Tuba Lessons and Cold Air Intakes

By: Jimmy Plant


When I was 6 years old, I started taking tuba lessons. Not by choice of course.

My parents had read an article about some super-baby who joined college at the age of 6 and at the age of 7 became a renowned astrophysicist. They figured that ol' junior could use some mental development as well. They probably went a little overboard. First they got me a language tutor, then a chess instructor and then they even started to play Mozart during dinner time! Finally came the tuba lessons.

At first it was fun. The instrument was almost as big as I was, and I loved blasting into it until I fell from the chair unconscious. But my tuba instructor didn't take kindly to my random noises. He held tuba playing to be a sacred art, one worthy of the utmost respect.

Every Saturday morning he would come to my house with a bundle of papers - sheet music and scales that he would make me practice endlessly. Before I began, he would pull out an old hourglass, give me a stern look, and then tip it over. If I made too many mistakes in a row, he would grunt and start the hourglass again from the beginning. It was torture. One Saturday, I had to play hot cross buns for two straight hours!

My mind grew numb over time and I only wanted to escape. One day, I asked to be excused to empty my spit valve and tried to think of a plan. There was no way I was going back in to face that hourglass. But what could be done?

I could rush my teacher, ram the tuba over his head and then make my escape, but the sound of this violence would probably get my parents' attention...

Just then, I noticed my teacher's Lamborghini Diablo sitting in the driveway. (Evidently Tuba instructors are raking it in.)The car had just had an amazing new cold air intake system put in and it was ready to race. No time to hesitate, I told myself. It's now or never.

I threw my tuba aside and jumped into the car.

The engine roared, and suddenly I was off, tearing down the street at 150 mph. I couldn't really see over the wheel to where I was going but that didn't matter-speed was the most important thing at that point. I slowed down later, driving over people's lawns and making my way toward the coast. I felt great.

As I headed toward the ocean, I had to drive along the edges of some cliffs, and that's where I got into trouble. While trying to make a fast turn, I lost control and the car spun off the road and over a cliff. I fell a thousand feet into a ravine and the car exploded into an enormous fireball. Luckily, the force of the blast ejected me from the car and flung me back up to the top of the ravine where I lay unscathed.

I made the 11pm news. The authorities described me as a 'precocious miscreant'. I told the cops that my teacher asked me to destroy the car for insurance purposes. They promptly arrested him and gave him a life sentence. Problem solved!

Sure, my parents yelled at me for a couple of hours, but I think they were secretly proud that I had been called 'precocious'.

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