(Editor’s Note: Welcome to the debut of our new humor column, The Resonator – from the pen of satirist and performer Greg Hess.)
RALEIGH, N.C. — Gary Plapinger (48), a local Guitar Center salesman, expressed surprise upon realizing that the person he had been explaining chords to was none other than acclaimed guitarist Molly Tuttle.
“I feel tricked,” remarked Plapinger in retrospect. “I dedicated a considerable amount of time to that gal’s musical education.”
According to witness Ashlyn Lockerbie (32), the entire interaction could have been avoided. “Molly [Tuttle] politely explained to him multiple times that she had been playing for years,” Lockerbie stated. “She wasn’t even looking to buy a guitar.”
Plapinger, however, held a different perspective. “I was suggesting she get a ukulele; thought her kids could enjoy it too,” he explained, despite Tuttle not currently having children.
Observing the cringe-worthy spectacle from her hiding place behind a bass amplifier, Lockerbie later managed to escape through the loading dock to avoid Plapinger. “I’m not proud of running,” she said with a haunted look. “But I had to save myself.”
In a statement released on Friday, Grammy award-winning Tuttle revealed that she had entered the store seeking directions after leaving her cellphone in an Uber. To her dismay, this led to an hour and twenty-minute encounter with Plapinger, including a lecture on the greatest guitar solos of all time, a photo presentation of his 1999 canary yellow Camaro, and an impromptu performance of “Stairway to Heaven,” all without Tuttle’s consent.
According to Facebook, Plapinger has been a part-time sales associate at Guitar Center since 2016, following his divorce. He also serves as an alternate lead guitarist for the local Led Zeppelin cover band, Boogie With Stu.
“I even added her to the guest list for my show at Foamie’s that night. Surprise, surprise, she didn’t show up!” he exclaimed, before turning his attention to a woman perusing pedal boards. “Her loss. She could have learned how to rock,” he added with a shrug.
Tuttle is currently touring the United Kingdom with Tommy Emmanuel and said that the incident has motivated her to aid other women facing similar situations.
“I never pass a music retailer without checking on the women inside and ensuring they want to be there,” said Tuttle, whose Run Don’t Strum Foundation has rescued numerous musicians to date. “After what I’ve been through, it’s the least I can do.”
Greg Hess is a comedy writer and performer in Los Angeles. His work has been featured in The American Bystander, The Onion, Shouts & Murmurs, Points in Case, and he cohosts the hit satirical podcast MEGA.