Practical Pipers Society
Welcome to the "Adventures O' Wullie Reed"
"A Shocking Holiday"
Old age doesn't come alone!
"Wullie" was happily looking forward to his holidays when disaster struck.
Within two weeks of heading off to sunny Majorca, he was struck down by a mystery "sair back". It was so bad, that he couldn't get his pipes out and was even reduced to having his meals standing up in the kitchen. Well, you know folks, we've all been there. It was so bad he was reduced to visiting the local "coonty" witch doctors for help.......Nothing seemed to work.
The holidays were drawing ever closer, and Wullie was determined that nothing was stopping him from soaking up the sun, so he jumped at the suggestion of the magic gadget called the "tens machine". This was a little box that masks the pains by putting little electric shocks into the affected areas. Times were desperate and it seemed to help just a little.
As time went by, Wullie got used to the gadget, so needed to turn up the strength a little each day just to retain it's early effect. At night he would turn it off, and, as with all things technical, it would reset itself automatically.
Time to go to the airport, so Wullie and his pal got packed, all loaded up, switched on etc etc. and off they set for Glasgow Airport. Sure as god made little green apples, Wullie in his pained condition got so delayed that he had to be wheelchaired into the airport, just in time to check in and head for take off.
Just like "Ben Hurr" the charioteer went tearing through the building until he reached the xrays and metal detecting doorway. Wullie, not being a complete neep emptied his pockets and was about to go through the doorway when he remembered to remove his "Tens Machine". He did this by pulling out the two plugs, without switching it off.
Wullie hobbled through the door and the wee gadget was handed back to him on the other side. With it still switch on at maximum, he simply stuck the two wires straight back in.
The shock he got was like something out of the electric chair at Alcatraz, and Wullie immediately launched into convulsions, swearing, screaming and jumping about like an idiot. That had the local cops diving for their guns and sending for the nearest baggage handler to come and over power him.
Very shortly, Wullie was reduced to a smoldering heap after someone had the presence of mind to unplug him again.
This was the start of the worst holiday Wullie has ever had. Home again, he decided to keep the sair back just for spite.
"The Bear Trap"
At the piping practice, we discussed the trial running of the light system for the Championship as a mean of stopping the LONG TUNE pipers.
In years previously, we have seen pipers having an hour in their own tuning room, followed by a further 15 minutes in the "Final Tuning Room".........only to see them arrive on stage and spend a further 10 minutes tuning!!!!!!
This year we intend running a simple stage light at either end of the stage which will be timed to come ON two minutes after they start tuning/warming. This will remain on for a further one minute, but, when it goes out again they have ten seconds in which to start their performance.
They can commence whenever they are ready within that structure.
When this was described in the practice hall, we instantly had our junior sections brains in Overdrive.
"Jaws" McDonald: "Let's get a bear trap, and as soon as their times up, we slam the door shut."
"Orville" Watson: "No! Let's get a tank of Piranhas and when the times up, we open a trap door and they just drop in."
"Ja Ja" Hepburn: Dragged herself away from her text messages to say, "Get huge flood lights, or powerful lights all round the stage etc etc." Its not Christmas!
"Grasshopper" Bedford: Who had been sitting quietly plotting a dreadful end said, "They stand in front of a cage full of spikes, and when they run out of time, slam the door shut. Then they get the POINT."
The brains in overdrive simply highlighted how popular the incessant TUNER is. (not)
"A Drummers Dilemma"
Wullie was heading down to have a listen in to one of the autumn Pipe Band contests when he met up with a piper recently converted from being a drummer. (Yes they do try to improve themselves you know). Ronnie, the drummer, offered Wullie a lift, so, undaunted they headed off together.
The journey went well and they talked a at great length about their new found piping life, but as they pulled into the carpark at the Games ground, the drummer reached down into the glove box, pulled out a pair of drum sticks and laid them on the dashboard in full view. Wullie asked, "What's with the drum sticks on the dashboard?" Ronnie replied, It so I can park in the disabled bays!!!!*?!
"I'll have a go at home"
Wullie started his lessons a bit late in life, but had some musical experience from other instruments. Each practice night, he would get stuck in to trying tunes out but would get stuck with some regularity. Wullie would utter the now famous line of "I'll have a go at home" and try again next week.
It soon became evident that he was getting stuck too easily and sometime quite early. Then he would have his own version of note values.
Yes you've guessed it.............He was playing by LUG and was tape recording tunes in a manner James Bond would be proud.
He simply didn't know a Crotchet from a Crumpet!
Working In Harmony
One night, Wullie arrived for the practice night and noticed that the tutor had again brought some new tunes. These were sitting face up in the lid of the tutors pipe case. Armed with his new knowledge of reading music, Wullie grabbed his chanter from the box and immediately had a go at the new tune.
After a brave effort, Wullie turned to the tutor and in front of the now gathered group said, "I can get something oot o' the first part, but the second part has me totally bamboozled".
One of the assembled Pipers turned to have a look and said that Wullie was doing well with his sight reading, but if his reading of English was a bit better, he would have noticed the word "Harmony" next to the title.
By the Right - Quick March
Good old Wullie has been working hard at his piping and is really making ground with it. On one practice night, it was decided to get all the pipers lined up and have a walk by marching up and down the hall.
Things were going really well and it was noticed how everyone, especially the learners enjoyed the input of marching.
There was one serious problem though. Wullie was forever finishing on the wrong foot, or was getting out of step somewhere along the line.
This had to be addressed, so it was decided to keep a watchful eye on the bold Wullie just to find out where he was going wrong.
It didn't take long, for he smartly marched off by starting with his right foot in stead of the left. When this was pointed out his response was quite indignant the when we started off the tutor shouted
"By the right, quick, march"
Oot O' Puff
Wullie arrived for his weekly Piping "Fix" but was looking a bit Red in the face. His main complaint was that he sometimes wondered why he bothered to put up with the struggle of hard pipes.
The tutor told him to "crank them up" and see what the problem was. Well, Wullie did just that and was clearly having great difficulty, so much so that he couldn't even get through one part of one tune without having to cut out.
"Let's have a look" said the tutor, and I'll see if I can sort things out. Yes, the pipes were absolute murder to play, but the cure was quick in finding. On pulling out the drones, it was discovered that two drone reeds had come loose and had fallen into the stock where they now lay on to of the Drone enhancer's. In effect, Wullie had been playing the pipes with only the filters preventing the bag from completely deflating.