February 16, 2006

Tales From the Instrument Closet

Another story from the halls of my past that I shared in too great a detail to leave buried underneath thousands of posts on a message board somewhere...

When I was a sophomore in high school, the marching band was heading on a road trip to compete in Florida, so naturally I joined the squad at the last possible moment before the cutoff to make the trip. I also quit the marching band the very day we returned. I played sax all throughout high school, but always hated marching / orchestral band and stuck with jazz classes, where the group was a lot smaller, the improvisation was a lot more interesting and the music was much more fun to play. My big, memorable moment occurred during my two months in the marching band. I went to a fairly large school, and there were always a couple hundred people milling around in the band room before, during and upwards of an hour or two after a practice.

Such was the occasion when my little group wandered into the room before practice one afternoon. We had a little time to kill before the director arrived and set out to perform some mischief. If you've ever been in a high school band before, I'm fairly sure you're familiar with the concept of an instrument storage room, but for the uninitiated; imagine a huge, classroom-sized closet stuffed full of decaying wooden shelves of various shapes and sizes, meant to accommodate every possible musical instrument under the sun. Ours was particularly crypt-like, with rusty, cobwebby old school-owned instruments staggered around the floor, walls and shelves, along with dozens of little hidden treasures, animals, insects and accessories scattered about without much regard for anyone or anything. It was always an adventure to enter this room, and everyone explored it at some point during the day, because it's where we had to keep our own instruments while we attended classes.

Carelessly, I wandered into the equipment room in search of something to destroy my boredom, and from the top of a shelf somewhere near the back I produced a bottle of Gatorade, half-filled and leaking, with some sort of interesting fungus growing around the cap. I showed it to my friends and we all took turns trying to guess the mystery liquid, while I tried to ignore the bottle's "sweat," which had been coating my hands the entire time. Finally, after a few minutes, another friend arrived and proudly identified it as the bottle a common acquaintance had used to relieve himself on the bus during a long road trip several months beforehand. Suddenly, I lost control of my body. I don't know why, but the idea that there could be piss in this bottle, leaking out and coating my hands and shoes with delightful goodness, it just hadn't occurred to me. I freaked.

Or, more accurately, I dropkicked. I wanted to get this thing away from me like nothing else, so I punted it without a second thought. Into a room with roughly 100 people in it. It was one of those events that moved in slow motion. I saw the plastic bottle scooting across the floor in a blur. I saw the solid metal folding chair it was targeting. I saw the girls sitting directly behind it, making one of those deep-voiced, overly comedic "nnnnnNNOOOOOooooo.." motions with their mouths that you always see when something's going in slow motion on TV or film. And then I saw the collision, followed by, you guessed it, the burst.

Actually, I didn't see the burst so much as I felt it. As did everyone else in the room. The bottle ruptured almost in half, converting the liquid into mist and giving everyone in the room, EVERYONE in the room, a horrific golden shower. There was silence, and I did the natural thing. I bolted.

Eventually, they managed to identify me (one of the hundred eyewitnesses must have done me in) and I did my time. I was suspended for a full week. The kid who had actually done the pissing got half a week. They tried to force me to clean it up, but my dad raised all hell about the lack of a hazmat suit or something and that grisly task was left to the janitorial staff.

posted by drqshadow at 8:02 PM 0 comments