One of the things you experience as a cellist (aside from people constantly telling you how much they love it, and how it’s the sexiest instrument EVER) is the myriad of jokes about the case. Every time I leave home with it, I get comments.
For tonight’s gig, I rode the bus because my Honda’s alternator is on its last legs, and I’ll be left stranded if I drive it too much. So I got on the bus and the conversation instantly went like this:
Driver: “I’m pretty sure that’s not a body in there.”
Me: “Heh. Yeah, it’d be a pretty small body.”
Driver: “Well, you could’ve chopped it up into a bunch of little pieces.”
Me: (awkwardly) “Ha ha. . .okay, I’m just gonna go. . .uhh. . .sit over here.”
Luckily, one of the passengers struck up a conversation, asking if I’ve ever seen the movie August Rush, which apparently includes a cellist as part of the story. I haven’t seen it, but I told him that it sounds really great, and that I’ll check it out.
My all-time favorite odd cello-related conversation took place a couple of months ago, when I had the cello in the back of the car, on my way to a gig down in Salem, and I stopped at CarapaceGasStation to fill up the tank. The back seats were folded down, and the cello case was clearly visible through the window. This being Oregon, where it’s illegal for us to pump our own gas, I opened the sunroof to tell the attendant to ‘fill it up with Plus, please.’ While he was doing that, he looked in the back window and noticed the cello case. “Hey,” he said, “you got a body in there? Looks like a pregnant woman.”
Me: (nonchalantly; heard it a hundred times before) “Nope, it’s a cello.”
Attendant: “Oh. . .heh heh. . .cause it looks like you killed my wife and crammed her in there.”
Me: “. . .” (silent. . .don’t know what to say.)
The attendant flitted between the various cars that were having their gas tanks filled, and when mine was done, he handed me my debit card and receipt through the open sunroof and called out, uncomfortably loudly, “Thanks a lot, sir. GOOD LUCK DRIVING AROUND WITH MY DEAD, PREGNANT WIFE.” I laughed and gave him a half-hearted salute as I closed the sunroof and drove off into the twilight.
Luckily I got a ride home from the gig tonight, so I didn’t have to suffer the slings and the arrows of lame cello case humor. And since we’re on the subject, here are some lame cello jokes that I just scrounged up from the Interweb:
Q: What’s the difference between a cello and a coffin?
A: The coffin has the dead person on the inside.
Q: Why did the cellist marry the accordion player?
A: Upward mobility. [Note: I'm both a cellist AND an accordion player!]
Q: Did you hear about the cellist who played in tune?
A: Neither did I.
Q: How can you tell when a cellist is playing out of tune?
A: The bow is moving.
Ah, praise the Lord for the gift of laughter.