The guy with a ukulele on the exhibition floor: Bill Barnes

November is the month for conventions.  At the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) convention we enjoyed presenting to a great group of people. On blogging.  Then after our presentation we toured the exhibition floor.  This was the time to see new books, find freebies and check out the contests.  Since this was a convention for English teachers you would guess correctly.  There were a lot of books.

Bill Barnes with his Flea concert ukulele

After filling a large bag with free or very inexpensive books I was ready to leave the exhibition floor.  But just as I thought I was weary, there on a vendor’s table was a maroon flea — a uke!

Suddenly I was revitalized, picked up the uke and strummed a wee song of happiness.  The vendor, cartoonist Bill Barnes, said, “You play?”

My skill with the ukulele may not have been apparent  or because he was a cartoonist he may have errantly chosen sarcasm.

When asked about his ukulele he said it was, “inherently an ironic instrument.” He takes his ukulele with him everywhere. Yes, Everywhere. So he said. And there it was, his concert flea, with him on the exhibition floor as he advertised his cartoon “Unshelved”.

I checked his website for funnies featuring ukuleles and there’s a total of about six. There really ought to be a cartoon about taking your ukulele everywhere. Everywhere.

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