Notes from the Isolation Ward, Day 12

Learning a New Skill

They say being in quarantine is as good a time as any to learn a new skill. Or to make another stab at learning a skill.

BanjoPickinMommaSo here I am, trying once again to become proficient on the banjo.

Now, before you clap your hands over your ears, scream “Oh, no!” and ask, “Are you nuts?” let me say that I have always loved the banjo. To me, the banjo is a cheerful, fun-loving, toe-tapping, gotta-get-up-and-dance joyful sound. If I had to personify it, the banjo would be the quirky aunt or uncle who refuses to act his/her age (whatever that means) and who continually regales the family with embarrassing stories or slightly off-colour jokes and, in the process, leaves everyone laughing their heads off. Not like the guitar who would be the fine, upstanding, prim-and-proper, always-there-for-you relative who doesn’t get the jokes. Or at least, refuses to laugh at them.

No, I have never heard a sad banjo. Not to be confused with sad banjo-playing, of which there is a lot. Including mine.

I just wish Earl Scruggs hadn’t make three-finger picking look so darn easy. He makes the rest of us look really bad.

Which I am, right now.

The banjo, like the accordion and the bagpipes, is the butt of many jokes. Want to know my favourite accordion joke?

Q: What’s the definition of a gentleman?
A: Someone who can play the accordion but doesn’t. (Ta-dump-dump)

Okay, go ahead. Substitute “banjo” for “accordion.” I can take it. Just to show I’m a good sport, here are some of my favourite I-hate-banjo jokes:

Q: What’s the difference between a banjo and an onion?
A: No one cries when you cut up a banjo.

Q: What’s the difference between a banjo and a chain saw?
A: You can turn off a chain saw.

Q: How is playing a banjo a lot like throwing a javelin blindfolded?
A: You don’t have to be good to get everyone’s attention.

Q: How many strings does a banjo have?
A: Five too many.

Q: What’s the difference between a banjo and a trampoline?
A: You take your shoes off to jump on the trampoline.

And finally:

Q: When do banjo songs sound the best?
A: When they’re over.

Let’s see now, what’s the fingering for D7? Plunk, plunk plunk, plunk, plunk plunk, plunk. Grand Ole Opry, here I come.

(P.S. And since you asked, yes, I did sanitize the banjo. Didn’t improve my playing any, though.)

#COVID-19 #NovelCoronavirus #SelfIsolation #Quarantine #Banjo #LearnANewSkill #GoodNeighbours #Pandemic #KeepingSanitized #SocialDistancing #MargaretGHanna

4 thoughts on “Notes from the Isolation Ward, Day 12

  1. This is amazing! I love the banjo, even though I laughed out loud at a few of the jokes. While it’s something I always wanted to give a shot, it’s pretty low on the list, and I have a hard enough time playing guitar…


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