We are learning the trumpet. Well, when I say "we", I mean one of us is learning the trumpet. But the walls in our home are such that we're all right there amongst it. For every huff, groan and occasional note that emerges.
I am not complaining. I was the one who encouraged the pursuit of music. The senior recipe tester is blessed with a great many talents. Music is not one of them. As my aunt once fondly commented, "Bless him. He can't get within a bull's roar of a note."
But I digress. We now have in our possession a beautiful instrument, on loan from the school music department. We cared for it diligently for perhaps twenty four hours before we had a problem.
Despite many rules being set out about the appropriate use of the trumpet, one of the junior recipe testers, but not the one engaged in trumpet lessons, decided to have a little turn. About thirty seconds after his turn commenced the mouth piece became resolutely stuck. It should be noted that it was, at least, stuck in the correct position in the trumpet. But it could not be removed.
The senior had a go at getting it out. It stayed stuck. Being the more musical of the two of us, I assumed I would get a different result. I was wrong. I got cranky. The offending junior who put it there might have received a stern talking to. On several occasions.
Because the trumpet could still be played, at least as unskilfully as it was before the incident, we put the matter aside for a few days. But the chickens came home to roost on the morn of the commencement of trumpet tutorials. On this day, the trumpet needed to be taken to school.
A trumpet comes in a case in which it fits beautifully. Until the trumpet is 10cm longer because the mouth piece is inserted. Then it does not fit beautifully in its case. In fact, it does not fit at all. Which means the case cannot be closed. Which means it cannot easily be taken anywhere. A school is considered particularly treacherous.
In the absence of any good ideas, I went into Macgyver mode. I found a large rubber band to put around the case. It held the trumpet in its open case precariously. I then discerned that the band master was at the school that very morning. He would surely know what to do. I announced intention for us all to go and speak to the band master.
One junior became hysterical. I assumed it was the put-suncreen-on-we're-heading-out-the-door apoplexy. That's what it is most times. Until, through his tears, he begged me not to make him talk to the band master.
It was then that I realised he had assumed he was going before judge and jury, to explain how a mouthpiece became inexorably inserted into the trumpet. We eventually sorted that out, with my promise to protect him from the firing squad, and got out the door.
Counseling a junior takes time, and so of course, by the time we got to school the band master had left. I was advised that perhaps the trumpet could go straight to the classroom in which the tutorial was to take place.
A large sign on the classroom door said, "Knock and enter". I did as I was bid and opened the door. Unfortunately, rather than the teacher I was expecting, I was greeted by the teacher speaking to a classroom full of parents. I frantically started to explain why I was there. At that point the rubber band around the trumpet case snapped spectacularly.
I caught the trumpet before it hit the floor.