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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Lament of the Piper's Wife

Shortly after our wedding, my husband decided he wanted to learn how to play the bagpipes. He had a set of pipes he had once bought on a whim at a swap meet and then allowed to collect dust for years.

These pipes were old, made in Pakistan - which by most everybody's account means they are of poor quality. But all that didn't matter to Mr. H, he wasn't about to let anyone tell him his pipes were crap, he was going to learn to play them no matter what.

Teacher? We don't need no stinking teacher. This is Mr. Do-It-Yourself we're talking about here.

So he set about learning to play the pipes. He spent quite a bit of time online, researching bagpipes, discussing them in bagpipe forums exploring how-to manuals, and practicing. He spent endless hours on the practice chanter (thank heavens for the practice chanter, much less noisy than the pipes), and after several months of trying to go it alone, he met another bagpipe player in one of his classes at school.

Owen is a 19 year old from Alaska who has been playing the bagpipes for years. He offered to teach Aaron for $10 a lesson. You just can't beat that. From that point, Mr. H's improvement has been phenomenal.

Well until about a month ago. You see, all this time he has been using these pipes that really are garbage. His bag is full of holes. He spends most of his time online researching seasoning and other options for plugging the holes in his sieve of a bag. The bag is so leaky the seasoning leaks out, so he has a garbage bag and duct tape wrapped around it to keep from staining his clothes. His handle online is ghettopipes. It's a pretty good name for him.

The pipes have gotten so bad that at this point they no longer hold air at all, they are unplayable. At some point we're going to have to break down and get him a really good set, but at this point even a replacement bag is out of our price range.

I never thought I would say this, but the one thing I want more than anything right now is to be able to buy my husband a new set of pipes.

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