Just when I began to think I might survive the quarantine lockdown, my husband decided to take up a new instrument.

Yes, I knew he was a musician when I married him. But the real test of a marriage is not what you know on your wedding day. It’s the little surprises that pop up over the years like gophers in a bed of roses.

Let me be clear. I have great respect for all musicians and whatever instruments they may play. I wish them all the best.

But is it wrong to say I like some more than others?

It’s hard to pick a favorite instrument. I like most anything with strings. Except banjos. The mountains where I grew up had more banjo pickers than fleas on the dogs. A little banjo goes a long way. Even my husband, who loves every musical instrument on the planet, can only take so much banjo.

He prefers the bass, which is great, because he happens to be my all-time favorite bass player.

I wish you could hear him.

We’ve been married 15 years, long enough to know each other well. And after nearly three months in quarantine, we know each other a whole lot better.

Imagine my surprise to hear him say he had ordered (drum roll, please) a set of drums.

Have you ever lived with a drummer? I did once. My youngest child, as a teenager, wanted a drum set for his birthday. I gave it to him. He loved it. I nearly lost my mind.

Our neighbors formed a task force to discuss the safest way to legally burn down our house.

The boy became a great drummer, then his interests moved on. My hearing never recovered, but the neighbors stopped waving torches.

It takes a special kind of person, with a special kind of heart, to live with a drummer.

I am not that kind of person. I married my husband for better or worse, but not for drums.

As I write this, he’s out in our garage banging away.

Can you hear him? I can.

Bang, bang, bang ...

Wait. That’s not him. That’s me beating my head on the wall.

Luckily, he realizes drumming at home may prove hazardous, not only to my sanity, but to our marriage and his life. So he’s promised to order an electronic “silent” drum set. I offered to pay for it. If it works, it will be worth any price.

In the meantime, I’m trying, as with other challenges in life, to rely on an old standby: Humor. I looked up drummer jokes. There are tons. Here, slightly edited, are my favorites:

1. How do you know a drummer is knocking on the door? If you let him in, he’ll keep knocking.

2. What do you call a drummer who practices in the garage while his wife does yoga in the living room? Divorced.

3. How do you make a drummer stop playing in your home? Lock him out of the house with his drums and a bag of Cheetos.

4. So, a guy goes in a bar, hears a band playing loud, and sees a woman face down on a table with her coat over her head. He says to the bartender, “Looks like she had one too many.” And the bartender replies, “No, her husband’s the drummer and unfortunately, she’s sober.”

5. How is a drum solo like a sneeze? You can tell it’s about to happen, but you can’t stop it.

6. What does a drummer say when a gig ends late because the crowd kept calling for more? “Has anybody seen my wife?”

7. So, a drummer dies and goes to heaven. Waiting at the Pearly Gates, he hears the most divine drum solo ever. Waving to St. Peter, he says, “That’s got to be God playing, right?” St. Peter says, “Sorry, buddy, that’s your wife. She heard we only allow one drum set up here and she wanted to beat you to it.”

8. What do you call a drummer who practices on a silent drum set? A truly gifted musician.

Humor helps, but not enough. If he doesn’t get a silent drum set soon, I’m buying a banjo.

Sharon Randall can be reached at randallbay@earthlink.net.

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