It’s night in the big city. Down by the point a foghorn blows. A phone rings, clearing the fog.

“It’s Bob.”
“Good to hear you. What's up?”
“I need a hand.”
“Sure. Ask.”
“You were at the Geneva gig, right?”
“Yeah. Why?”
“You know how we always monitor the audience, see what’s happening out there?”

I didn’t, but I thought it best not say so.

“So the tech guys picked up some guy yelling ‘Sing a protest song’.”
“I know. And right after John Brown. What did he think that was, pickled herring?”
“Who was he?”
“The heck should I know?”
“Because the tech guys tell me he was sitting right behind you. Maybe you struck up a conversation, exchanged a few words or something?”

I paused, dug deep into my memory card.

The man who asked Bob Dylan to ‘sing a protest song’ and whistled along with everything.

“Better than that, Bob. I got a picture.”
“You kidding me?”
“Would I? He was annoying me so much I tried to blind him with my flash. Didn’t do no good.”
“I got to find that guy.”
“Why? And why me?”
“Why you? Because you got tentacles all over the blogosphere, that’s why.”

I was flattered, I have to admit. If anyone has tentacles, it’s Bob. But I wasn’t about to argue.

“As for why, the mikes the tech guys use to monitor the audience picked up inane tuneless whistling with most of the songs we played. And they pinned it down to that seat right behind you.”
“And you want to offer the guy a contract to whistle on the next album?”
“Schmendrick. I want to offer some other guys a contract to off the guy.”

I whistled softly.

“Not you too,” Bob said, with more than a hint of menace. “I want someone to whistle along with me, I’ll damn well hire someone to whistle along with me. And I’ll make damn sure he can hold a tune and whistle on key. A pro.”
“I don’t want any old jerk who thinks he knows my back catalog, who wouldn’t know a protest song if it jumped up and bit him on the ass, ruining the occasion for everyone around him.”
“Right. But I still don't see how I can help.”
“Do I have to spell it out.”
“You do.”
“OK. You say you got a picture of this lowlife. I want you to stick it on your blog, tell everyone the story, see if anyone can ID the sucker. Then pass the info to me. I’ll know what to do with it.”

There was a click. Our conversation was over. Down by the point the foghorn moaned again in sympathy. Who was I to argue? Have you ever seen the guy in photograph? Are you the chick just behind his right shoulder? Maybe you know where he lives? Any little clues, leave ‘em in the comments. I’ll see Bob gets what he needs.

And maybe, just maybe, next time he plays Geneva you won’t have to suffer as I did.

Reactions from around the web


Webmentions allow conversations across the web, based on a web standard. They are a powerful building block for the decentralized social web.

“Ordinary” comments

These are not webmentions, but ordinary old-fashioned comments left by using the form below.