Our last musical adventure began with a shriek, followed by a haunting melody. But just to mix things up, MomBrain’s music fest last night began with the music and ended with much screaming. This is because I had to relearn the lesson that every beginning musician knows: Thou Shalt Not Chew Gum While Playing.
It began with the garlic – four cloves of it, in the lovely pasta and feta cheese dish I made for dinner. In my rusty musical retirement, I’d forgotten that it probably wasn’t a good idea to eat garlic immediately before singing with other human beings. No time to brush! I popped a stick of gum and ran off to rehearsal.
You need to know that MomBrain is blind before her time. Reading sheet music requires reading glasses. But I cannot see the conductor without peering over the tops of the glasses or removing them entirely. Listening to the conductor’s lengthy directions, I took off my glasses and hung them from my mouth. But then, with no warning, she launched eighteen third-graders into “The Crawdad Song” and I couldn’t see the music. I pulled my glasses from my mouth only to see a long string of chewing gum stretching from the earpiece. I tried to pull the gum off, but now a sticky triangle of gum connected my left hand to my glasses to my mouth. Crapcrapcrap. If we hadn’t been in a church I would have said the F word, third-graders be damned. Four measures of piano silence went by before I jammed the glasses onto my face and willed my sticky fingers to fly, mama, fly over that keyboard!
You get a line and I’ll get a pole
I’ll meet you down by the crawdad hole
End of song. End of all hope. Off come the glasses, and now there’s a wad of gum behind my right ear that is still connected to my glasses. Holy crap, there goes the conductor again launching into “Accentuate the Positive” and I know I’m doomed so I jam the glasses back on and finish the rehearsal wondering if peanut butter really does take gum out of hair, wondering if anyone saw me stretching gum around like silly string, wondering if the conductor will make me write sentences for setting a bad example. I will not chew gum in rehearsal. I will not chew gum in rehearsal. I will not chew gum in rehearsal.