I have lot of jokes. A lot of bad, musical jokes. Why does a kazoo hum? Because it doesn’t know the words. What’s the difference between a violin and a cello? The cello burns longer. What did the drummer get on his math test? Drool. My standard joke when I sell a green recorder is: “You know you can’t play this green recorder right away…….it’s not ripe yet.” The joke usually gets a smile from the parent and a “Huh?” from the student until it finally dawns on him/her that it’s just a joke.
A couple of years ago I was at an elementary school Sneek A Peek selling recorders for the music director. I had a mom and her son step up to buy a recorder. The boy picked out a green one. While the mom was writing the check, I said my standard recorder joke to the boy. He just kind of looked at me puzzled. The mom looks at me and says “He’s kind of hard of hearing and it’s very loud in here, I’ll explain it to him later.” I just smiled and said “Thank you very much, have a great day.” And off they went.
Ten minutes later (and my hand to God, this is the absolute truth) the mom comes back to my table and says “You said my son couldn’t play this recorder because it’s not ripe yet, when will he be able to play it?” I looked at her, hoping to see a smile or a smirk or a gleam in her eye to show me that she was messing with me just like I did with her son. I’m sorry to say, it wasn’t there. She was serious. Well, I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was just making a joke so I said “I think by the time school starts…..it will be ready to play.” That must have been a satisfactory answer because she replied “Thank you” and walked away.
On the way out, I thanked the music director for having me be a part of the Sneek A Peek and let her know if there’s a kid in class not playing his green recorder because it hasn’t changed colors yet, let him know it’s ok to play.