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THE REAL IRONMEN, Leib Dodell posted 10/10/01
Leib Dodell is a former team member that now lives in San Francisco. He is an attorney and freelance writer and often writes articles for INSIDE TRIATHLON.

“Honey, guess what!”
“You know all the practicing I’ve been doing on the piano?? All those early morning scales?? All those sore, aching fingers??”
“Yeah . . .”
“Well, I got invited to a very big recital!”
“A recital! That’s great, congratulations!”
“Thanks. You’ll come watch, right . . . .?”
“Of course I’ll come watch.”
“Great! It’s in Hawaii in October!”
“Hawaii!? Why do you have to go all the way to Hawaii for a piano recital?
Aren’t there plenty of recitals around here?”
“Well, this is a very special recital . . . . But if you don’t want to go, that’s fine, I can go by myself . . . .”
“No, no . . . Of course I’ll go . . . . “
“OK good. Now just so you know, it’s going to be, um . . . kind of a long recital . . . .”
“What do you mean ‘long’? How long?”
“Well, it depends, but probably somewhere around, oh, 11 hours, if all goes well . . . .”
“Eleven hours!!”
“Yep. We’re playing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony 6,000 consecutive times!”
“OK you’re joking right?”
“No honey, I’m serious. And bring your suntan lotion!”
“Suntan lotion? Why would I need suntan lotion?”
“Because the recital is outside, and it can get hot in Hawaii in October. Of course it can also rain, and this recital goes on rain or shine!”
“Oh great . . . .”
“Honey! I really thought you’d support me in this . . . .”
“Of course I support you . . . . I’m excited to watch you play!”
“Well, that’s another thing . . . .”
“You’re not going to actually get to see me play all that much . . . .”
“Why not??”
“Well, um, most of the actual recital takes place pretty far away from where the spectators are . . . . So, for most of the time, you’ll be looking at this big giant stage with lots and lots of really expensive abandoned pianos. . . . And then every couple of hours, I’ll stop by and play a couple notes.”
“Gee, that sounds like great fun . . . . ”
“Now don’t be sarcastic . . . . This is very important to me.”
“OK, I’m sorry. Well if it’s that long, at least I’ll be able to go do some sightseeing in Hawaii, or maybe some shopping. . . .”
“What? Are you crazy?? You can’t do that, I need you there to support me!”
“But you just said I’m hardly ever going to see you . . . .”
“Yeah, but you need to be there when I come by! What if I forget, like, a critical piece of sheet music or something?? I’ll need you to run out to the car to grab it. You're my crew!"
“Honey, you’re playing the same piece of music 6,000 times, I would think you’d have it pretty much down pat.”
“OK Captain Sarcasm, if you don’t want to help that’s fine, I can do it myself.”
“OK fine, I’ll be your crew . . . . So Hawaii huh, that’s gotta be expensive. I assume they’re paying your expenses?”
“No, silly! We are so lucky just to get invited! And the entry fee is only $400.”
“Only four hundred dollars?! Are you kidding? You’re going all the way to Hawaii to play in this recital and they’re charging you $400?”
“Yep. Oh, there’s one other thing . . . .”
“Well . . . . I think I need a new piano.”
“What?!?! What’s wrong with your piano??”
“There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just not good enough for a recital like this, trust me . . . . But don’t worry, I found this awesome new piano on the Internet. And it’s only $3,000 . . . “
“Oh brother . . . .”
“Shipping it to Hawaii might get a little pricey though . . . .”
“Please let this be a nightmare . . . .”