Musical weapons of mass destruction
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 17:03:26 +0000
NEWS FLASH! The Pentagon has just issued this new posting.
Musical weapons of mass destruction
It's hard to believe that the Pentagon website has this surprisingly un-PC sub-section listing of some more obscure WMD's (Weapons of Mass Destruction): The following is a list of more obscure forms of domestic "Band" Weapons of Mass Destruction. These are the most insidious and dangerous weapons of all. To the common lay person they appear innocuous and non-lethal, but in the right hands they present a threat of incalculable proportions. Please read the following and heed all precautions therewith.
PICCOLO: The minute dimensions of this weapon make it especially lethal as it is easily concealed and can be set off just about anywhere. As a solo weapon this device emits a high pitched squeal that directly targets the inner ear. The application of this tone temporarily disorients its intended victim rendering him unable to react. The natural reaction of covering one's ears to reduce the intense pain causes military personnel within a 100 yard radius to drop their weapons leaving them defenceless to further attack. Applied in concert with a second piccolo of slightly higher or lower pitch, the weapons produce the effect of an ice pick through the eardrum and may cause profuse bleeding of the aural cavity. These weapons are constructed in 3 forms; metal, composite materials, wood, or any combination of the three. The all metal piccolos are especially lethal. The only countermeasure to this weapon is to apply psychological warfare in the following manner. Compliment the musician on her: Clothes Hair Shoes. This will distract the musician(s) from emitting her deadly tones and cause her to gab endlessly about herself. This in itself takes us to another problem man has dealt with for a thousand years and to which there is no antidote. Good Luck!
FLUTE: Slightly less effective as the piccolo but still nothing to be trifled with. The flute possesses the same destructive qualities as the piccolo but is required in greater numbers to do so. 6th and 7th grade females are especially effective with this weapon and are to be approached with extreme caution.
OBOE: This weapon may appear harmless at first sight. The instrument's stealth qualities lure its intended victims into a false state of security, and then hit you without mercy. The oboe itself is a harmless composite or wooden conical tube. Once the ordnance (reed) is inserted, it is a weapon of tremendous power. One comforting factor is that the oboe is only as dangerous as the musician who wields it. At first glance the operator of the oboe appears sweet and demure and quite approachable. Do not be fooled by this technique of deception. The oboist is actually a very high strung and temperamental foe. This is caused by the perpetual search for the perfect reed, which we all know doesn't exist. Those who play on plastic reeds are the bottom dwellers of the oboe world and especially dangerous. The oboe is capable of producing a tone of laser-like quality. The sheer capabilities of volume produced can overpower an entire concert band. The resulting backpressure produced by over blowing has a two way effect. It allows the musician to play seemingly forever on one breath resulting in sympathetic vibrations causing bullet proof glass and diamonds to shatter into deadly flying shards. The warning signs of impending doom occur when the musician raises the body of the instrument to her mouth to blow dust from under a key. This is how the weapon is cocked. If you ever see an oboist do this, run for cover my friend for all Hell is about to break loose. The second effect of this weapon's backpressure is to cause its owner to eventually go insane... On rare occasion an oboist's head has been known to explode while firing their weapon. The only countermeasure to this weapon is to remove and professionally destroy the ordnance (reed). Doing so will also incur the wrath of its owner, so use extreme caution. The first master of the oboe as a weapon was Melvin "Schwartz" (Oklahoma All-State Band 1982), name changed to protect the guilty. He single handedly destroyed a performance of the Howard Hanson Romantic Symphony Finale under McBeth with his laser-like tones and inconsistent attacks. To this day he has a bounty on his head and was last seen tending bar in Tijuana.
Eb CLARINET: The Eb clarinet is the Tasmanian Devil of the woodwind family. Entirely uncontrollable and unpredictable, its blunderbuss like emissions can occur without warning. It is as much a danger to its owner as it is to the intended victim. For this reason the Eb clarinet is not in wide use today and only used by highly trained professionals and circus band daredevils.
Bb CLARINET: As the flute is to the piccolo, the Bb Clarinet is to the Eb Clarinet. The only time a Bb clarinet is considered truly dangerous is in the hands of a saxophonist doubling on clarinet. His seemingly lacking ability to adjust his air to the clarinet causes a tone so forced and horrific that decorum prevents me from continuing.
ALTO, BASS, CONTRA BASS CLARINET: The Scud missiles of the clarinet family. Considered to be low grade weapons, these clarinets are of limited lethality due to the geekiness of their operators.
BASSOON: This is a weapon designed to start wars. Used primarily indoors, this weapon's unique tone can cause great embarrassment in social situations. Also known as the "farting bed post" the bassoonist will hide behind a set of curtains at an official state dinner or similar function. With the help of a diplomatic operative during the meal, the intermittent flatulent tones emitted by the bassoon can be blamed on certain visiting high government officials, causing great embarrassment and the possible beginning of hostilities between two countries. The best countermeasure to the bassoon involves lighter fluid and matches (you fill in the blanks).
SOPRANO SAXOPHONE: (See Kenny G) AHHHHHHHHHRGHHH!!!!!
ALTO SAX: Originally invented by Adolph Sax as the result of an evening of much cheap wine and a dare by a drunken horn player, he produced an instrument that is neither brass nor woodwind. The only intended victim of this vile weapon is the concert band French horn player. Nothing is worse than hearing a great brass lick only to be obscured by the overly reedy tone and wobbly "vibrato" of some half crazed alto sax doubling the horns and overplaying them. Composers and arrangers are to blame as much as the alto players. Older players unable to temper their 1940's swing band vibrato are also a danger. The only counter measure is to question their manhood by daring the player to play Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee" at 230 beats per minute. That should shut 'em up!
TENOR SAX: (See Alto Sax) Counter measure, throw down the gauntlet with a dare to render John Coltrane's "Giant Steps".
BARITONE SAX: A tenor or alto wannabe, this instrument is flaccid and harmless unless played in the style of Stephen "Doc" Kupka (Tower of Power). His sporadic well placed grunting and punctuated style, when discovered by young players, can cause discomfort among the average school director. The only counter measure to this is self medication by the teacher in the form of tequila shots or similar substances.
TRUMPET: Obviously one would think that a trumpeter's greatest weapon is his ability to play high notes at great volume. This is a misconception that has been perpetuated unwittingly by great performers like Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie. The danger is not in the player who can play high. The danger lies in the player who THINKS he can play high. A young player's incessant screaming and inflated ego are a danger to himself and all those around him. The best effective counter measure is to allow the player to continue his high note practice (even encourage him to go higher and louder) until his lips explode or he cracks a tooth jamming his face into the mouthpiece.
FRENCH HORN: French horns thankfully are a danger only to a small group of people, as their bells point in the wrong direction. They are only a danger to those unfortunate enough to have to sit behind them. Their intonation problems and constant cracking of pitches is of great annoyance to those brass players sitting behind them. Though lately the introduction of plexiglass reflectors has reduced the danger to those behind the horns, unfortunately it presents a greater danger to the players themselves and those in front of them. Upon hearing their actual tones coming back at them, some hornists have been known to actually puke right on stage due to the hideousness of their own tone.
TROMBONE: A unique application, the instrument itself is not the real danger... The person playing the instrument is what is truly dangerous. The trombone and its player are the original "smart bomb". This weapon is most effective in high tech warfare areas. Insertion of one or more trombonists into a warfare computer centre instantly lowers the aggregate I.Q. in the room. The trombonist's incredible stupidity is a lethal bio weapon that spreads at an incredible rate. Within 5 minutes of exposure all computer operators within a 50 foot radius are reduced to drooling idiots incapable of the simplest motor functions and bowel control. Use of trombonists as weapons was outlawed by the Geneva Convention in 1999 after an ugly incident at a Dixieland convention in Sacramento.
BARITONE/EUPHONIUM: This is a weapon of mass confusion. Euphonium players are the Rodney Dangerfields of the brass world. Young players especially don't know their place in the band. They double French horns, trombones, saxophones, tubas in octaves, bass clarinets, bassoons...yadda, yadda, yadda! Euphonium orchestral parts are played by the 2nd trombone or worse, the tuba player! For this reason most
euphonium.........baritone...(WHATEVER!) players resort to doubling on trombone. This is when they become dangerous. (see trombone).
TUBA: This is a sonic weapon that when set off can produce sub-sonic tones causing a general feeling of uneasiness and queasiness to those within its effective range. Also one may attach a sousaphone to a marching column of soldiers. As all tubists drag, the ever slowing performance of oom-pahs will eventually reduce the marching soldiers to a snail's pace causing them to be late for a battle or not arrive at all. The most effective countermeasure is to feed the tubist with great quantities of beer (imports if you have them). It won't improve his playing but makes him more enjoyable to be around.
SNARE DRUM/TRAP SET: This weapon affects only a very small demographic: Teenage girls and the fathers of these girls with steady jobs and liquid bank accounts. The snare drummer and the jazz/rock variety of set player act almost like a computer worm. The drummer will attach itself to an unsuspecting teenage girl and milk her and her father's finances in such a way as to not be noticed by the father until it is too late. Drummers are the leaches of the music world and can only be countered by being forced to get a real day job. This will reduce the drummer's "coolness" factor and the daughter will immediately lose interest.