“Good Evening. My name is Ian and I’m a Bagpipe Addict.”
(“Hi Ian,” says the Group of about 30.)
“Welcome to this evening’s meeting of Bagpipers Anonymous. “Ailbert, would you please read the Bagpipers’ Pertinent Ideas?”
“Sure, my name is Ailbert, and I’m a Recovering Bagpiper. Feel free to read along with me starting on page 26 of the BagBook.
(Several of the Group fumble through their well worn editions of the big blue BagBook.)
“1) We admit that when we’re bagpiping we can not stop annoying our family, friends, neighbors and pets.
2) We admit that we are addicted to inflating the bag.
3) We admit that we are addicted to squeezing the bag in a vain attempt t make it make music.
4) We admit that we are addicted to making the drones drone.
5) We admit that this alleged musical instrument can really only play 5 or perhaps six different notes and is capable of only playing about 4 different songs. As such, it is not really a musical instrument.
“Good evening, my name is Ian and I tried to play bagpipes for 16 years, went to DeBag and ReBag, and many years of therapy, and thanks to them and many others, I’ve now successfully switched to trumpet for over five years now.”
(Cheers from the group. “”Thank you Ian,” they all loudly proclaimed.)
“Good evening, my name is Aenglas and I’m a bagpipe addict.”
(“Hi Aenglas,” said the Group.)
“I tried to play the bagpipes for 12 years and then managed, with the help of my wife and family, to change to saxophone and have loved playing it for more than 3 years.”
(“Yeah,” chimed the Group.)
“I knew all the scales and could play more than 20 songs, and that is five more than I could on the bagpipes. I could even play two solos by Paul Desmond.”
(“Ooh,” sighed the Group.)
“But then I saw a man wearing a kilt and relapsed.”
(“Oh no,” exclaimed the Group.)
“Yes, and rather quickly, the dog ran off, my wife left me, the kids ended up in foster homes and I went and spent all my money on a brand new, gold plated, custom made, ebony and ivory, inlaid mother-of-pearl bagpipe with six drone pipes and an extended finger pipe, so now I could play eight or nine different notes instead of the previous six or seven. A dear friend noticed that I had a severe problem, and took me to my first Bagpipers Anonymous meeting. It took more than a year of hard work doing the 16 Steps in DeBag, but with the help of my wonderful sponsor, I did manage to kick the habit, sold the bagpipe and bought a wonderful Lunn flute. After another year of intense lessons and practice, the rewards became obvious. My dog and family came back, and the neighbors even stopped making noise-complaints to the police.”
(Wild applause from the Group.)
“My name is Ian, and I’m a Bagpipe addict. Is there anyone else who would like to share before our time is up?”
After a pregnant pause, a shy woman raised her hand and then spoke.
“Hello, my name is Eunice, and I’m a Bagpipe Addict.”
(“Hi Educe,” said the Group.)
“Sincere honesty is a part of this organization, so I must confess that I’ve been caught cheating by my husband.”
(A deep sigh and several whisper-hisses comes from the Group.)
“Yes, he was going through my van and found a hidden bagpipe. Oh, the shame. Not only did I go back to trying to make music with a bagpipe, but I also tried to hide it from my dear husband. Fortunately, he has been attending Alon-Bag and with the help of his friends, destroyed the bagpipe and purchased me a drum kit. It has only been a week now, but I feel like I’m making progress and am once again making real music for a change.”
“Here is a one week coin-token for you Eunice, to remind you of the wonderful step you’ve taken toward true musicianship and to encourage you to continue on your quest.”
(Coin is passed around the Group. Each person holds it tightly in their hands or clutched to their chest, before it ends up in Eunice’s sweaty hands. She holds it dearly.)
“Thank you Eunice,” said Ian. “We’re about out of time now, so let’s all form a hug-circle and close this meeting with the Piper’s Prayer.”
(The Group shuffles into a circle and puts their arms around each other, careful not to press too hard on the delicate diaphragms.)
(All together they speak…)
“Grannus, please grant me the serenity of never hearing a bagpipe again, the courage to learn to play a real musical instrument and the wisdom to hear the difference. KEEP COMING BACK, IT’S WORKING!”
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