Jake Shimabukuro at TED and My Episode at the Thrift Store

TED Rediscovering Wonder
Jake Shimabukuro by jurvetson via Flickr

A few months ago, my wife and I were listening to a WXPN interview with Hawaiian ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro that was nothing short of awesome. As we were about to get out of the car, Shimabukuro said that he was going to play an original arrangement of “Bohemian Rhapsody” to show just what his four-stringed, two-octave ax could do.  Needless to say, we stayed in the car for the next eight minutes.

I just stumbled upon this video of Shimabukuro doing the same thing at TED.  It’s fantastic, and you can’t help but believe what he says about the uke and world peace:


A few days after the World Cafe session in our car, I found a ukulele at the Salvation Army thrift store.  I think they wanted four bucks, and it came with instructions that had clearly been printed before 1970.  So I picked it up as a gift and immediately informed the giftee of my impossible find.  As I was carrying my new hipster treasure around the store, I noticed two young ladies in my peripheral vision.  I sort of got that feeling you get when people are talking about you, and then I heard one of them say “should we say something to him?”  My first thought was “my fly must be down.  This is embarrassing.”

If only.

The question emerged:

One of them: “How much do you want that ukelele?”

Me: “Like, a lot.”

Them: “Really?”

Me: “Yeah.  It’s going to be a gift.”

One of Them: “Oh.”

The Other: “See, I told you you shouldn’t have set it back down.”

Me: “Honesty, I would give it to you if I hadn’t already promised it to someone else.”

Them: “No, that’s cool.”

But I don’t have to tell you how it feels to have a find like this slip through your fingers.  Remember the vocab word crestfallen?  I would have been, too.  Thankfully, they were really cool and didn’t make me feel bad.

One thought on “Jake Shimabukuro at TED and My Episode at the Thrift Store

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