Recently, Flash Company's intrepid banjo/octave mandolin specialist embarked upon a journey to seek enlightenment regarding an instrument sacred to many (and, to be frank, reviled by some!) - the bodhran! Seems that Eric, affectionately referred to among us as Eamon (among other, less printable sobriquets), feels that he has some spare time onstage, and since he was once upon a time the drummer for a pre-adolescent proto-punk band named Sinjunwood, it seems appropriate for him to be adding some percussion to the FlashCo sound, as it is known around here. ("Here" being this author's rather small garret-office-practice room-sometime pool hall.)
So, dear Eamon signed up for a bodhran class given by the Connecticut Irish Music Academy and taught by the lovely and most capable Mary Gardner, a most impressive exponent of this percussive art. This past Saturday marked the beginning of the monthly class, so our boyo set off on what MapQuest said would be a two-hour tour....a two-hour tour. (Those of you who remember the television show Gilligan's Island already know where we're goin' with this.) Always one to be punctual or something close to it, Eamon set off from home a little after 11:30 in order to have some breathing room before the 2:00 PM class was to begin. In calculating his buffer time, however, Eamon forgot one little detail, and that was the fact that his route was to take him through Waterbury, CT, sometimes known as the Highway Construction Capital of the Free World. He was within four miles of the Waterbury city limits when he was stopped dead by a traffic jam so mammoth in size that a space station in orbit signaled to Earth that a giant serpent was making its way east through central Connecticut. But Eamon, ever a patient man, took solace in knowing that he had that precious extra half hour as a buffer. So, feeling smug, he unwrapped the sandwich that he had prepared for the journey and began to enjoy his lunch. Well, dear reader, suffice it to say that by the time he had finished his capacious lunch, he had traveled exactly one mile. As he packed up his crackers and hummus, he looked off to the South to see the lovely and majestic towers of a famous Waterbury church, Our Lady Of Perpetual Construction. Grateful he was to have plenty of time to examine and appreciate the Renaissance-y (or was it Medieval-y) architectural flourishes of this grand cathedral, but such is life when you're moving at two miles and hour in the fast lane.
Well, to make an overly long story a bit shorter, suffice it to say that Eamon arrived at his beginning bodhran class quite late.... in fact, so late that his 2:00 PM Beginners class was mostly over. Eamon wasted no time in venting his long tale of traffic woes, so the instructor, the aforementioned and fortunately sympathetic Mary, invited him to stay for the next class, which was an intermediate class. Well, it's oft been said that our boy Eamon leaves little time for the grass to grow 'tween his toes, but this was a new record for him, having gone from being a beginner to an intermediate bodhran player in less than ten minutes. We're so proud of him - we can't wait to unveil his bodhran prowess for our St. Paddy's Day audiences in, say, 2022.
As Mark Twain said, "let us draw the Curtain of Charity across this scene" and leave Eamon, a confused but eager look on his face as he contemplates the intricacies of what was once a Medieval threshing implement....say just a few minutes before he realizes that he will be traveling through the Waterbury Twilight Construction Zone again on the way home. 'Nuff said.