Friday, June 15, 2012

You Wanna See My Kazoo?

The thing about performing in front of large groups of children is that there is always the chance that something can go wrong. And, if it goes wrong, live, in front of 300 elementary school children, it can only go wrong in a spectacular fashion.

I have written occasionally about my thrilling musical adventures with my buddy, the children's music super-star, Steve Blunt. Yesterday, we finished up a two-day, four-school tour, doing concerts to kick off town summer reading programs. Our shows are generally somewhat structured, with lots of flexibility so Steve can lean over mid-show and whisper, "You've never heard this song before, but just play along. You'll be fine."

And I'm cool with that.

At one of our shows on this particular venture, he didn't even waste time giving me a heads-up, choosing, rather, to whip out his jaw-harp, start plucking out a tune, and look over at me, mid-way through, as if to say, "What the heck? Why aren't you playing along on this song that you've never heard and can't identify?"

And I was cool with that.

Steve, in fact, is not generally the variable in our shows. Steve, mathematically, is more of a constant with minor variations. It's the kids that are variables.

So very, very variable.

As Steve and I honked our way through our repertoire, we came to the thrilling part of one song where there is a key change. Being essentially a drummer, I have no idea what a key change actually is. I know that during that song, I must switch harmonicas about 3/4 of the way through the song.

And I'm cool with that.

I do not question it. I just know that if I switch harmonicas at the correct time, the song will not sound like crap. I can't explain it. It simply is.

And, yes, I am cool with that, too.

So I switched harmonicas, as I was supposed to and without warning, a kindergarten girl in the front row started pointing frantically toward my crotch, yelling, "I see his kazoo! I see his kazoo!"

I was wearing shorts. She was sitting on the floor directly in front of me.

I was very, very not cool with that.

She kept yelling and pointing, "I see his kazoo! I see his kazoo!"

It took me a heart-stopping second or so to realize that she was talking about the harmonica on my lap.  She had seen me slip one harmonica up to my mouth and slide the other one onto my lap and she evidently thought I was up to something sneaky and perfidious. She felt it was her duty to let the world know.

I made the tragic mistake of looking Steveward at that point. He was working hard to contain the barking howls of laughter that were exploding inside him. I worked hard to do the same, but failed tragically. I did not–despite what you might hear from Steve–actually swallow my harmonica because I started laughing so hard mid-song.

And no, I didn't swallow my kazoo, either, smart-guy.

But I'm definitely not wearing those Daisy Duke shorts to any more of our performances.


1 comment:

Silva Gang said...

Hilarious! Funny blog and great drawings Marty! I'm surprised your mom never had those conversations with you when you were a kid. You know, the ones about the birds and the bees... and about keeping your legs closed, especially when wearing short shorts or skirts. ;)