The Triangle Buffoon

by good2begone


In 7th grade I was in the band…..keep in mind I said “the” band not “a” band.
There’s a difference you know.

Being in a “band” means you and a few buddies have aspirations of being the next Rolling Stones or Aerosmith. It means you get together and try to learn and play instruments together for the purpose of playing shows and being loud and obnoxious.

Being in “the” band means it was a class. In my case it was an elective. It was either that or art. I tried that one already. Apparently having the ability to write your own name in the snow while peeing is not very impressive to the art teacher. Also, our first lesson was learning how to draw a bowl of fruit. I drew stick figure ninjas. It was requested that I channel my energies through music.

I was told I was going to play the trombone. I giggled and said, ” you want me to play tom’s bone?”

Strike one. One more teacher unimpressed with me.

I was the worst trombone player in the history of all 7th grade. You knew how good you were based on the “Chair System”. There were 4 other trombone players that year. I was chair #5. To my credit I did get a lot of attention in that class. The trombone makes great loud fart noises. Not too great when I chose to utilize them during an after school performance. I was told to just “pretend” like I was playing. I didn’t.

Strike 2

Shortly after the performance. The instructor had a talk with me. He felt my strong point in the band was not playing a brass instrument and that I should be delegated to something more my style. I thought DRUMS HERE I COME!

He handed me the dreaded triangle. I tried to argue and state my case.

“This is not an instrument, it’s a shape!”

He just smiled widely and said, ” It’s too late to change classes. You play this….when you are supposed to…and I will pass you. If not you will fail.”

Stupid triangle.

There are like….no songs for the triangle. No solos. Nada. Not even a chair system for grading. Just me, no chair. I had to stand.

It was school policy that I had to be in performances. It was there that I took my revenge.

I was at the back of the stage for the next performance. I had one “ding” to perform for the hour long show. So pretty much I was ready.

From the beginning of the performance, up until my “ding” , and until the show was over I did what I thought was right. For each number played, for the duration of the number, I did “the robot dance”.

I was out of view of the audience, by design, but in perfect view of my instructor. If he didn’t have the job of guiding his musical flock with his baton, he would have used it on me. But I hit my one note on cue. Smiled. And continued to robot dance.

I was not allowed to be in any more performances. But I passed.

Now any time I hear the bell of an elevator or a microwave or a low fuel ding in the truck, I have the urge to robot dance.

My wife and kids are not impressed with it either.

Strike 3

I’m out.

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