In high school, I was King of the Band Nerds. During my senior year, half of my classes were music classes. I played bass trombone in Jazz Band, trombone and baritone in Symphonic Band, tenor sax in Freshman Band, and I sang bass in Honors Choir. What was I doing in Freshman Band as a senior? I wanted to learn how to play tenor sax, so my band teacher allowed me to join the freshman band. And even though I had just picked it up, I wasn’t the worst player in the tenor sax section.
It was a fun year. At graduation, I was awarded the John Phillips Sousa award, which came with a scholarship. I was voted Most Musical for the yearbook (as well as Class Kiss-up, but that’s another story). I really enjoyed music and saw myself going to college to become either a music or a history teacher.
So when, after my senior year was finished, my old band teacher asked if I would be a chaperone at band camp and help out with training high schoolers the hidden ways of marching band, I agreed. Yeah, I was really committed to a holistic approach to nerd-dom. I realize that now.
One of the perks of being a chaperone was that I could go off-campus during break times. There was a convenience store near campus that sold ginger beer, and being a connoisseur, I bought some. Now, if you didn’t read my earlier post on ginger beer, you may not know that it is a nonalcoholic beverage. And though I got carded once time at World Market (great place to get Bundaberg Ginger Beer, by the way), it was an accident on the clerks part and I was able to explain that you didn’t have to be any legal age to drink it.
Well, some of the students saw me bring the ginger beer into the dorm and they asked if they could buy it from me. I didn’t have any problem with underage kids buying nonalcoholic beverages from me, so I agreed. I charged twice what I paid and had a good profit going.
It was hilarious watching those kids acting as though they were under some kind of influence. The power of suggestion is pretty powerful.