A couple of days ago, I got a message from an online acquaintance of mine, a guitar player who lives about 10 minutes from me. Over the past few years, we've talked on the phone and exchanged emails, but we've never actually met in person or jammed. The last time we spoke, before 2020, he was asking if I could sub for NYE gig, but I was going to be out of town. We left it at "maybe some other time." Fast forward to a couple of days ago, and he sends me a message asking if I was interested in jamming. I had no reason to say no, so I went over that evening with no idea of what I was getting myself into. It sounded like they had band practice scheduled and the regular bass player had to cancel last minute. Long story short, it was shambolic. The lead guitarist seemed adequate, but the drummer was a no-show (i don't think they expected him in the first place). My acquaintance was, how shall we say, rough around the edges. He also was the primary vocalist. Maybe he could actually carry a tune years ago before his 2-packs-of-Marlboros-a-day-habit obliterated his voice. It was bad. Like an angry duck fighting with an ornery goat kind of bad. Like, "how did I get myself into this" kind of bad. After about 30 minutes, I was seriously thinking of sending my wife a text message and having her call me back with a "family emergency." Mercifully, the power went out a few minutes later due to storms in the area. I packed up quickly and headed out. I said "nice to meet you...hope things work out with your regular bass player." I also mentioned my schedule is pretty packed this fall, which it is, with other band/family/work obligations. The next day, my phone and email started blowing up. Basically, this guy thinks I'm his new bass player. He wants to start booking gigs immediately. I can tell by the way he's talking that I'm the bass player he's been searching for, and now he's ready to hit the stage. Yeaaah, umm, no. I mean, I'll be the first to admit that I'm pretty mediocre, but this band is hopeless. Now I feel bad because I need to call the guy and weasel out of a commitment I never even made in the first place. I've been to plenty of auditions (and vice versa) where I've called afterward and said "thanks, but I'm not feeling it...best of luck." But this guy seems like a bit of a friend since we've had a good repoire for a few years. Why do I feel so dirty about this?