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Snipitz - Living With a Drummer

“...They sat and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears; but still they sat, and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definitiveness -- until, at length, I found that the noise was NOT within my ears.

No doubt I now grew VERY pale; but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased -- and what could I do? It was A LOW, DULL, QUICK SOUND -- MUCH SUCH A SOUND AS A WATCH MAKES WHEN ENVELOPED IN COTTON.”*


Ahhhhh, Edgar said it so very well. I have read “The Tell Tale Heart” over and over again in English and literature classes through high school and college. At one point I even took a pocket watch and wrapped it in cotton balls ( at long last the mystery of moms missing cotton balls has been solved) and put the cotton covered watch in my dresser drawer wanting to know exactly how that sounded.


It was soft, relentless and VERY creapy! I quickly took the watch out of the dresser drawer and returned it to my fathers dresser. I must admit now that the precocious child in me thought for just a second about hiding it in the room still in the cotton and wait for dad to start tearing the room apart to find the noise. I figured that it would be good for a giggle or two as I watched dad try to find it before the little pulsing vein in his forhead exploded.

I knew the vein was there as I had seen him chase the most elusive of all creatures....


The Cricket!

The pulsing sound that I am talking about today has very little to do with the cricket. It does, however involve the same pulsing vein in the forehead ( only this time it is MINE, and a very similar thumping.

I am NOT chaising the sound anymore either, I know without a doubt where it is coming from and the cause of this thumping noise is MY fault. Yes, all you women out there, I am a man and I am admitting fault.

You see...if you have not guessed it by now, I am the father of a 15 year old, 6'2” son whom has discovered his musical talent so now I am...



Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum ”

This was always one of my least favorite Christmas tunes.  Not the content of the song but just the repetitiveness of the chorus. Over and over again we hear the pa rum pump um pum of the boy and his drum.

Seriously…look it up on Google it appears 21 times in the song!

            I can only imagine what it might have been like for Joseph and Mary when the boy showed up at the manger.

            There is baby Jesus asleep in the hay, wrapped in swaddling clothing all nice and comfy cozy.

Mary and Joseph looking at the animals in the stall and whispering to each other..

“Thank GOD we finally got Him to sleep”

And for a moment…they relax.

Then out of nowhere it starts..

Tick tick tick..

Thump thump…


pa rum pum pum pum …

The entire manger begins to shake, the animals eyes widen in surprise, the cattle begin to moo, Joseph and Mary look for the source of the noise…

And Jesus begins to cry.

Ok ok…so I take creative license, but anyone whom has ever had a set of drums residing in their home knows what I am talking about.

I SWORE I would NEVER have a set of drums there…

I am a guitar player and I figured that is what my kids would want to play.

My wonderful sisters always threatened to purchase a set of drums for my boy as a way to get back at me for the years of torture I gave them as I attempted to learn my instrument of choice.

It wasn’t my sisters that bought the drums….

It was not my parents that purchased them…

It was ME!!

I should have known! I should have been prepared!! I should have had my HEAD examined!!

It all started innocently enough, with the purchase of Beatles Rock band for my sons 14th birthday.

Within 3 months he was playing everything on expert mode.

Within 5 months he was searching E-bay, Craigslist, Musicians friend and Guitar center for a drum kit.

By February of this year I had contacted my dear friend Robin to see if the drum kit from our old recording studio was still around….

It was…

And I bought them from him.

There is a saying that Friends don’t let friends drive drunk…

Excellent advice and they are correct.

I have now amended that to

Friends don’t let friends buy drum kits for 15 year old aspiring musicians!!

            And so it began. Night after night the sound of snare, toms, and kick drums along with crash, ride and high hat cymbals can be heard reverberating through our house.

I have learned to just turn the TV up a little louder.

At first it was just thumping and crashing noise…

But then a strange thing happened.

I began to recognize the songs. Soon my feet were tapping and my mind was whirling with the lyrics of the classic rock and roll or Christian rock songs that filled my ears.

What was once noise became, well….


There are still pitfalls to drums taking up residence.

There are the replacement heads you have to purchase, the replacement crash cymbals and the broken drum sticks that litter the floor as little wood shavings get nicked out of the sticks as they strike the cymbals, Making the floor around him look like he is master wood worker honing his craft.

There are the headaches, the neighbors and the perils of trying to use the bathroom as the house bounces, rocks and rolls from the rhythm of the kick…

It can get bad enough at times that I have thought of installing a seatbelt and shoulder strap on the commode to keep from vibrating off!

Then there are the benefits.

You’re probably saying BENEFITS?!?!?!

Yes I say…benefits.

When he is really rolling to a particularly fast song you can stand in one place and vibrate across the room without ever moving your feet.

When you want to rearrange the living room furniture you just simply hold on and steer. (this does not work as well for carpeted floors)

And when you want a really good deep tissue back massage you just lay on floor and yell “More kick Drum!!” and wa- la you have just saved money on a massage therapist..

            God can take anything and use it for a positive. As our family has gone through the pain of cancer, financial disaster and moving, God has used this as an outlet for my son’s frustration.

            He has used it to help give direction to my boy as he discovered his true passion.

            He has provided another way for a father and son to do something together as my son and I play in the church praise band together.

And best of all he has made my LITTLE(?) drummer boy smile.

We all have to find that outlet, that passion, that instrument of whatever kind. Musical or not that lets us take a break from the stressors of life.

For some it is music, cooking, running, weight lifting, movies, comedy, reading or even writing little random thoughts that I call Snipitz..

I hope that you find what it is in your life that gives you that time of relief from the day…

And perhaps in some way over my life (God willing) I have helped to do that with these musings.

I know that you have touched me with your responses to them. They have put a smile on my face and joy in my heart beyond compare. They have introduced me to new friends, reconnected me with old friends and helped me understand the importance of laughter in the life of a Christian.

I am thinking now that perhaps I had it wrong about the manger scene.

Just maybe when the boy and his drum showed up Joseph pulled out a guitar, Mary a flute and they joined in singing and playing their praise to the Lord….


I think though from now on I will have a different appreciation for that song. A new respect if you will. I have also learned that I need to purchase some drum silencers so I can get a NAP on occasion!

Oh, there is ONE other benefit of having a drummer in the house…

When it’s late and I go down stairs, pick up my guitar and join in with my son no one yells out

Who’s playing the guitar down there!!!

Nope it’s

Who’s playing the DRUMS!!!!

Thanks for taking one for the team son!






*excerpt from, ”The Tell-Tale Heart,” by Edgar Allan Poe. First Published 1843 Public domain.

Mood: cheerful
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