Saturday, July 10, 2010

The most unplayable musical instrument ever

You can date this photo from the innocuous looking white box at top. Yup, it's my Tamiflu prescription that supposedly helped me through the piggy epidemic (Remember? On the news every night for weeks? We're ALL GOING TO DIE!!!! No, thought not.) I caught the bug just after Christmas and saw in the New Year in a miserable swamp of snottiness. However, I got better. Kind of. Ever since then, I've suffered cold after cold after cold; a curious feeling for me as colds are something I normally get very rarely. However, I'm working on building my immune system back up. One possible side-effect I am pleased with, however, is the lack of Hay Fever. Apart from one horrible week in April when a combination of early Hay Fever and cold brought on a bout of asthma, I've been almost clear. It's all very odd.

But on the subject of wheezing, may I draw your attention to the musical instrument in the same photo? You'd be right to spot that it's a penny whistle. You'd also be right if you spotted that it's made of copper. My brother Simon made it a few years ago - for those you who Tweet, he's the Cornish photographer @kalannstudio - and it's the most unplayable instrument in the world. Not that it hasn't got a pleasant and unique tone, mind you. No, it's because copper tastes bloody awful. I challenge anyone to keep the thing on their tongue for longer than a few seconds. This makes it the most pointless wind instrument ever. However, I understand that it was actually made as a kind of prototype trophy and looks beautiful when polished.

All I know is that I have no idea what to do with it. Nor why he gave it to me. So I'll probably give it back to him. Or maybe I'll carry on trying to play it in the hope that copper absorption speeds the return of my immune system.


Mikey said...

Could you not paint it with a hard (and flavourless) varnish or something?

Stevyn Colgan said...

Mikey - My brother tweeted me a short while ago to say that I should polish it and then clear varnish it (a) to keep the sjine and (b) so that it tastes okay. Looks like this whole post was wasting your time and mine!