“You son of a bitch,’’ I heard Bethany yell as her new coronet arched through the air. The mouthpiece cracked against first chair baritone player Greg Hay’s forehead which started bleeding at about the same instant Bethany’s cornet hit the floor.
Greg slapped the palm of his hand against his forehead then looked at it. The sight of blood startled him. When he stood his baritone hit his music stand which came to rest against bass clarinet player Candy Johnson’s back.
Candy turned her head screamed and began slapping Greg’s music stand as if some gigantic bug had landed on her shoulder.
Then she began acting crazy. She leaped up, screamed even louder and began lifting her knees as high as she could while running in place! (Maybe she thought she was at marching band practice??)
Her big bass clarinet shot forward stabbing the back of first chair flautist Marilyn B’s chair whose piccolo, since we had just finished playing the Stars and Stripes Forever, rested on her lap. She leaped to her feet with such force that the piccolo took flight.
Second chair clarinet Nancy Nancy Zielinsky’s eyes and the flying piccolo moved in unison.
When it hit the floor and rolled under her chair she leaned forward pushing her butt off the chair. Extending her arm as far as she could to retrieve the piccolo her head seemed to disappear between her thighs.
Next: A split second before Green leaped off the podium to come after me a white dot appeared …