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“Secret Sex, A Book Alive Online,” written and lived by John Scott G.

Chapter 23 – “Mouthing Off.”

Some of my previous odes to self-pleasure are having an influence in the world, starting with the FookMovie production of the “Free Nude Photos” music video and continuing in this caprice…. Please join us now in celebration of one the greatest contributions America has made to world culture: The Talk Show!

“Welcome to ‘The Sheena Metal Experience’ here on LATalkRadio. I’m your host, Sheena Metal, and I’m very excited about the program we have for you today. It’s not often we get people from the world of classical music, and today we have two members of a highly respected chamber orchestra, the Conservatory of Saint Vincent in the Grove. Joining me in the studio now are — ”

“No names, please.”

“Oh? Why is that?”

“It’s an anti-ego thing. We like to feel that we are speaking for all musicians. For all artists, actually.”

“Really. Well, okay then, what’ll I call the both of you?”

“I am the oboist.”

“And I am the harpist.”

“Got it. So, Ms. Harpist, tell us a little about how you first became interested in classical music.”

“That did not occur.”

“Sorry. . .?”

“I never became interested in classical music.”

“You didn’t?”


“Wait, you’re telling me that the harpist of the Conservatory of Saint Vincent in the Grove isn’t into classical music. Wow, that’s fascinating. What kind of music do you like? Rock ‘n’ roll? Country? How about polka?”

“Klezmer is excellent.”

“Klezmer! Well, okay, that’s an interesting choice for a harpist.”

“Thank you.”

“And what about you, Mr. Oboist?”

“Yes, I also enjoy Klezmer. It’s so very spritely. However, my main interest is punk.”

“You’re into punk? An oboe player is into punk?”

“Oh yes. In fact — ”

“Both of us are.”

“Really. So you, too? Punk?”

“Oh yes, I also like punk. But unfortunately they just are not writing much punk for the harp.”

“Or for the oboe.”

“I see. You know, in addition to this show I also have a music show here on LATalkRadio and so I know you don’t find a lot of punk compositions for classicists.”

“That is correct, Ms. Metal.”

“You can call me Sheena. But do you two find that at all surprising? I mean, considering the approach of the punk genre, there would tend to be an emphasis on amplified instruments and the oboe is a reed-based wind instrument, and the harp is a fairly subtle stringed instrument.”

“We have amps.”

“Really, you have amplifiers?”

“Oh yes. In fact, they are right here. Let me remove the dust covers. . . ”

“Is that what those are? I haven’t seen knitted amp covers before. Yes, I see that you have indeed brought amps! Will you perform for us later?”

“Of course. We are very proud of our electronic sonic augmentation and intensification systems.”

“Can you tell us about them?”

“Certainly, yes indeed. As you see, I have a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. You know it?”

“Tube amp.”

“That is correct Ms. Metal.”

“No, really, it’s fine to call me Sheena. We actually like using names here on the show.”

“Fine, fine. Well, you are correct, Sheena. The Hot Rod Deluxe is an excellent tube amplifier. It has three 12AX7A tubes and two 5881/6L6 tubes, a solid state rectifier and a 12-inch speaker. It gives me 40 watts of tube-fueled power and I can assure you that I know how to use it!”

“To blast out your harp sounds.”

Mais oui. Absolument. I especially enjoy the fact that this amplifier possesses three different channels: you have the Normal channel, plus a Drive channel, and then you have my personal favorite, the one with the most creative name: the More Drive channel. As a woman, you probably also like More Drive.”

“Oh you bet I do. So you like the More Drive channel. That would be, ah, interesting for the harp. And how about you with your oboe, what amp do you use for that?”

“I have a solid state amp, a Crate DX212.”

“That has built-in digital effects, doesn’t it?”

“That’s right, Sheena. You are up on a lot of classic gear!”

“I lived with a guitar player for several years and I play in my own band.”

Credit - Author Photo: Phil Hatten“Good for you! Let us know when you need oboe and harp. When I perform, it is through the Crate, which gives me 100 watts of power through two 12-inch speakers. I find it cuts through most other sounds no matter where we might be performing.”

“I’ll bet it does. And you must be one of the only electric oboe players around. And you’re one of the few electric harpists, as well.”

“Oh yes indeed! We are both quite proud of that.”

“So you guys are Loud ‘n’ proud?”

“Yes, exactly, Sheena! As you will see when you allow us to demonstrate our prowess a little later in the program.”

“That would be awesome.”

“But first Sheena, let me say that both of us are often quite depressed about the sorry state of musical composition in the world these days.”

“Okay, tell us all a little more about that. Why do you guys feel that way?”

“Well, Sheena, you see, we are saddened because oboe and harp players are quite bereft of repertoire in fields such as rock, reggae, Klezmer, and punk. All the truly exciting genres. Instead, we are reduced to making a living playing chamber music crap.”

“Wow. ‘Chamber music crap.’ I have to tell you, I rather enjoy a lot of the recordings of the Conservatory.”

“They are nothing but rubbish.”

“You both feel that way?”

“Yes, quite so, Sheena. Bloody rubbish, the lot of them.”

“Amazing. Okay, well, what made you guys take up the oboe and the harp?”

“Good exercise for the hands.”

“Yes, that is it exactly. One must keep one’s fingers, hands, and wrists flexible.”

“Right, for playing your music.”

“No, Sheena, for wanking.”


“Yes, wanking. You have that word over here, I believe?”

“We call it different things. But that’s. . . fascinating. You both describe yourselves as wankers, then?”

“Oh my yes indeed.”

“Oh yes, Sheena. You know what they say: wanker is as wanker does.”

“Actually, I had never heard that particular saying before. But that’s awesome. I appreciate having open discussions on this show and so this is excellent. Okay, so tell me, do you agree with Malcolm Gladwell in his book, ‘Outliers,’ that success results from at least 10,000 hours of practice?”

“Ten thousand hours, yes, that sounds about right.”

“So you both would agree you have put 10,000 hours of practice into your, um, let us say, pursuits?”

“Playing our ‘instruments,’ you mean?”


“Oh yes, Sheena.”

“At least that amount, Sheena. I mean, we wanted to be really good. Whatever you are approaching in earnest, you need to relegate yourself to long hours of practice. To learn, to understand, to achieve the level of perfection where you can honestly look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘Yes, now I am making this work properly.’ You need to do that.”

“Awesome. And you, do you also feel the same way?”

“Yes, indeed. And I also sometimes use a mirror.”

“Right, right, I see! So, Ms. Harpist, Mr. Oboist, you said you were speaking for all musicians, all artists. But you’re now the ones doing the speaking. So do you still feel the need for anonymity?”

“Certainly. I often find that I’m distracted if there’s anyone else in the room with me.”

“No, I meant — ”

“Of course, in England, they sometimes have what are known as group wanks. A bit difficult to get used to at first, but, well, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do!’ Or in this case, as the Liverpudlians do.”

“Also, Sheena, we have brought along some props to aid our discussion.”


“Or some aids to prop our discourse!”

“Think of us as helpers, Sheena. All we want to do is help.”

“Look at it this way: we are thinking of that man or woman who is lonely and adrift.”

“We want to pass along our expertise. After all, our 10,000 hours of practice has resulted in a certain amount of knowledge, Sheena.”

“I see. So what have you brought to share with us? That looks like a chamois.”

“Correct, Sheena. You know your automobile wash ‘n’ dry implements, I see.”

“Well, I own a Mercedes and like to keep it clean, sometimes.”

“Right. Well, a chamois can be good. We have several other examples here. . . an old pillowcase. . . ”

“A cloth diaper. Completely clean, of course.”

“I hope so.”

“Certain kinds of brushes can be good.”

“Yes, soft paint brushes, like the ones used for watercolors. . . ”

“Make-up brushes can work really well.”

“Yes, so very delicate and supple.”

“A common handkerchief, un-starched of course.”

“Yes, and feathers.”

“Yes, and ferns.”

“Wait, ferns?”

“Yes, Sheena, and layers of cheesecloth.”

“Yes, or an old flannel bathrobe.”

“Well, an old flannel anything.”

“Um, ferns? Really?”


“Uh-huh. So okay, Ms. Harpist, Mr. Oboist, let me ask you, a lot of this seems male-oriented. What do you two think of vegetables?”

“Ah, excellent question, Sheena! Consider a cucumber, for example.”

“Well, not for a man.”

“But just peachy for a woman.”

“A peach can work, but just watch out for the pit.”

“You know, Sheena, the orchestra has a saying: melons for men, tubers for women.”

“Wait, the whole chamber orchestra is involved with this?”

“Certainly. All chamber orchestras are into wanking, Sheena.”

“After all, Sheena, that’s why they are called chamber orchestras.”

“You’re putting me on.”

“Hard to put one over on you, Sheena!”

“Ah! Okay, good. Awesome. All right, so you’re going to play now? Your instruments, I mean.”

“Well — ”

“I mean your harp and your oboe.”

“We will play anything you like, Sheena!”

“That is correct, Sheena. So, shall we plug in?”

“You bet. And I love it when you talk that way.”
• To read the next chapter or pick up where you left off, visit the main index at: — or visit the Table of Contents for “Secret Sex” at:

“Secret Sex, A Book Alive Online,” written and lived by John Scott G, is Copr. © 2011-2012 by JSG, all rights reserved under U.S. and international copyright conventions. Commercial use in any form is forbidden without express written permission of the author. Originally published on with permission. Credits: Book cover design: Phil Hatten; Author Photo: Phil Hatten.