Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for Xylophone (Flash Fiction Friday - 4/27/12)

This picture may be some other bell instrument, like vibes or something. I'm not a percussionist, and I don't know all the differences.

So... turns out xenophile didn't mean what I thought it did, and I lost my X word. Then I thought about stealing Leigh Covington's X-Men post, but I decided against it. Then I flipped through the dictionary looking for random X words. Then I decided on xylophone.

*This story is fiction. Any likeness to events occurring in other marching bands are entirely coincidental (in other words, we never bullied the xylophone player in my marching band. A good rule of thumb is never tick off someone who carries small mallets).

Have you ever been a xylophone player in the marching band? Talk about the loser of the losers. You don’t even march! Me, I stand in the middle of the field, marking time and pounding out the same eight notes over and over because no one cared enough to write a real xylophone part. Not that anyone can hear me because we’re too poor to afford a sound system. And not that anyone’s looking at me when there’s a chick with a flaming baton right by the bleachers.

Well, they did tell me when I got into high school that I’d be uncool if I joined marching band. On the bright note, I might as well be invisible to the rest of the school. So at least I don’t get shoved in a locker like the tuba player (and, seriously, seeing a 5’8”, 200-pound guy get squished into one of those tiny lockers is like watching someone try to shove water back in a sink).

On the not-so-bright note, the other band geeks give me a hard time instead. None of them are crude enough to try shoving me in a locker (some of them could do it though; marching while carrying a baritone saxophone gives you muscles, dude), but they have their own ways of bullying. Catty comments, frank discussions about my not-so-prolific sex life, things like that. Stupid stuff.

I asked the director if I could switch to a different drum. You know, the kind you carry. But he told me the xylophone is a very important part of the band, and I should be proud to play it.

Proud. Like I’m freaking Mozart making a piano sound like God’s own song.

Hell, I’ll be proud if I can just get through the rest of this year.


  1. I love this little story! :) I'm a former band geek (er, color guard, but that counts, right?) and I could picture this. We didn't have any bullying going on in our small band, but different instruments had different reputations. For instance, the saxophones were known for never being able to stand in a straight line; the flutes were always the ones who needed to hear the directions twice, etc.

  2. LOL, I really want to say, "This one time, in band camp ..." ;)

    This is a great story, I am sure band geeks will relate!

  3. GREAT story!!!! *