So’s digging through my stuff, I found an old screenwriting assignment from a couple years ago. Screenwriting was an interesting class. We had an assignment every week to analyze and philosophize on the theme of a certain story. I got bad marks on that. Mostly because I’d write something impatient and sarcastic.
One week, the teacher deviated from the regular assignment. She wanted us to come up with a “black humor” piece. Yippee! I was pretty zippy about it. I looked through some of my favorite black humor authors–Roald Dahl, Gary Larsen, Shel Silverstein–and using that inspiration, came up with the crazy poem, “Trisha McNair.” It’s told from the viewpoint of a 2nd chair flutist. My only assignment that got full marks. :D Enjoy!
Trisha McNair was our flutist, first chair,
and made sure that everyone knew it.
She’d whine and she’d rage at the turn of each page
and always made second chair do it.
She’d pout and she’d fume if you played out of tune
or if you squeeked out a wrong note
If you messed up her song ‘coz you play a sharp wrong
expect Trisha to lunge at your throat.
“You’d better not slip or mess up on this trip!”
she said, as we packed stuff away.
“I want to hear the crowd holler and cheer
when I reach my cadenza’s high A!”
Trisha McNair said that she didn’t care,
grabbing my window seat on the plane!
“Flutists,” she said, “gotta keep a clear head.”
And she pressed her nose, hard, on the pane.
Moscow was grand, agreed the whole band!
Except, of course, Trisha McNair.
She hated the food, she’d bellow and brood
’bout the weather, hotel, and her hair.
On concert night, the stage shiny and bright,
Trish began her “Concerto for Flute.”
…When through the door burst a Bolshevic Horde!
screaming “DON’T YOU DARE MOVE OR VE’LL SHOOT!”
Blam! Blam! Hard and loud! They surrounded the crowd!
Big guns at the ceiling a-shootin’!
And when the dust cleared, and old man with a beard
emerged, grinning. “‘Allo! It’s Rasputin!“
“I’m back!” he delared. The band huddled down, scared.
“And I’m going to make you all pay!
Now, girls and boys, don’t you dare make a noise!”
…And then Trisha hit hard her high A.
Most famous musicians have lofty ambitions.
High goals! For a stars they’re a-shootin’!
But I got first chair ‘coz of Trisha McNair;
who staunchly refused to stop flutin’.