I am sorry.
As far as orchestral cannon playing goes, that probably couldn’t have gone any worse (it could have, but you don’t want to hear that right now [I’ll just quickly summarize: we could all be injured—not just those within the blast radius or who were bitten]). However, I would like to put forward my case as to why I am not completely to blame for the disaster/pretty-bad performance reviews.
First though, a few glaring issues that I must admit to:
- I am prone to panic in high-intensity situations.
- I grossly exaggerated my previous orchestral experience, specifically my knowledge of cannons and also Thai Trotsky’s “18 Twelves Overdrive.”
- Dogs go absolutely batshit when cannons get fired.
- My cousin shouldn’t have brought nine dogs to an orchestral performance of any kind, let alone one that involved a cannon.
- I shouldn’t load cannonballs into an orchestral cannon.
- I can’t read sheet music.
But look, no one told me that the cannon was pre-filled with a kind of diluted gunpowder. As far as I was concerned, as Orchestral Artilleryman, which is probably my job title, I should be in charge of gunpowder and cannonball distribution.
This is basic military operation, guys. I don’t think Napoleon sat there on Lord Nelson’s yacht saying, “Oh shit, the Turks are coming. Quick! Who’s got the ammo!?” No, he would have been on those cannons in a flash, jamming in the powder cannonballs-deep.
What I’m trying to say is that I think everyone needs to consider the mitigating factors that led up to the incident. You’ve got to put yourselves in my shoes. Well, crocs. Well, one croc and one sock to be exact. Firstly, I have the most epic instrument. You’re up there with your tooty instruments and your stringy ones and so forth, and I’m literally on stage with something that was used to take down frigates! I mean, I could kill someone if I wanted to!
And secondly, there is soooo much time up there for me to just stand around. I don’t even get a chair. Most of you guys get chairs, and the ones that don’t still have something to do in the first fourteen minutes of the song. I just have to stand around for ages like a jackass in my sock and croc, watching my cousin’s dogs run around the concert hall sniffing old people.
So I guess my point is this: It was inevitable that I would start to daydream a little bit. And because I was relentlessly funneling gunpowder into a cannon, I began to daydream about being a ship’s captain… take this to its logical extension and you can see how it’s unavoidable that I’m going to eventually imagine spearheading a great naval battle.
So there we were, being attacked by a Portuguese Man o’ War (a quick Google Image Search shows that I may need to brush up on my maritime knowledge). You were all frantically working around me, pulling sails to the jib or whatever, while hundreds of Portuguese sailors were glaring at us, armed to the teeth with little binoculars on sticks. They even had vicious beasts running up and down the length of the deck, sniffing crotches and defecating in the aisles.
And this where you guys get a bit of the blame but also a pat on the back. I think the “Overdrive” song kind of lubricated my daydream with theme music. I mean, it’s a pretty good track, and it sounded like you guys definitely practiced. This very real presence of actual theme music birthed my daydream from the womb of imagination into the delivery room of reality. With the music reaching a crescendo and the impending attack of insane Portuguese septuagenarians, how could I not fire the cannon?
If anything, you guys should have stopped playing by then. Here’s a tip: If there’s a guy with one croc on and his pants over his head screaming, “All hands man your battle stations!” don’t keep playing awesome war music.
When I reloaded the cannon, I really can’t say for sure what I was thinking. But by that point, with the screaming, the massive devastation to the concert hall, the many injured, my cousin’s dogs chewing on people and seats, and the LSD wearing off, I think part of me just wanted to get the ending right—for you guys.
So do you see how firing the second and third volley was done with the best intentions?
And because of the ringing in my ears, it didn’t occur to me to look up to see if you all were still playing—I just assumed “professionals” like yourselves would know not to stop the song just because of a mistimed note.
In conclusion, I am sorry, but it’s clear that pointing fingers will really get us nowhere. I hope we can get over this, and I can continue to jam with you all just as soon as one of you bails me out.
I do suggest however that the next audience should be at least 400 feet from our orchestra. And maybe we sell body armor with the brochures.