September 18th @ Free Times Café

Has this ever happened to you? (Having asked this question, I’m now a bit worried, because what if what I’m about to tell you that has happened to me, and I think may have happened to you, hasn’t happened to you? Maybe an experience that I think is almost universal is really exclusive to me. Now, I’m starting to feel a bit vulnerable but I’m gonna move forward with the question – because, as Van Morrison memorably said: “It’s too late to stop now.” And just to be clear I’m referring here to the younger Van Morrison, not the COVID denying older curmudgeonly Van Morrison).

Where was I – oh yeah – has this ever happened to you? You wake up (so at this point I’m pretty confident that everyone is still with me because if you’re reading this, no matter what time of day or night, you must have woken up, so we’re all good).

And then, after you wake up, you brush your teeth (and while I might not have everyone with me, I’m pretty sure most people brush their teeth at some point after they wake up and so I’m still feeling pretty confident).

And then, after waking up and brushing your teeth, you drink some orange juice. And this is where I’m focusing – you wake up, you brush your teeth and then you drink orange juice. Because if this has happened to you, and it must have happened to more than a few of you, you know what happens next. And what happens next is this orange juice which you’ve always liked – this sweet bit of sunshiny goodness (you’re welcome for the plug Florida orange growers) tastes bitter, it tastes sour, it tastes so bad you never want to drink orange juice again.

So why is it that if you wake up, drink orange juice and then brush your teeth everything’s fine, but if you wake up, brush your teeth and then drink orange juice the experience is awful. What’s going on? As it turns out there is a scientific explanation for this phenomenon. You see, some of the ingredients in toothpaste coat your tongue and inhibit the receptors there that detect sweetness for a brief period of time and, as a result, if you drink orange juice after brushing your teeth, your tongue can’t taste any of that sweet goodness, you just taste the sour parts of the juice (and a shout out here to one of my favourite new podcasts, “No Such Thing as a Fish”, where I first learned the fascinating answer to this perplexing question).

The reason I’ve been pondering this question is because, as many of you know, Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room (the band I am honoured to be a small part of) has started up our monthly shows at the Free Times Café – College just west of Spadina – again. And this month, as with most months, we will be playing our gig on the third Sunday of month, which this month is September 18.

And if you’ve been to one of our gigs (and if you have, I hope you come back to see us soon, and if you haven’t, I still hope you come to see us soon) you will know that bagpipes are played – pretty much always at the start of the show. And I have always wondered why, after our bagpipe tune, the next song we play sometimes sounds a bit off to me (not that the audience notices because I think they’re just relieved that the bagpipes are finished – at least for a while). And now I know the answer, because bagpipes are the toothpaste of musical instruments.

Some of you might think comparing bagpipes to toothpaste is unfair – although whether to bagpipes or toothpaste I’m not sure – while for others it may explain a musical conundrum. Why don’t you determine this for yourself. Come see us at the Free Times on September 18. The show starts at 8 pm and there is lots of good food and interesting drinks. And in honour of the coming of fall there will be no cover.

Hope to see you there.


P.S. I’m not sure what happens if you brush your teeth and then play the bagpipes, but thanks for asking.

September 18th Set List:
Set #1: Set #2:
Mist Covered Mountains
Where Does Love Go
Cry If You Want To
The Wanderer
Mad Mission
Nigel’s Love Song
You Win Again
Country Squall
Every Time You Go Away
Rank Stranger
What’s Going On
Dead Skunk
Kilworth Hills
Choo Choo
One Of Us Cannot
Meaghan’s Short Story
Crazy Love
Tramp On The Street
Chemical Workers Song
Drifting Away
Together Again
Stuck In The Airport