Years ago when I would teach 40 drum students a week, I would get parched. When you teach 4 hours a day, you talk a lot! I was in my 20’s, I was young and dumb and in order to lubricate my throat I would drink about 5 or 6 Coca-Colas while I taught. I know! Just thinking about it makes me wonder how I’m not morbidly obese! At some point I must have got a little smarter and switched to apple juice. To save money, I would buy them in large jugs. I had a mini-fridge in the store and I would keep two jugs at a time. I liked it cold so when one wasn’t cold, I’d swap it for the other. I was the only one drinking out of them so I’d drink right from the jug.
I had a young student by the name of Charlie. Nice little kid. He was probably in the 3rd grade when this story gets interesting. Charlie’s mom came to visit me at the store one day to voice a concern. “This is probably nothing.” she said, “But I would be remiss as a parent if I didn’t at least bring it up to you. Charlie seems to be under the impression that you are drinking whiskey while you are teaching lessons.” I have to say at first I was confused. I do like to keep things light and fun in lessons. Was my silliness leading a young impressionable mind to think I was drunk? But then I remembered the apple jug and I immediately realized that they kind of look reminiscent to whiskey jugs in old cartoons. I started laughing. I went and got a jug of apple juice to show Charlie’s mom and explained that perhaps this was the culprit. Charlie’s mom agreed and we both had a good laugh.
The next time I was teaching Charlie, I had forgot about the conversation with his mom until I reached down to take a swig of apple juice. When I teach snare drum, we sit side by side and play together. I took a drink from the jug, nudged Charlie and whispered…… “Hey…you want some whiskey?” Charlie’s eyes bugged out of his head Roger Rabbit style. Then they got kind of slanted. He saw right through me. “No it isn’t.” He stated with great emphasis. And we both a good laugh.