[Dixielandjazz] Trombones - Dangerous Weapons

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 18 12:08:30 PDT 2004

Trombone Update:

Each year thousands are people are killed, maimed or annoyed by trombones.
The statistics of head, neck and even shoulder injuries sustained by reed
players, french horn and string sections seated within reach of the deadly
seventh position are truly shocking...not to mention forced early retirement
due to ever-increasing hearing problems reported by classical musicians of
all types who are forced to play the music of Wagner, Mahler and Brahms, as
well as the hundreds of alumni of the Herman, Ferguson and Kenton bands and
OKOM devotees of Kid Ory, Jack Teagarden, Abe Lincoln Jim Robinson and Lee

There is current legislation pending in Congress to restrict the sale of
trombones and equip them with child-safety devices. The influential trombone
lobby is, of course, opposed to this.  There have even been several
proposals for requiring a so-called "trigger lock" on all bass trombones!
Every year there are reports of hundreds of innocent children, attracted by
the shiny brass and smooth, seductive curves of an unattended instrument on
a stand in the corner of a room or in an unlocked case who are traumatized
for life by the attempts of a playmate to get a sound out of it, or who may
suffer a collapsed lung or the effects of hyperventilation by trying the
same effort themselves! The owner's feeble "I didn't know the slide was
unlocked" is no excuse! Trombones should be stored out of reach of children.

Efforts to enact a mandatory 10-day waiting period to purchase a trombone -
which would simply allow a reasonable period of time for law enforcement
officials to cross-check the purchaser's name against an International list
of registered trombone offenders and Slik-Stuff addicts,  have been
repeatedly thwarted by the powerful Selmer-Bach-UMI-Yamaha lobby. Law
enforcement officials are particularly alarmed over the increase in crimes
involving use of the "sawed-off" trombone or "sackbut." Legislation is also
pending in several progressive states, including New York and California, to
make carrying a concealed alto trombone a  Class A felony!

Some Governors feel that there are sufficient laws already on the books that
simply need stricter enforcement - such as the 1932 nation-wide ban of
screw-on bells, the indiscriminate use of Pond's Cold Cream or KY Jelly and
unsupervised emptying of spit valves on public property. Filthy unsanitary
habit which wil;l help spread the flu this year. One popular response to the
spread of delinquent behavior is the imposition of mandatory longer
sentences for those using a trombone while committing a crime ("Use a
trombone - Go to jail").  Surveillance video tapes have proven especially
effective in identifying violators of this statute because career criminals
have often tried to avoid convictions by having their lawyers insist that
what eye-witnesses reported as a trombone was really only an AK-47 or other
legal assaul weapon. Strict enforcement has been especially effective when
used in conjunction with the new "Three sharps, you're out" statutes that
have already been approved by many state legislatures.

Of course the automatic and semi-automatic valved models - both piston and
the middle-European rotary, are much more dangerous than the traditional
single note trombone. Interpol has also reported  the sudden appearance of
of rear-blasting  Cavalry models that were thought to have been completely
eliminated during the Great Confiscation mandated by the 1918 Treaty of
Versailles signed by representatives of every civilized country of the
period. You may recall that those instruments were melted down and became
an integral part of the Trans-Atlantic Telephone Cable that helped to unite
America and Europe. It is believed that the new source of these WMD's are
isolated factories in rural areas of China. The awesome destructive power of
the double trigger bass trombone could never have been imagined by the
founding fathers when they granted us the right to keep and bear arms.

Remember: When trombones are outlawed, only outlaws will play "I'm Gettin'
Sentimental Over You".

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