Wednesday, March 05, 2008


An extra-curricular perk

I have a cold or something. I woke up this morning with my head so blocked up that hearing in my right ear was impeded.

I grabbed my bag, indoor shoes and guitar and dragged myself off to school.

(Note: I always take my guitar to the elementary schools; I have been called upon to sing a number of ditties in class, including "on top of the world", "you are my sunshine" and other such timeless classics.)

When the headmaster materialised suddenly next to my desk with a guitar of his own and a bunch of sheet music, I had a suspicion that things were not about to get any better. It turned out that the second period was the goodbye concert for the departing 6th grade and the powers that be were desirous of my contribution to the non-music. I pulled my own axe out of its bag and strummed my way through a practice round with the head, secretly grateful that he was standing on my hearing-impaired right hand side, as his guitar was about as in tune as an aviary full of mad parrots.

Fortunately or otherwise, the head's tin ear also prevented him from noticing that I wasn't exactly making light work of the music. After the one practice round, he declared himself satisfied and disappeared, leaving me to squint at the music and wonder what the heck I was doing even coming to school today.

One lesson later, I was strumming as best I could through the tune in a sports hall full of children. Thankfully, there were keyboards and drums playing too, so nobody could really tell that I was anything less than Clapton.

And Dan lives to fight another day.

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