All That Jazz
Author's Note: This story is based on the Jazzmosis Elephante avatar.
Brian was disappointed. His neighborhood's Weewoo had not yet delivered the day's Neopian Times issue, twenty minutes after he usually came. Brian had wanted to get a jump on the day, but he couldn't if he was waiting on the post carrier.
At last, ten minutes later, a large collection of papers entered the newspaper slot below the kitchen window. Atop the headline was a note, which said, "Sorry for the delay. We're training a new Weewoo, and he doesn't know the route yet."
Brian discarded the note and took his newspaper to the table. While he sipped his coffee, he read all of the latest news, and when he was done with that he flipped to the classified section. Every Saturday, he perused the classifieds for one reason, and one reason only: ever since he was a young Elephante, he had wanted to join a band. He had bought and learned to play a saxophone, and he was quite good at it too. He looked in the classifieds for wanted ads about bands, but though he had been doing this for several months and had met with a dozen different bands, they all had the same thing to say: "No, thanks." They weren't interested in saxophones, they wanted guitars and drummers and singers. He wouldn't stop looking, though. He was sure he would eventually find someone to recruit him.
This week, among the messages about selling book collections and old, valuable furniture, there were three people seeking applications for bands. Brian got his coat, because it was autumn and it was getting a bit chilly, and with his newspaper in one hand and saxophone case in the other went out to the street.
The first address listed in the wanted ads was on Luperus Lane, not far from Brian's home. He decided to go there first, to save him from walking any further than necessary if they were interested in him.
"Hello there, Brian!" called the elderly Mr. Fletcher, who was watering his lawn as Brian walked by. "How are things?"
"Just peachy," Brian called back in response. "How are the kids?"
"Wonderful, wonderful. Edward just went off to Brightvale University, you know."
"Oh, really? Well, good for him. That's a great school." Brian had heard the same thing the week before while talking to Mr. Fletcher, but he refrained from mentioning it. "Well, I must be going, but it was nice to talk to you, Mr. Fletcher."
"And you as well. Have yourself a wonderful day!"
Brian resumed his walking, slightly happier than he had been the moment before. He thoroughly enjoyed talking to the older people from his neighbourhood, a point which had made him the subject of some friendly ridicule during his university days a few years before. He didn't really understand what the hubbub was about; he simply thought of it as common decency. He appreciated the simple pleasures of life, one of which was conversation.
When Brian reached Luperus Lane, he could distinctly hear a band rehearsing their music from a house on the street. He could hear it distinctly because it was very, very loud.
"I hope this isn't one of those bands that thinks louder is better," Brian said worriedly, but he approached the house. He rang the doorbell, then realized they wouldn't be able to hear it over their sound. He contemplated what to do for a moment, then opened the door. He followed their sound to a room halfway into the house, where through the doorway he could see several Wockies playing instruments. Their sound was deafening at the close range, but he decided to wait until they finished their song before he walked in.
When they finished their song (which, unfortunately for Brian, had been their longest one, at more than ten minutes in length), he knocked on the frame of the door before walking in. "Hello, I'm here about the wanted ad you put in the paper?"
The Wockies looked at each other before a singer, apparently the leader of the band, spoke. "Well, we're not crazy about anyone that isn't a Wocky," he said, "but, uh, we'll give you a try. What's that in your case?"
At this the Wockies took on skeptical expressions. "A saxophone in a hard rock band? That would be a first, and frankly, we don't want to be the first to do something."
"What he's saying," chimed in the drummer, "is sorry, but Wock Till You Drop doesn't want a saxophone player, especially if he's a Green Elephante."
"I see," Brian said, crestfallen. "Well, I'll get out of your hair, then." He turned and walked out of the room, then out of the house. Behind him, he heard Wock Till You Drop start playing a different song.
He looked back at his newspaper. The second address was in Figueroa Court - on the other side of town. "Is it really worth it to go all the way over there?" Brian asked himself. "I'll just get rejected again."
But, he didn't have any other plans for the day, so he decided to take the walk. After a while, he arrived at Figueroa Court. He didn't hear any music on the street, very much unlike the scene he had just left.
"Well, howdy!" someone called from their yard, catching Brian by surprise. "Are you a musician with that band over there?" The old Poogle shakily lifted a hand and pointed to his left.
"Yes, sir," Brian called back. "They put an ad in the Times, and I'm coming to audition."
"Well, good luck. They're pretty talented over there, but you look like you'd fit in."
Brian said, "Thanks," but the old man had already turned and started back to his house. Brian went back on his way.
Not many houses over from the old Poogle was a tall, dull grey house. Brian double-checked the address to make sure it was the band's. He could faintly hear the sound of music coming from inside the house. He saw a doorbell, and pressed the button. He heard it ring, and then the music stopped. Moments later, the door opened and a Chia appeared.
"You rang?" The Chia chuckled slightly. He was painted grey, wore grey and black clothes, and sported a pair of sunglasses.
"Yes, I'm here about the ad you placed in the Neopian Times." Brian lifted his instrument case slightly. "My name's Brian, and I've got an alto sax here."
"Well, come on in." The Chia entered the house, and Brian followed. "We do need an alto player, and I can tell you've got some skill."
They entered a room where several other musicians were waiting. "We've got an audition," the Chia announced. "This is Brian, and he's got a sax to play some tunes on."
After Brian played some scales and ditties, after he and the band played a couple songs together, and after a person-to-person interview, the band took a vote. The decision was unanimous: Brian could join the band.
"Welcome to Jazzmosis," Albert the Chia said. "You'll need to get painted Grey, but that can wait. Let's play some music..."