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Jeff Whitten: Around the horn
editor's notes

My wife asked me the other day what I wanted for Christmas.

“OK,” I said. “I want a trumpet.”

“A what?”

“A trumpet,” I said.

“Oh,” she said. “I thought you said something like you wanted a Trump hat.”

I shook my head. “I don’t want a Trump hat. I want a trump-et so I can learn to play like Miles Davis and Chet Baker, and therefore be as cool as I am undoubtedly someday destined to be when I grow up.”

She shook her head. “I’m not buying you a trumpet that will just sit around in that, that, that, place you have upstairs and gather dust. You’ll never learn to play it.”

That’s when it occurred to me she didn’t know what to call my home office, which is upstairs next to her home office.

Mine is untidy, hers looks like my old drill sergeants got a detail in there to police it up.

As for what I tend to call it, it isn’t “man cave.” That, like “she-shed,” gives me the willies.

I call it my lair. I hope I remember to remind her of that the next time she insults it.

Anyhow my wife is wrong if she thinks I’m not going to be the next Miles Davis. I’m big on self-improvement these days, and nothing would improve me more at the moment than being able to play Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood,” after a couple cold adult beverages to loosen up my lips.

Besides, if anybody can learn to play the trumpet at 60, I’m just the guy to do it. Me and music go way back.

You see, I took guitar lessons when I was in high school even if they didn’t turn out so well.

That’s because the depressing hippie I took depressing lessons from was a big fan of the depressing song “Dust in the Wind,” by Kansas.

That song ruined my life, especially after I took a stab at playing it 1,320 times without much success. “Don’t you know any other song I can try to learn?” I asked, feeling like just a drop of water in an endless sea.

“I close my eyes only for a moment and the moment’s gone,” the hippie said. “And it’s a great exercise for your fingers.”

“It’s a crybaby song,” I said. “But you’re the boss.”

About a month later I gave up on the guitar lessons. That song made me feel like there was no point in anything since I was going to wind up like Ozymandias anyway.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I just can’t handle that song anymore.”

“It’s OK,” the hippie said, gloomily, “Don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky.”

You ain’t kidding. Onward: Due to a production error, this part of today’s column was rehashed at warp speed after the idiot editor accidentally killed the much better version in the process of moving pages from one folder to another.

Some of it was lost in the process, and became dust in the wind itself. That’s sad, because it was some of my best work if I do say so myself.

Just so you know. Anyway, as much as I whine and groan on this page about development and growth and how much it screws up traffic and Ohio came down here and turned the whole South into Pooler, I probably shouldn’t be complaining.

After all, look at what early American developers did to the Native Americans.

One minute they’re out there minding their own business, hunting and fishing and raiding other tribes while the squaws did all the work, the next a bunch of busybodies looking to make bank come along.

Not long after that the whole place starts going downhill and before long traffic is backed up all the way to Macon.

It’s the American way. Now, 16 more shopping days until Christmas is over and I’ll be out there learning to blow my horn.

In the meantime, take care and be nice to senior citizens. They were here first and deserve our respect, our appreciation and our time.

Whitten is still editor of the Bryan County News while he works on being the next Chet Baker.

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