Have you ever set up a drum kit? No? Beware! We bought a nice, but inexpensive set. We got a bass drum, snare, toms, cymbals, pedals, and all the cool stuff you need. What we did not get was a good set of instructions. The simple little paper that was packed with the drums was pathetic. If the same people who wrote that piece of junk were to describe how to eat an ice cream cone, it would be something like this: "Find cold part, located near larger end of edible container. Insert quickly into waiting receptacle (receptacle has teeth on inside, not outside), being sure to shut off vocal features of receptacle for a brief time. Do not over-extend insertion due to risk of intense discomfort and reduced airflow to other subsystems." Yeah, try following that one.
Somehow, we managed to assemble the kit. I even had to resort to my knowledge of working on cars. Tightening the drum head is similar to tightening the lug nuts on a tire. You must use a criss-cross pattern. I told my son that the pattern was also similar to one I once used on my old Alfa Romeo's engine. "You have to be very careful not to warp the Alfa's aluminum-alloy head." He gave me a strange look. Whenever I mention working on cars, he has learned to back up just a few feet. The crazed look I get in my eyes is probably scary to an 11-year old. But that's OK now. He has a fully assembled drum kit, and if I start acting strange, he can warp my head with a single, loud cymbal crash right by my ear. I just hope he doesn't decide to do so at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning. It's not as easy to toss a drum kit through a plate glass window as it looks on TV.
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.