ACCORDION, n. An instrument in harmony with the sentiments of an assassin
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionaryan article focusing on attorneys who write detective stories. Deborah’s column cleverly (Dale wrote, grudgingly) juxtaposed examples of attorney authors with examples of attorney humor. As the only attorney author on SleuthSayers I couldn’t help but feel a bit nervous over Deborah’s article – sort of like a Southern Baptist dropped into the middle of a senior prom. But the column did get me to thinking about the wealth of attorney jokes that are out there, and that led me to speculate as to whether there might be another outlet for this comedic enthusiasm, an outlet that could shield, at least at times, the nation’s advocates from these slings and arrows.
My creativity in this area was a bit hobbled. I have this thing about making fun of others – I don’t mind targeting a class of people so long as I am also a member of that class. Otherwise I get nervous that I am on the wrong side of “nice.” So my suggested vector away from all of this attorney hilarity needed to be in a direction that would also leave some weight on my own shoulders.
The answer was obvious. I am an attorney, but I am also someone who completely fulfills Oscar Wilde’s definition of a gentleman. “A gentleman,” Wilde wrote, “is someone who knows how to play the accordion but doesn’t.”
That’s me. I do, And I don’t.
It took me seven years of training to become a good lawyer – four years of college, followed by three years of law school. By contrast it took me eight years of training to become a bad accordionist – lessons every Friday from the age of 10 through the age of 18. What, I often wondered, were my parents thinking?
If you stand back and contemplate the accordion you can come away awestruck at what a tremendously bad idea the whole thing is. You can sort of see where they were going with it – the bass buttons on the player's left produce different sounds than the keyboard on the right, so it sort of accompanies itself. But at what price?
|The Stradella Chord Arrangement Chart (ARGGHH!)|
But I digress. The take away point is that I am more than willing to make fun of accordions.
But while there is a dearth of accordion mystery stories, accordion jokes, on the other hand, abound. In fact, in many cases you can take a lawyer joke and simply substitute the word accordionist. As an example, here is one of the jokes that appeared in Deborah’s previous column:
If you are stranded on a desert island with Adolph Hitler, Atilla the Hun and a lawyer, and you have a gun with only two bullets, what do you do?
Shoot the lawyer twice.Or try this one, also from Deborah’s earlier column:
What's the difference between a dead dog in the road and a dead lawyer in the road?
There are skid marks in front of the dog.See what I mean? Cut and paste “accordionist” for “lawyer” and the jokes continue to work just fine. There are, in any event, a wealth of accordion jokes just sitting out there ready to be mined.
- An accordionist parks his car in a sketchy part of town. When he has walked several blocks he realizes, in a panic, that he has left the car unlocked and that his prize 120 bass accordion is sitting on the front seat. He runs back to the car and sees, in horror, that the back door is now standing open. He approaches his car and peers inside. Someone has left three additional accordions on the rear seat.
- How do you make a chain saw sound like an accordion? Add vibrato.
- How do you make certain that a song is played in time when you have two accordionists? Shoot one of them.
- How do you protect a valuable instrument? Hide it in an accordion case.
- How is playing an accordion like throwing a javelin blindfolded? You don't have to be very good to get people's attention.
- How many accordions can you fit in a hope chest? Roughly one hundred if you chop them fine enough.
- What is the difference between an onion and an accordion? People cry when they chop up onions.
- What is the difference between an accordion and a cat? Only the cost, they both make the same kinds of sounds when you squeeze them.
- What's the difference between an accordion and a trampoline? You take your shoes off before you jump up and down on a trampoline.
- What do a true music lover and an accordionist have in common? Absolutely nothing.
- What do you call an accordion player with a pager? An optimist.
- What is the range of an accordion? Twenty yards if you've got a good arm!
- What is the difference between an accordion player and a terrorist? Terrorists have sympathizers.
- What is the definition of perfect pitch? Closing your eyes, turning your back and throwing an accordion into the bin without touching the sides.