Off on one terrible chorus and going down in flame

My day Saturday began at 5:30 a.m. Normally Saturdays begin for me a little later. Okay, a lot later like four to five hours later.

So what prompted me to get up this past Saturday? I belong to a men’s chorus in our town and we were having a chicken barbecue. The chicken had to be prepared – wings “tucked” – and the first started, racks loaded with the chicken, etc.

What follows are a few of my observations throughout the day, including leading up to– and at– a concert the chorus had that night.

1. Note to self and other members of chorus: When using a “bug sprayer” to put the barbecue sauce on the chicken, be aware of the lock button. I didn’t and ended up spraying one of the other members of the chorus with said barbecue sauce. Only later did we learn of a finger lock on the sprayer.

2. Note to self and people in our town: Don’t go to our local McDonald’s for hot chocolate. Just go to Dunkin’ Donuts instead. I learned that our local Mickey D’s doesn’t have hot chocolate the hard way. To wit, I went there to grab a hot chocolate Saturday morning. I asked the employee behind the counter if they had hot chocolate since I couldn’t see it on the menu and thought I might be missing it somewhere. I asked twice and twice, he said, “Yes.”

I then proceeded to order a breakfast sandwich. He asked what I would like to drink with it.

“Hot chocolate.”

“We don’t have that.”

“I thought you said you did.”

“Oh, I thought you said, ‘Hot salsa.'”

“Hot salsa. What the hell would I need that for?”

Okay, that last part I didn’t say out loud, but might have thought it. I think I just glared instead, and said: “Okay, just a fountain drink then.”

Aside: Personally I think I was jinxed by Jenn Thorson’s post over at Of Cabbages and King called The Bagel Shop Sketch. Damn you, Jenn Thorson.

3. Note to bartender at our local hotel where we were singing Saturday night: Don’t throw another log on the fire in the fireplace in the lounge to appear cozier to customers when the men’s chorus is gathered in there in their full suits and it might make them sweat even more and maybe even irritated.

In fact, don’t throw three logs on the fire, thanks.

As we were “warming up” for Saturday night’s concert, we were literally “warming up.” I had to step out of formation during the warm-up and tell the young (read: clueless, naive), female bartender: “Thanks for putting not just one log, but three logs on the fire, because when you’re in jackets like we are, it makes us feel that much warmer. Thanks.”

She missed the sarcasm and said, “You’re welcome.”

I did apologize later, because I felt like that was probably one of those comments that I could not have said (like “What the hell” comment that I didn’t say to the McDonald’s employee earlier) but she even missed the apology and said: “That’s okay. I’ve turned on the air conditioner.” Now a fire with air conditioning? Makes sense to me.

I would have told her about that too: “I bet the air conditioning will help put out those embers that fell on to the carpet and not fan the flame,” but she probably would have missed the sarcasm again.

4. Note to chorus director: Don’t have us sing “Armed Forces: The Pride of America” arrangement that we do which includes the songs from all the branches of the military, but most especially “The U.S. Air Force.” To wit, “Down the dive, spouting your flame from under, off on one terrible course. We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey, nothing ‘il stop the U.S. Air Force.”

Aside from the fact that the lyrics are wrong: Down we dive, spouting our flame from under, Off with one hell of a roar! or “terrible roar,” depending on the group of people for which you’re singing and “nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force”…

…it’s also not in good form to be singing a song that has the lyrics “off on one terrible course” or talks about going down in flame when in fact we are singing “off course” (bad pun intended) and are (!) going down in flame. It’s one of the few songs on which we do go “off course,” and it’s partially because we just added it to our repertoire this year and haven’t learned it yet..well, at least, not the right way.


On Sunday, on my way home from visiting my parents who live the next county over from us, I encountered a billboard similar to this one but 10 miles from our local McDonald’s:

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