Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reckless Trombonist

You might tell me I'm nuts, but I think I've uncovered and solved a medical mystery within a matter of days. Before the medical journals get their hands this, I'm calling it the "Trombone Syndrome." And you can be sure it won't be long before the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta will be sending out an official warning, complete with press releases and coverage by medical analysts on all the cable networks. And I don't doubt that some celebrity like Sean Penn will attach their name to the cause in order for the public to forgive their past jackassian behavior.

Like many great discoveries, this started in a very serendipitous manner. I was at a party this past weekend and they had a salsa band playing all sorts of music designed to make everyone dance like that Chiquita Banana lady of years ago. Well, my hips don't do that sort of thing anymore so I decided to get up close and let the music pour through me, figuring that would be enough of an experience. First, let me tell you, the trombone player was an attractive young woman and I was watching her, trying to decide if the trombone was a sexy instrument; it's not, no matter how you look at it. The thing is just too cumbersome and looks like the underside of my kitchen sink. Even if the trombonist has long, raven-colored hair and is sporting a fancy red beret tilted to one side, it will not offset the awkward nature of the instrument. I don't know what my wife ever saw in that trombone player from Chicago. I'm guessing they broke up because of his instrument (I'm talking about the trombone).

During one of the breaks, I casually mentioned to the salsa trombonist that she look into the maracas instead of that unwieldy bunch of plumbing she was holding. She seemed sort of offended and took little note of my culinary recommendations in regards to the best dips on the buffet table, purposely sampling the ones I thoughtfully indicated were not up to my salsa standards. Did I mention she had a cold? She did; little balls of tissue stuck in her pockets.

So then the band begins playing again, and during one loud passage, the trombone player aimed her instrument at me and let out a blast, and I swear I felt some sort of mist hit my neck. Now I have a cold and I think that's how I caught it, from the trombone. I'm thinking this is not the first time this has happened. These salsa bands (especially the ones with careless trombonists) should issue a warning before taking the stage. There is no telling how many people have unknowingly suffered through the years from virus-spreading trombones.

And another thing: The band ignored my repeated requests to play "Help Me, Rhonda." What kind of band doesn't play this classic party-starter, especially when asked by someone who shows a genuine interest in the spirit of the salsa. And according to my informal survey, taken at the beverage table, other party-goers, too, occasionally enjoy hearing the catchy melody of "Help Me, Rhonda."