The Madison Chamber Orchestra’s still on strike.  So rather than sit around on my butt practicing Kodaly for that Weill Hall gig coming up, or wasting time playing X-box live, (sorry Johnny Mac – I’ll miss you too,) I thought I’d pack my bags and hop across the pond to see what kind of trouble I could get into with Phineas.

Usually these trips are pretty benign.  But, admittedly, there have been times when my godfather’s come into some pretty close scrapes.  That’s why this time I thought I’d try an experiment; this blog is for those of you out there who want to know what it’s like to travel around the world with my famous godfather, Dr. Phineas Monroe.

I know it’s a bit of a risk.  In theory, the MCO could settle contract disputes before I get back.  Also, people generally aren’t shooting at me when I’m practicing cello or playing X-box.  But, you know, until the MCO is ready to negotiate in good faith, I’ve got my family to think about.  Phineas needs me.  I know a lot of you keep telling me that I’m ruining my career chasing him around the world, occasionally cancelling concert engagements, but Phineas is my godfather.  And though that arrangement more typically means him
looking after me, Phineas was bookish and old long before he actually grew old.  These trips aren’t exactly getting any easier for him.

Besides, who of you in the MCO would rather sit around and wait for management to get their thumbs out of their @**es than travel to a 3,500 year-old recently discovered Egyptian city?  Oh yeah, and while we’re over there, we thought we’d go find the Ark of the Covenant too.  Heard of it?  (BTW, Legend Quest?  Sing it with me: Hor-ri-ble.)

Our first stop is some “consulting” work Phineas is doing for Yale on an expedition in the Western desert of Egypt, a place called Gebel Ghueita in the Kharga Oasis.  We’ll stay in Luxor (at my insistence) and limit our time doing real work at Gebel Ghueita so we can strike out for the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens.  Seriously, if it weren’t for me, Phineas wouldn’t know how to stay in a hotel with On Demand TV and a swimming pool.  A man of his age and stature should not be sleeping in a tent or on a host family’s couch.  Seriously, that’s what we did last time.  And the host family’s dog had a penchant for pooping in people’s shoes.

Short story here.  Even though they warned us, (they were very nice people, btw,) the great Dr. Phineas Monroe left his shoes out, practically inviting the poopage.  The next morning
he got a nasty surprise when he pulled his shoes on as we were running late to get to the excavation site.  Phineas smelled like poop for at least a week before we finally got to Cairo and got him a new pair of shoes – his first in thirty years, I’m sure – and I had that horrible smell stuck in my nose for another week.

So we’re staying in Luxor.  The way I see it is if we’re going to be traveling for 24 hours (Madison-Chicago-London-Cairo-Luxor) we may as well have a drink w/an umbrella straw and a spot next to the pool waiting for us at the end of the trip, right?

Okay.  That’s all for tonight.  Maybe I’ll blog on the flight, but I doubt it.  If MCO management is reading this, I’ll be back in a couple weeks.  Just a skip over the pond.

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