I snark about things that drive writers nuts. Here’s a virtual snark on behalf of the Husband.
To irk a church musician:
1. Introduce yourself to the music director at church. Tell him your son lives across the country but visits occasionally. You think it would do your son good to get involved with church, and want him to play piano at Mass when he visits. When the music director points out that the church already has a professional pianist, say, “Well, maybe you could come an hour early when my son’s here and teach him how to play.” Look befuddled when he demurs.
2. Two weeks before Christmas, introduce yourself to the music director. Tell him your young daughter takes harp lessons. She has learned how to play “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Tell him you’d like her to play the carol as a solo at all Christmas services. Splutter with outrage when he demurs.
3. Surprise your friend the music director. Tell him you’ve found the violin on which you took lessons as a child… and that you’ve decided to join him at Christmas and play it! Assure him that “It’ll all come back to me sooner or later.” When he gently — oh, so gently — points out that for Christmas, all the musicians must be able to read music, and that the ensemble has been practicing for two months, roll your eyes and grumble, “Sheet music? Parts? Oh, for Pete’s sake — Christmas music is supposed to be fun.”
4. On Christmas Eve, turn up for Midnight Mass with three grumpy children — who are carrying a tambourine, an accordian, and a trumpet. Shove them at the music director, saying, “The only way I could get these brats to come to church was to tell them they could play their instruments.”
5. Before Mass, while the congregation is singing carols, project a slide show on the church wall about “Our broken world.” Display photos showing the horrors of war, including a Bosnian Serb militiaman brandishing an enemy’s severed head. Project the image directly above the manger, like a bloody star of Bethlehem. That way, children in the pews will focus on it and understand how wretched humanity truly is, and what really makes Baby Jesus cry.
5. In the middle of a service, while the choir is singing, walk up to the conductor. Announce that you’re in charge of the toddlers’ group. Put a piece of sheet music on the music stand, covering up the piece he is conducting. Tell him, “I want you to play this song next.” Look perplexed when he knocks you to the floor with a spinning crescent kick.
6. If you’re the music director, assemble the Barbie Corvette that Santa’s bringing your little girl before you go to Midnight Mass. Superglue your fingers together. Cut them apart with X-acto knife. Play guitar with hands swaddled in gauze and medical tape.
7. Pray that these events don’t all take place in a single year.