

    Oh yes, and I can attest to Nebraska being the Corn Huskers. My 90 year old grandmother was born and raised on a farm there. She even has a sweatshirt that reads: Nebraska Corn Huskers!

    Now I want to listen to What's New Pussycat!

  8. Could you tell by my comment that I'm in management? "Culture," the new buzz word ... Have I lost my (creative) mind, or what?

    At least I had the huevos (balls!) to throw the drink in his face, and then go on as normal.

    Business is a hard world to survive in -- hell, now I need a drink.

  9. Gerry. Me too. I I was singing it too... You must remember this ... a kiss is still a kiss...I also thought of the song cinnamon mentioned.. What's new Pussycat. I just read this and started humming that too. Music is so good for the soul.

    KJ..... Culture.... is this another one for the word police? Business is a hard act to follow. I'd rather be in the entertainment end of it, which I was. And that can have it's business side also. To avoid that, I don't charge students, now when I teach. Boy, I wish I had found someone to give me free lessons when I was young.

  10. Cinnamoncoatedcandy. You said it.... If you're true to your heart, everything will always turn out OK. And that's not "pie in the sky." I've been there and it does work out.

    Thanks for helping me out on the Corn Huskers. It sounded right at first but then Iowa raises so much corn, too. And it's been a long time.

    Marilyn has no home really. Her home is within her and she takes it where ever she goes. She does have a house of sticks and bricks in California but she's rarely ever there.

    When you mentioned "What's new pussy cat" I started singing immediately. Remember Pussy Galore in James Bond movie.