I don’t normally play at the AD&G Indoors, regular readers will be familiar with the variety and complexity of the lame excuses I have employed over the years. My season usually starts in July.
I am playing and Pipey has reinstated the Idiot Tin and fines for lateness and lack of uniform and accoutrements. It has me driving like a lunatic through the monsoon soaked Ayrshire countryside. That tin cost me and Hazel Tenor a fortune last year. We are running late due to a combination of bank holiday sloth and a double puncture incident but we arrived with minutes to spare and spotted Basso sans weskit popping a blue note in the tin. He tried on James the Hat’s waistcoat, too small. He tried on Big Stewart’s waistcoat, too big. Unfortunately Baby Bear wasn’t there so he wrapped the later round himself twice and fell asleep.
Wee Mel had a memory failure last year at the solo competition and this year she wasn’t happy with her playing, citing lack of sleep and emotional exhaustion as possible causes. But word sped back from the prize ceremony that she had won 2 third places and we all walked about nodding sagely and basking in the reflected glory. Well done Wee Mel.
James the Hat earned his salt with his Drone Monkeying and Clock unveiled the much vaunted camera as we began the work of turning into a pipe band. We piled into the final tuning room aka The Learning Room, what do they do in the rest of the classrooms? Pipey employed his darkest arts, the drum corps looked quietly nervous but final run throughs sounded encouraging. And we were ready early, standing waiting on the shout to go. It’s really difficult to march in time down stairs with dignity and there was much skipping as we Indian filed into the packed and roastin performance hall. “Band ready, 1, 2”
I had played my first competition of the year but more to the point the Medic played his first ever competition, without dropping his twirlers or disgracing himself. Well done laddie! The most nervous man was Clock, afraid his snapping would distract us.
Adam’s Mum was sitting behind a desk like Mrs Teacher, looking like she wanted to give us all detention for talking in class. There was much looking at phones and mucking about with Snapchat filters during the hiatus between Grade 4 and 3, some of our senior members had a wee doze. The Medic abandoned us for the fleshpots of Glasgow and the waistcoat was reclaimed by its owner. It was suggested Basso pull a bin bag over his head as a waistcoat or that we colour in his shirt, or every second player removed their waistcoat it was even suggested that we all go in waistcoatless. This would have revealed that no two ties are the same length and was ditched swiftly.
The Pipey began tuning us and he managed to coax a tone from tired reeds, he and Mrs Broon are a good team; he smiles and encourages and you know she is just refraining from throwing chalk at you or hitting you with a duster. Outside the weather never let up, the ducks were even taking shelter. I must be losing my touch, I don’t play Grade 3. I personally played better in Grade 3 than in Grade 4 and thought we had as a band, this just shows what I know; we came stone last. But in Grade 4 we were pipped at the post for second, I’ll take the third and the knowledge the drummers are still on form. Thanks to the Judges for the constructive and insightful comments on the sheets.
Later, back in the village, I met the band in the Glennie for a congratulatory swallie. What a lot of pizza. Next up is the GWOS Indoors, I’m done explaining acronyms.