Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Rolls and Drones

About a year ago I struck up a kind of friendship with a man in my church. As he is only about half my age, I think he views me as a middle schooler might view some creepy old dude like George Burns that comes up to them in public and wants to be their friend. This man, who I will call Yodeling Andy (to protect his true identity), or Y.A. for short, is a humble, quiet, humorous, bright, and Godly man. He is also a very talented musician who can play exotic instruments like the xylophone and the kazoo. Let me tell you, that cat can wail on a Sousaphone like nobody's business. He has also been known to play the banjo in public. I am not sure if I am prejudiced against the banjo, but I know that something about it has always affected me. It might be due to the fact that it can have 4, 5, or 6 strings, but it might also have something to do with Roy Clark and the old Hee Haw program. Whatever my deep-seated issues are regarding the banjo, this is where the problem came in.

I had coffee with Y.A. a while back and I casually mentioned that I think banjos are from the devil. Trying to be helpful, I made sure to point out that Y.A.'s banjo playing technique was flawed such that he made the instrument sound like a mature albino chimpanzee in heat with its nether-regions caught in a bear trap during the month of June. I also told Y.A. that I think banjo players are all bed-wetters and puppy-kickers. Y.A. nodded his head thoughtfully and, as I remember, rubbed his chin with a far-away glint in his eye. I didn't think too much about what I said, I was just trying to be amusing and "fun". It turns out that I was way out of line, but I did not realize it until exactly 89 days later. When my words filtered back over me, I knew that I had some apologizing to do. So, I sent off a note to try to make things right, to seek forgiveness. Just a bit later I heard back from Y.A., whose email was one of the most gracious that I have ever received. It touched my heart and brought a smile to my lips that won't seem to go away. Stephen, ... err, ... Yodeling Andy, you are a blessing to me. Next time I will just flow with the rolls and the drones.