Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

When I was in middle school, I played in the band.  I played the trombone, which means that I practiced playing the trombone, and much of that time was at home.  My beginning trombone playing sounded much akin to what I expect a bull moose sounds like when he has a giant nail in his heart.

My parents thought I was brilliant.  My brother wasn’t all that enthused.  There is rumor that he was heard praying, “When Bob gets married, please give him children who play the trombone 28 hours a day in his bedroom.”

That didn’t happen.  In fact, neither boy really took up an instrument early on.  Parker took guitar lessons after he was married, but I didn’t have to hear him practice.  When Rob was very young, we gave him a “gift.”  Piano lessons.  Both Brenda and I took piano lessons for nine years and knew our first born would love it as we did.  That wasn’t really the case.  In fact, the case really is that he hated it.  His thoughtless piano teacher told him that he was double-jointed in his fingers and probably would never play very well.  Rob knew an excuse when he heard one.  A pushy father who plays the piano and a young son who would rather eat bugs than play the piano doesn’t always result in a happy atmosphere.  Finally, we allowed him to reject our “gift.”

Yesterday, Rob and his family came to our home to celebrate his 38th birthday.  During the day, this Baby Boomer was worn out trying to keep up with 4.5 year old Josh and nearly 10-year-old Morgan.  So, I went upstairs and took a nap.

I dreamed the strangest thing.  I was being chased by a bull moose, and he kept bellowing at me.  Shortly before I awakened fully, he bellowed as loudly as anything I’ve ever heard, and I set the world’s record jumping from a prone position on a bed to hanging from two blades of a ceiling fan.

Once my heart rate got down as low as 200 beats per minute, I went downstairs.  Morgan was waiting at the foot of the stairs.  “I have a surprise for you, GrandBob,” and she took my hand and led me into the music room.

Next to the piano was her new band instrument.  Her trombone. 'GrandBob, did you hear me practicing?"

She had had her trumbone only three days and played for me the most beautiful B-flat ever blown in the history of the world.

My brother always said, “what goes around, come around.”  I’m happy it does.

Date of Blog Story: 
September 13, 2008

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