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A quest like this is all about momentum, and I wasn’t about to let myself get stalled in my mission to play the guitar by the small fact that my guitar could not be played. There was only one thing to do, suck it up and endure the ubiquitous pawn shop guitar “walk of shame” to the closest music store. It’s like your first trip to the salon after a tragic at home Sun-in experience, brutal. They always give you that same look too, that “here comes another sucker” smirk. When will we learn that cheap n’ easy never keeps its promises?
My only other trip to the music store had been for a pick the day before. After “picking” (sorry, couldn’t resist) through their vast selection, I asked one of the so-this-is-what-really-happened-to-Kurt-Cobain salespeople what thickness he would recommend for beginners. “Up to you,” he said, “personal preference.” Then he shrugged and walked off. Ya, big help. How was I supposed to have a “preference” at this stage of the game? So I did what every girl does in a pinch; I picked my favorite colour ; )
My walk of shame the next day brought me right up to counter. Mr. Grunge wasn’t around, so I waited for someone else to come and rescue me. My knight in shining, um, piercings came up and introduced himself. He was carrying enough metal, in enough different places, that I had to fight the urge to grab him by the shoulders and jangle him like a tambourine! It’s sad, but I’m pretty sure he would have made better music than what had been coming out of my guitar. I told him my sob story and asked for his diagnosis.
“Don’t bother sugar coating it,” I said. “Tell it to me straight. Is there any hope?”