Band Tales 3: Jazz Band Swing Dance Fiasco

A picture of a dimly lit stage with a guy playing a saxophone and another guy with a guitar sitting next to a drumset.

Band Tales 3:
Jazz Band Swing Dance Fiasco
(How to NOT Light Things on Fire and Then Run Away Like a Nutcase)

Original Young Adult Fiction

Written by Jimmy H.

Side note to DJ Hadoken:
(I shall use * to mark the start of a new paragraph, or a break)

Big Dumb Face, one of my favorite albums, is on.

The mood is set to begin work on the new telling of a tale of mine.

This adventure took place not too long ago, in fact only about two, maybe three weeks ago. Thus, it shan’t be that hard to recall the events that occurred on that chaotic Friday night at a little place called the Wapiti Hotel & Venue...

(Well, I’ve just resumed writing. It’s Dream Theater now. But never mind. Let’s begin, shall we?)

The jazz band at my school is quite possibly the most peculiar bunch of freaks on the face of the Earth. Some are my good friends. Some I don’t really know that much at all.

There are many people involved in this story who are in the jazz band and who are not. So, I’ll just introduce the key players.

The first to introduce is my very good friend Slacker, or shall we say, Joey M.

You’ve met him already. So I’ll just be pointing out that when this event took place, he had recently got his hands on brand new matching lighters that he still digs very much.

PVT Blowbrass. He plays trumpet in the jazz band and is a big fan of guns. He owns a military jeep.

My good friend Jake Huge. He plays saxophone in the jazz band, and is known for his zany antics.

You’ve met Trashbag before too, also in the Band Tales 2: SteelyGnot story. Yes, she’s the one who offered to strip for us (shudders).

She is not in the jazz band. However, she is in the video class and was one of the people videotaping the event. She is, of course, mental and believes that she is wiccan. Seriously.

Anyhow, this whole Jazz Band Swing Dance thing was conceived by the heads of the cultural arts committee.

Apparently, they felt they needed more money (fifty bucks for a ticket, I mean, hell!) to do more events. Primarily, fundraisers. For the cultural arts committee. So they could do more events. You get the picture, right?

Well, they decided to plan this whole, uh, friggin’ thing a month in advance, and tell us, the band members, about it TWO WEEKS in advance.

We had to play about four songs, that we had never really touched before, and be able to nail them in a live setting. This made practices frustrating, intense, hard, and at times, tedious. The band teacher, Mr. Maestro, quite irate.

Finally, the day had arrived and I knew that it was going to suck to some extent. I especially realized this when I went to set up.

You see, I had been told that we, the rhythm section, were to bring all of our equipment to the Wapiti Hotel & Venue and begin setting up ASAP: as soon as possible after school was over.

I went right after school to drop off my guitar and amp. There was no one there except for maybe about five confused parents who were involved in catering and such. The stage was empty and I had nowhere in specific to leave my guitar. Thus, I was forced to leave it leaning against the side of the stage, hoping that no one would come along and decide that it might be a “good idea” to try and snatch it.

I went home and chilled for a few hours.

Then, it was time to put on the required jazz band attire, which is a rather uncomfortable tuxedo with a paisley vest and bowtie. I always feel like a lamester whenever I have to put it on. Mostly due to the fact that it makes me look like a waiter at a fine Italian restaurant.

Finally, it was time to return to the Wapiti Hotel & Venue.

It was about 8:30 P.M. now and was dark out. I showed up and everyone was there, audience and all. Apparently, they did something before the live performances. What it was and when it started, I don’t know and don’t care. But this time I went in through the venue’s main entrance and was immediately hit with the smell of old people.

It was like an apartment complex on Miami Beach or something. Only next to the highway near a Taco Bell and a strip joint.

You see, the performers (us, the dance team, musical theater, and string orchestra) were supposed to have a room behind the main area. However, as it turns out, across the hallway there was a game of bingo taking place.

When I arrived I was greeted surrealistically by the dance team running through their performance in the middle of a cheap hotel hallway with the smell of oldness permeating the air.

A few minutes later I found all of my allies. And when Slacker arrived I went out into the hallway to chill with him.

now back to the blog...

We sat down on some old benches in the hallway and went out the back exit. There was an outdoor walkway lined with red candle-cups, making it look like some kind of mini runway for planes to touch down at.

Then, we were amused to see a mafia-looking fellow walking by us, grumbling disgruntled things into a cell phone.

Then, out of boredom, we returned inside where we came across a door. It was to the bingo room. Slacker opened it and we peered in.

Rows upon rows of old folks, just sitting there. Slacker and I came to the conclusion that this is where all the old people go. We decided that it was the place where old folks go to die and we had found it. We were mildly sickened, and he closed the door.

That was just about when we met up with PVT Blowbrass and another fellow who we’ll just call “the guy who was with us throughout the entire following ordeal but played such an unimportant role in it that I’m just going to make believe that he wasn’t even present at the time.”

Well, anyway, Slacker, PVT Blowbrass and I all decided to chill together.

We were so bored that Slacker pulled out one of his trusty lighters. Somehow we got into a discussion about it and we went outside.

We had decided that we were going to light something on fire, you see.

We were outside, by the side of the road next to the dark, semi-hidden parking lot. The area we were in was pretty dark and an easy place to hide.

At first we tried to light up a dry leaf but it wasn’t quite dry enough. Then a twig. Nope. Then an old match box, but as PVT Blowbrass pointed out, they are rigged somehow to keep it from catching aflame.

Thus, we ventured back inside and grabbed about four programs of the night’s event. It was about this time that Jake Huge had joined us in our escapade to set something ablaze.

We went outside. Sneaking and then running as to make sure that nobody saw us leaving.

We went to our place beside the road and formed a small house with all the programs we had acquired. And then Slacker began to light it up.

It was kind of breezy that night. So once we had a steady flame going, which gradually built up, we all warmed our hands over it, and did a few little dances around it.

The fun continued until we spotted a car headed our way.

Wishing to avoid trouble, and lots of it in relation to the size of the flame at that time, we sped through the bushes and then sprinted all the way back to the venue.

On our journey back, I nearly tripped and fell down and nearly knocked over one of the candle-cups. Which, if I had knocked it down in the grass, might’ve started a fire or something, which, of course, would’ve sucked.

We entered in through the back. We played it cool. But about a minute later a friend’s mom walked in, who happened to be a teacher as well. She said to a small group of my peers (which included PVT Blowbrass and I) that whoever was responsible for the fire wasn’t very “bright,” due to the fact that it was dry season.

We vowed to never discuss the fiasco ever again. A pact that I know will never be carried through. But that we took to heart that night, in fear of getting a detention.

With that whole escapade behind us, we proceeded to go backstage.

Once there, the always jittery Shaggy Stubbles decided to rummage through all the stuff back there. Shaggy Stubbles couldn’t keep his hands off anything, and Jake Huge was also there. It wasn’t a real backstage area, as one would imagine. It was obviously being used as a more generic storage area.

We found a baby doll that looked like it had been designed for some dirty deeds. And when you pressed on it, it would speak gibberish.

There was a small hallway that led to the kitchen. The chef kept on walking by and looking at everyone like they had some sort of mental problem.

Then, Plasti Kelly joined us. She is a weird girl who has flirted disgustingly with just about everyone in the jazz band and practically molested everyone too, including me.

Apparently, she felt like doing just that this time too. She moaned, writhed sensually, and grabbed her crotch. I laughed. She pouted and walked away.

All the while, the audience during this time was supposed to be entertained by a film on the history of swing. But instead, they got experimental films by students in the video class. That would explain the hardcore punk rock that I heard while I was backstage.

now back to the blog...

Finally, a very frustrated Mr. Maestro took the band outside to tune up.

Slacker and I went out to see where the fire had been, but found nothing. They must have cleaned up the scene of the crime.

We went back to where the horns were tuning up and Mr. Maestro told us that we, the jazz band, were the last hope for the night. If we didn’t save it, it would be a disaster. Thus, we journeyed back into the Wapiti Hotel & Venue with a mission: to make the whole thing not suck.

Apparently, when the drums and percussion were set up, the smart fellow who did it decided to put our guitars, amps, and just about everything else Slacker and I needed, behind large immoveable objects.

This, as you can understand, sucked.

Thus, I was forced to contort myself to be able to get to my guitar, Slacker’s guitar, and my amp (the only one reachable). Luckily, Slacker and I both played on different songs, so we could share my amp.

Finally, the show began.

It went well... until the one song that the drummer Overbeater (who you’ve met before in Jake Huge’s version of the SteelyGnot story) played on instead of the jazz band’s usual drummer, Poundswide.

I was standing right behind Overbeater. And I mean about two feet behind him, due to the small cramped stage. So I was the one that saw him most directly drop one his drumsticks in the middle of the song.

I tried to communicate with him, trying to help him find it. But it was no use.

Finally, after about twenty seconds (which seemed like an eternity), Overbeater found his stick.

Then, during the last song that the jazz band played, the usual drummer Poundswide was gettin’ really into it. So into it, in fact, that at the end, he raised his drumsticks so high they came about two inches short of my face. I inched and leaned back as much as I could. Which wasn’t a lot.

Finally, though, it was over.

When we were done, I packed up all my gear at once and hauled it off the stage. I got the hell out of there as soon as possible, got home, and took off that lame tuxedo.

Thus is the story of the Jazz Band Swing Dance Fiasco.


Well, thanks for reading.
And please stay tuned for the next story:

“The Adventure of the Infamous Club Nightmare Gig.”

By the way, the good old jazz band is going on a trip upstate to compete in a competition.

We will be there for the whole weekend.

I’m sure I’ll have quite a story to tell.

So stay tuned!


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