The Fruit Bat


During one outdoor concert, I was midway through my concert when I looked down and noticed an unusual liquid on my keyboard.

I'm always amazed at how my brain functions when I'm well into performing a song. One part of my brain is focussed on singing in tune, another part on playing the right notes on my keyboard or piano, another part is focussed on the crowd - are they connecting with the song? Yet another part of my brain is focussed on my band or other musicians who are accompanying me. And then there's the part of my brain that is focussed on remembering the lyrics to the song, of which many people would question the accuracy.

It surprises me that there is this whole other part of my brain, completely disconnected to the intricacies of the music that I am performing. That's the part of my brain that can calmly critique what a lady was thinking when she chose to wear her moo-moo dress to my concert. Or whether that couple in the fifth row are having an argument. It's the part of my brain that will tell me what I'd like to eat at the end of the show. It analyses seemingly endless cues that are happening around me, despite me singing with all my heart and giving all my energy to a performance.

This part of my brain started to analyse what this weird substance was on my keyboard, (and now on my fingers).

The liquid seemed pretty thick, and in the partial light I saw that it was kind of an indigo colour. As I played, my brain started to try and work out what the liquid was, and how it had arrived on my keyboard in the middle of a song.

Ink! It looked just like ink. I remembered some children running around near my keyboard before I started to play. They must have thrown a leaky pen onto my keyboard.

As I continued to sing, now moving my fingers down the octave to play out of this inky substance, it dawned on me that there was way more liquid here than would be in any pen.

I finished the song and announced that we'd be having a short break.

A man walked over who might have been close enough to see my conundrum.

"Those fruit bats sure are annoying!" he said, gesturing to my keyboard.

It turned out that my keyboard was covered in fruit bat poo - a thick, black-blue liquid.

As I examined it more closely, I could see it all over my keyboard. Half the white notes on my keyboard were now indigo. I imagined it seeping into the depths of my keyboard electronics.

I managed to borrow some nappy wipes and did my best to clean my keyboard from all this fruit bat digestive matter.

Unfortunately, as we packed the keyboard away afterward, I realised that tour co-driver, Mark, would have his usual sleeping position right beside my keyboard in the motorhome. He suffered no lasting ill effects. I think.