These things always start kind of innocently. Today it started during the afternoon dog walk, when dog and I strolled past a home and heard the unmistakable blatting of a tuba.
I came home and immediately made some inane wise-ass remark on Twitter:
“Walked the dog past a house where someone was practicing the tuba. I didn’t know people took vows of chastity like that nowadays.”
But the Twitter hive-mind was having none of my japery. “Tubas are so hot right now!” said @janedonuts. As incontrovertible proof, she steered me to America’s foremost authority on cultural/tuba trends, The New York Times, which is reporting that ‘Tuba Raids’ Plague Schools in California.
At this very moment I can almost hear you starting to utter “What the …” so here’s the gist:
In the last few months, dozens of brass sousaphones — tubas often used in marching bands — were taken from schools in Southern California. Though the police have not made any arrests, music teachers say the thefts are motivated by the growing popularity of banda, a traditional Mexican music form in which tubas play a dominant role.
The story quotes a music teacher who says that banda used to be uncool, but now it’s cool to have a live band with a tuba, or to be a tuba player. Not only that,
As a result, sousaphones have made work in bandas more lucrative. A banda can make at least $3,000 for a night’s work at a wedding or quinceañera, said J. D. Salas, who teaches tuba at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. And the tuba player, who is often the leader of the group, usually gets the largest share.
Big money! For tuba playing! (Who says it’s impossible to make a living as a musician?) Since I’m already playing three instruments that are not the tuba, I sadly admit I don’t have time or oompa-power to hoist a fourth. A shame, really, since I could have been the next version, of … well, this guy.
And two women on Twitter leapt to the sousaphone’s defense. One said, “Do not diss the tuba! Tubas are awesome!” And when I teasingly asked Jane Donuts if she’s dating a tuba player, her response was, “Not yet.”
Hmm, eh? Hmm.
But wait — in a third shockingly unforeseen event, it turns out there are tuba player pickup lines:
- How deep do you want me to go?
- In my section of the orchestra pit, we all have big brass
- It’s not every day you meet a guy with a huge instrument and
- Wanna play Baby Elephant Walk?
- You’re so fine, I’d drink outta your spit valve.
- Stand back, I’m not sure how big this thing gets!
- Your lips say “oom,” but your eyes say “pah.”
[It's a good thing I don't have to try and use any of those. I just can't see the elephant one ending well. ]
Still, I’m not persuaded that tubists are now the hawtest musicians on stage. When the nation’s other revered arbiter of culture, The Onion, updates their story “Area Bass Player Fellated” to something involving a sex act and a tuba, maybe I’ll change my tune.