I recently drove 167 miles to go to a concert.
(Well, I was supposed to drive, but once my intended passenger discovered my car doesn't have an air conditioner, I became the passenger and we drove her car, but that's beside the point…)
When your hometown offers a free concert by William Joseph (read: FREE and WILLIAM JOSEPH), it's worth driving 334 miles to attend. Some things just have to be done.
I first fell in love with William Joseph way, waaaaaay back when I was in my "I'm going to marry Josh Groban" phase. William Joseph is a pianist who signed with David Foster and subsequently opened for Josh on tour. Josh must've written about William on his website, and if Josh was a fan, I was a fan.
A few years later, I got to see William Joseph perform at Women's Conference at BYU and was blown away. (Have you ever seen a pianist's fingers move so fast that they turn into a solid blur? I have…)
But my favorite William Joseph memory doesn’t involve William Joseph at all.
No, my favorite memory involves a pageant and a girl my family lovingly calls "The Slasher."
*I shan't tell who The Slasher is (I mean, I could, but I won't), so you'll have to be content with just the story.*
A couple of years ago I was competing at the Miss Utah pageant. Pageants are a funny business. Contestants may say they want to be friends and that they don't care about the title, but the second you put a sparkly crown in front of them, they'll start fighting like… well… girls.
Basically that means they'll start trying to undermine each other's confidence.
One of the best examples of this (which I didn't see, fortunately) happened a few years before I got involved in pageants. A girl decided that the best way to scare the other girls was to show off her perfect bikini-ready body. Naturally, the most convenient way to do this was to walk around naked.
Girls will do things like exaggerate their accomplishments, claim credit for passing laws in the legislature, get into fundraising wars, and (my favorite) brag about their shoe size during getting-to-know-you games.
Me: "What's something we have in common? Oh! What size of shoe do you wear?"
Girl: "Haha. We definitely won't have the same shoe size."
Me: "What's yours?"
Girl: "I wear a three in children's shoes."
Me: "What size is that in adult?"
Me: "Huh. Me too. Sign the paper."
(True story. And she was ticked.)
Anyway, The Slasher was a master at the intimidation game. She would stalk around like a black widow, pretending to be nice, but secretly eating girls when nobody else was looking.
(Okay, slight exaggeration.)
This year, though, The Slasher decided that the best way to intimidate the other girls was to claim that she had personally written her talent number. The Slasher played the piano, and she spent ages bragging about how amazing her piece was. When her talent rehearsal day came, everyone in the audience waited, ready to be stunned by the astonishing, mind-blowing music she had written all by herself.
(Disclaimer: I WISH I could remember for sure what song it was. I couldn't find my Miss Utah DVD to double check, but I'm 99% positive I've got it right… Just pretend it's the right song, because it probably is.)
She sat down to play, and this is what I heard:
This is what I did:
"Hey, wait a minute."
See, I knew that song. I knew who wrote the particular arrangement. And I knew it wasn't The Slasher.
What's a girl to do with knowledge like that? Hmmmm…
After The Slasher ran through her talent number and went to sit in the audience in order to soak up the praise from her many admirers ("I can't believe you wrote that! It was amazing!"), I might've… maybe... purposely worked my way to her side and said this rather loudly:
Me: "That was a William Joseph piece, wasn't it? From his Within album? He's an amazing pianist."
The Slasher: "Um…well… But… I mean… I reworked it a lot… I had to cut it down…"
Me: "Riiiiiight… Well, see you later!"
INTIMIDATION WAR WON