Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Small Diversion on the NZ Folk List

Brian Dooley writes:

This all reminded me of the Bog Pipe, a classical folk instrument that I recall from schooling in Britain. I went to Amersham College of St Thomas a Becket, on the outskirts of London. Despite its impressive name, Becket School (called thus, as there was another Amersham College) was largely made up of prefabricated buildings. To complete the picture, I remember when my friend Jeremy, alias Stick, threw his father's WWII bayonet into the wall between classrooms and it collapsed.

But there was one permanent building made of stone blocks from an earlier era; of course, this would be the loo. It stood by itself, and had been re-plumbed from something else many years previously. Now, this having been a part of a larger complex, and the materials being ancient stone, the original plumbing still ran through the walls and exited through an open pipe that would have connected to the previous building. Young criminals in waiting that we were, the player would wait for a visitor to visit this loo, and, whilst he was comfortably ensconced upon the throne, would submit embrochure to pipe end, and blow a furious tune in the manner of a bugle. A terrible moaning would erupt throughout the small building, and the walls would literally shake. The terrified visitor generally came flying out the door, whilst the player of the Bog Pipe, now away from the dread instrument, would look on quite innocently - doubtlessly infected with a multitude of cooties from the mouthpiece, and yet, content in the results of his recital on that grand old organ!

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