to be a better musician in a better position

DOUG WAS A CELLIST with the Seattle Sym­phony. He was a good if undis­tin­guished player, so he sat in the back of the cello sec­tion. It wasn’t the best sit­u­a­tion, and he dreamed of better things—to be a better mu­si­cian in a better po­si­tion! But no matter how much or how often or how hard he prac­ticed, he couldn’t seem to get any better! Still, he was rea­son­ably con­tent with his lot in life.

One over­cast and rainy day in Feb­ruary, he de­cided to clean out the attic in the aging house in Is­saquah he had in­her­ited from his par­ents. His fa­ther and mother had run a family den­tist busi­ness for decades, and they liked to travel during their an­nual va­ca­tion.

 

And so Doug found him­self now the prin­cipal cel­list of the Seattle Symphony—a better mu­si­cian in a better po­si­tion.

 

They were es­pe­cially at­tracted to ex­otic lo­cales and al­ways re­turned with in­ter­esting and odd gifts and knick­knacks. When Doug was a kid, they would tease him about the magic that they found in the An­cient East and Darkest Africa.

Rooting through some old boxes, he dis­cov­ered what an old lamp. An old tar­nished lamp. He smiled—who wouldn’t?—and of course he gave it a brisk rub­bing.

And of course out popped a genie, just like in the fairy tales!

 

Djinn600

Ex­cept it wasn’t a jovial genie like in the Disney car­toon; it was a fe­ro­cious Djinn wielding a mas­sive curved sword.

A scarred, tat­tooed, ugly Djinn.

And scowling.

The demon looked around the room and then glanced down at the in­cred­u­lous Doug.

“Well well well, O master of mine,” in­toned the crea­ture in a sibi­lant whisper. “You have dis­turbed my slumber of all these years—a sleep sorely needed. Nonethe­less, you are master of the lamp, and I must grant you three wishes!”

Dumb­struck, Doug just nodded.

“All the usual re­stric­tions apply,” con­tinued the genie. “You do know what they are, don’t you?”

Again, Doug just nodded.

“Well, master,” said the genie, “what is your first wish?”

As con­tent as Doug was, he didn’t even have to think about that one. “For my first wish, I want you to make me a better mu­si­cian than I am now, in a better po­si­tion than I am now!”

The genie smiled, “So it shall be as you wish. Go to bed and when you awaken in the morning, you will be a better mu­si­cian in a better po­si­tion than you are now.”

The next day, Doug’s buzzing smart­phone woke him. His frantic con­ductor wanted to know where his number one cel­list was! And so Doug found him­self now the prin­cipal cel­list of the Seattle Symphony—a better mu­si­cian in a better po­si­tion!

And for sev­eral years he was con­tent in that po­si­tion, but even­tu­ally his am­bi­tion grew. So he found the lamp and called back the genie.

“Yes, master? How may I be of ser­vice?” yawned the ir­ri­table Djinn.

Without hes­i­tating, the prin­cipal cel­list of the Seattle Sym­phony replied, “Make me an even better mu­si­cian in a better po­si­tion than I am now!”

Once again, the genie in­toned, “So it shall be as you wish. Go to bed and when you awaken in the morning, you will be a much better mu­si­cian in a much better po­si­tion than you are now.”

This time, when Doug awoke, he found he was living in Ger­many and was now the prin­cipal cel­list of the Berliner Phil­har­moniker—which was a much better mu­si­cian in a much better po­si­tion!

And for sev­eral years he was con­tent in that po­si­tion, but even­tu­ally his am­bi­tion grew. So he found the lamp and called back the genie.

The genie re­turned and said a bit sternly, “Ah, master, I was dreaming of an end­less oasis filled with vir­gins and figs. Still, how may I be of ser­vice? One last time …”

And the first cel­list of the Berlin Phil­har­monic, “I want you to make me an even better musician—in an even better po­si­tion!”

This time the an­cient Djinn grinned and said, “So it shall be as you wish. Go to bed and when you awaken in the morning, you will be an even better mu­si­cian in an even better po­si­tion than you are now.”

The next morning, Doug the cel­list woke up to find him­self back in his old house in Is­saquah.

Back with the Seattle Sym­phony.

Sit­ting in the last desk of the second vi­olin sec­tion …

 

CelloSection2

FEATURED IMAGE: “When John Sharp (above) was ap­pointed as the Chicago Sym­phony Orchestra’s prin­cipal cel­list in the spring 1986, he al­ready had served three sea­sons in the same post with the Cincin­nati Sym­phony and played for a year with the Met­ro­pol­itan Opera Or­chestra. [John] was just 27, one of the youngest mu­si­cians ever ap­pointed to a top po­si­tion in the or­chestra.” (CSO Sounds & Sto­ries)

I found the fab­u­lous il­lus­tra­tion of the Djinn above on a Pin­terest page with no artist credit.

Fi­nally, this joke is ded­i­cated to my fa­vorite su­per­hero, Dr. P, and his trusty side­kick, the inim­itable Joyrenie!

 

Subscribe
Notify of
Rate this article:
Please rate this article with your comment.
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments