Embarrasing Percussion Story

Gunnora Hallakarva gunnora at bga.com
Mon Dec 16 23:17:40 PST 1996

Heilsa, All.

Several folks have written begging me to please tell the embarrasing tale on
myself.  I have acquiesced, so here it is for the general amusement of all.
I am sure that Mari will happily elaborate on the details later, too!

>> touching percussion instruments (it's a funny tale, and it was Branwyn's
>> fault!).  I *can* listen and offer comment.  However, like anything else

It's a sad tale.  Many years back at a Steppes Twelfth Night (I may have
been all of 19) I heard the astounding tale of another lady fighter, Aerin
niErin, who at Pennsic had found herself all alone with nothing but a
bastard sword, holding one of the bridges all by herself.  She not only held
the bridge, she slew well over thirty opponents.This was a true tale,
several of the folks who went to Penssic that year attested to it.  So I
went and toasted Aerin.  With Akavit.  With my horn full (maybe about 15
oz).  Which I skoaled.

And lo! There was drunkeness!

Now, I'm a happy drunk.  I don't bother anyone, I am half-sleepy with a big
goofy grin when I'm plastered.  But THIS time, I staggered by the musician's
area.  They had Mistress Sabia on harp (she's a professional with the
Houston Symphony mundanely) plus Musica Allegre on a variety of period
instruments.  It was sublime.

Then Mistress Branwyn says, "Gunnora!  Come here and play with us!"  You'd
have thought that the 45 degree list to starboard as I staggered over would
have clued her in, but no.  I do not read music, and hence do not play
recorder, flute etc.  She said, "Well, anyone can play a tamborine!" and
with that she shoved the ill-fated thing into my hands.  I was too drunk to
walk and talk at the same time.  And she handed me a tamborine.  

Well. imagine a two-year old in the high chair, grinning ear-to-ear and
drooling, with their spoon and cup in a Florentine style.  Now see in your
mind's eye the baby smashing the cup loudly and arhythmically against the
high chair tray.  Over and over and over and over and over and over.  As
hard as possible.  Got this picture?  This was me, except no drooling and
all I was bashing was the tamborine.  It didn't matter what was being
Not only were the other musicians becoming extremely annoyed, (especially
Sabia, whose concert upright harp was being completely drowned out by the
awful clatter and had a murderous gleam in her eye) but the populace was
being distracted from all the talking, dancing, and such that goes on at
this event.

My friends tried valiantly to stop me.  One by one they came over and tried
to take the tamborine away.  I was stubborn, and had a grip of steel.  Next
they tried subtlety.  "Hey, Gunnora, can I see the tamborine?"  I held it
out a monent in that death grip, fliped it from one side to the other to
demonstrate both sides, then went back to BASH! RATTLE! RATTLE! BASH! BASH!
RATTLE! RATTLE! BASH!  They tried distracting me, but I was a darned
single-minded drunk and could not be enticed to get up and wander away from
the tamborine.  Finally, they got my sister to go talk to me.  She sat down
beside me and said, "Gunnora, can I play the tamborine for a while?"  I am
told I smiled sweetly, handed over the noisemaker, and went and passed out.  

And since I remembered NOTHING after the toast to Aerin the next morning,
all my evil friends took great delight in telling me in embarrassing and
excruciating detail about my ill deeds of the previous night.  Complete with
loud vocal renditions of BASH! RATTLE! RATTLE! BASH! BASH! RATTLE! RATTLE!
BASH! designed to hurt my hangover.  And Sabia would not quit sniping at me
about it for months, until I finally voluntarily accepted the geis to never
touch a percussion instrument again, so help me Tyr!  And, drunk or sober, I
have kept the vow.

If I hadn't been drunk, I'd have never allowed Branwyn to cozen me into
playing, anyway, as I am a singer and a guitar player, not a percussionist.
So I haven't felt deprived because of the geis.  But at least the acute
stage of the embarrasment over the incident has faded and I can laugh about
it.  I'm not sure that Sabia ever forgot or fogave, tho...  AND I am most
careful not to EVER get this intoxicated again, ever!!!!

Wassail and God Jul,

Gunnora Hallakarva
Ek eigi visa (th)ik hversu o(dh)lask Lofstirrlauf-Kruna
heldr hversu na Hersis-A(dh)al

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list