Original article posted by Greg:

One more thing I’ve come to realize recently is this:

The trombone is not a wooing instrument.

Perhaps more specifics are in order. I was watching my cousins play the piano. There are two schools of piano playing in my family: the thompsons, and everybody else. Every one of the thompsons can play piano and organ fantastically by the time they are in high school. By college, sight reading is easy for all but the most taxing of tunes. Then there’s everybody else. All we shmoes are stuck practicing for weeks just to be able to play a simple hymn in the key of C. There’s also people like me, who can’t even play the piano.

I play the trombone. And not well.

There is another cousin of mine who is also quite good at the piano. I discovered this when he started playing some famous classical tune from memory up at the cabin. Everybody was duly impressed, which was exactly what he wanted. (He’s at that age where he’s always right and knows exactly what’s best for him and everybody should hail and revere him as the next best thing to come from anywhere…. you know, fourteen or fifteen.) It reminded me of a guy I knew in high school. He could play six or seven pop songs on the piano in the key of C. He also had a pretty okay voice. He is a year younger than me, so I never really got to know him well, but he was really a decent guy despite the fact of his many talents becoming annoying.

The usual scene between classes was this: This guy would be sitting at the piano, playing some pop song and singing along to the six or seven girls surrounding him and his instrument. They would sigh in that special teenage way and ask each other later if “isn’t he the cutest?” and if “doesn’t he have the most beautiful voice?” Neither of which I feel qualified to comment on.

So watching this youngster play at the cabin reminded me of this guy in high school. I wondered if my cousin ever uses his powers for evil. You know, playing to get girls. It made me remember the social dynamics of high school and of musicians. The piano players who could sing pop-style got the girls, as did any guitar player.

We trombone players got nobody. I think they were afraid of getting an eye jabbed out and being called ‘cyclops’ or ‘pirate’ or something.