MY GIFTED EARS
I have a gift. It has been given me to be able to wiggle my ears. I can wiggle them in concert or one at a time, and to nearly any beat! I have tried to be modest about this ability.
But, sometimes, when I am alone, it gives me considerable pleasure to use my ears to beat out that great old hymn of empire, Rule Britannia. Sometimes I find myself “playing” variations on it.
But there are other significant uses for wiggling ears. Occasionally, I would get them moving up down and crosswise while advancing a particularly pithy idea in a classroom lecture. The students who were paying attention to what I was saying did not notice my ears. The others, desperate to grasp at any possible relief from their boredom, would usually give way to giggles.
Or, an overwrought student, baring his soul over some crisis or other, could be restored to her felicity by noticing, through her tears, that my ears were going like sixty.
They really can go!
Which reminds me, about playing a tune: I am able to play the kazoo. My trombone kazoo on the ledge above this Mac is a treasure. I should tell you that I am self-taught on this wonderful instrument and learned its rudiments as a little boy by singing through a lilac leaf. Some there are who imitate the kazoo by holding a piece of cellophane over a comb and playing away. Those who play the swinette, do so by holding that comb tight over a pig’s ass and singing hard.
I want you to know, too, that I am most likely the only one you know who has played the adagio, third movement of Mozart’s G-minor quintet in public on the kazoo. As I recall, that particular public was too stunned to respond.
I played in earnest and reverentially, having been taught as a freshman in college that this Mozart quintet was the greatest of all music.
Today, I see no reason to think otherwise and hope that my rendition on the kazoo would have given Mozart a moment of glee in the midst of his heart- break.
But, I must confess that, try as I will, I cannot move my scalp.
Beginners, uncertain of their musical prowess, or those who may want to improve their embouchure, may want to consult the definitive, The Complete HOW TO KAZOO, by Barbara Stewart.