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Everything I need to know, I learned in Marching Band

Be afraid of the dark. Be very afraid. * It's perfectly okay to sit out of a run-through when you can't breathe and your lips and fingernails are turning blue. Nobody will yell at you. Honest. * Never apply makeup on a moving bus. * Tubas go crunch. * Push-ups are good for morale, as well as biceps. * Duct tape is the answer to all problems. * Supermarket cashiers treat musicians very kindly- unless there are two of them, 80 of you, and it's two o'clock in the morning. * Never sit near the bus bathroom on a long road trip. * Contrary to popular belief, it can be fun to march in forty degree weather during a hailstorm. * Anger the Uniform Moms and there will be hell to pay. * Always headbang during "Bohemian Rhapsody," even if it means bruises and headaches. * Who says accordions don't belong in marching band? * Remain in your seat during brake checks. * When your drum major waltzes onto the bus singing "I Feel Pretty" after a show, it's a good sign. * Don't even bother trying to figure out how much of your time you're spending in marching band, it will only depress you. * If you dislike your bus driver, hang your uniform bag over the window so he'll get pulled over by the cops. * Overly tight shakos equal good performances. * Plume-napping is a serious offense. * Football is just the band's warm-up act. * Otherwise droll parents will magically become screaming fools when they see you take the field for competition. * Shopping carts are abused little critters. * An eight-to-five step in 4\4 time at one hundred twenty beats per minute will get you from the band room to the practice field in two minutes and thirty-two seconds. * That sparkly sash-thingy is called a baldric. * It is humanly possible to dance to Benny Goodman on a moving vehicle. * Always bring a swimsuit for taking showers on the road. * Not even rain will dissipate a basics block . * A charter bus can be the site of such heated theological debate as not seen since the reformation. * The clarinet section secretly harbors a McGuyver. * You haven't properly answered a "Band Dismissed" unless you turn blue in the face afterwards. * Baby wipes work wonders on dirty Dinkles. * If you want to learn about Adam Sandler, ride on the drummers' bus. * Announcing that you're a Monty Python fan will make you friends faster than handing out money. * Cool people sing along with Disney movies. * Always keep a camera on your person- especially when the staff is in close proximity to slot machines. * It's much more fun to eat salad from a plastic bag with sporks. * "Fern Gully" is really a communistic metaphor. * The colorguard has many big fans. (Literally.) * Always make sure to put the mellophone valves back in the correct direction. * Crayons and coloring books can keep otherwise sophisticated people occupied for hours on end. * A love triangle involving your bus driver and two students makes for an interesting ride. * Despite what anyone says, he won't really spray paint your hands or feet. (At least, that's what you're supposed to think.) * Never wear underwires when performing horn pops. * Spokane is a mild little town compared to San Fransisco. * Quillow = Quilt + Pillow. * There is no decent place to hide an inhaler in your band uniform. * Making pancakes for 160 band nerds in the morning would seem like a good idea until you blow every circuit breaker in the school. * Froot Loops, cold bagels, and Sunny Delight eaten on gym floors are the true "breakfast of champions." * Cheerleaders take bait. * Tuba players are extremely ticklish.* It's not a good idea to get IcyHot in your eyes. * A band decked out in khaki pants and hawaiian shirts will look like a bowl of migrating fruit. * PDA's are punishable by fire hose. * Hashbrowns are better when they have crispy bits. * Never leave a banana in your instrument case. * Whoever invents a clarinet heater will become very rich. * The Works of William Fussel make excellent bonfire fodder. * If you ground a CB radio to a bus, you can talk to truckers miles away. * It's perfectly okay to cry after the performance of your life. * LEFT, right, LEFT, right... * Nose glasses are a trip requisite. * You play "Tequila," you die. * When you march backwards past a field judge while whipping off runs and his face is white and jaw hangs open, he likes what you're doing. * Guitars do not belong on tour buses. * Make sure your reed is firmly adhered to your mouthpiece before a horn chunk. * Cliffs Notes are a band geek's best friend. * Prayer may be outlawed in school, but chartered transportation is not under that jurisdiction. * Never leave home without your towel. * People will buy fundraiser car wash tickets even if their cars aren't all that dirty. * If you wish to ever see your beloved permission slips or electric tuners ever again, don't give them to Parker. * Poker chips emblazoned with your drill number make very good friends. * Opera: it's not just for geeks anymore!* You know you're in trouble when Mr. Meredith takes off his shoe. * We love the band mommies... except when they sing show tunes. * When someone calls you a "band geek," take it as a compliment. * The people who work at Dennys' in Oregon are much more friendly than those at home. * He who has actually done everything on the "You've Been in Band Too Long When..." list should be raised to the status of a minor deity. * Taco Bell and basics in ninety-five degree weather don't mix. * Parade-rest stare-downs with rival bands are lots of fun. * Announcers tend to get bored when they have to announce your name more than half a dozen times. * Lilac officials need to learn what "Don't break ranks" means. * Mouthpieces love the ground. * The district doesn't like the music program- unless they get good publicity. * Sleeping on a gym floor isn't all that bad when you've been awake for twenty-two straight hours. * The grass in Nevada isn't real grass. * Men who stand on street corners in short shorts holding pink parasols make way more than minimum wage, thanks to tourists. * Astroturf dust on Dinkles is considered a status symbol. * During band camp, you can eat all the junk you want and still lose weight. * Uniform gloves aren't as warm as they should be. * It's "Persian traditional dancing," not "belly dance," got it, pal? * Band Mommies are really angels in disguise. * Always leave your trumpet in bounds. * If you think musicians are strange, you obviously haven't been to Los Vegas. * Teachers think music is good for the mind- unless it requires you to miss class. * The only gambling students are allowed to do on tour involves paper clips for poker chips. * If you fast forward a video of a band show, it looks like a drunken field of ants. * Things must be going well when the director writes words to your music stating how you're going to kick the rear of any band that dares to compete against you. * Never schedule a long road trip for the one week when the 100 female members of the band and guard all have PMS without having enough Midol to keep them all quiet. Even then, be prepared for bloodshed. * Chocolate graham crackers with cream cheese frosting, cranberry-orange bagels, nutty bars, and apple juice make a good dinner. * Never sleep on a bus with your hair near the floor heater. * Fire alarms make the best alarm clocks. * Rubber walls are our friends. * All of the animals on Old Mac Donald's farm say "quack." * Asking pitsters to march will only confuse them. * You know you've got a good reputation when the school pays for enough pizza to feed the whole band- drummers included. * Irish marching bands march in swamps, so why shouldn't we? * Respect the colorguard members: they have big sticks and you don't. * A bus with a letter board reading any of the following is disdained by the staff: "Casino Special," "Kalamazoo," "Race Track," "Anywhere, USA," "Loony Bin." * Band nerds like the idea of becoming gargoyles on a castle from a mini golf course. * Palm trees bear a striking resemblance to large pineapples. * When the tuba player from your host school dances on the field, you know you can trust the group. * Got valve oil? * Shakos never go top-side to the ground! * If you're in tears at the end of a show, you've done well. * Wait until after band to get your hair cut so you'll still be able to get it into your shako. * Any Far Side cartoon with cows in it is classified as high art. * Even without vocal training, band members can make remarkably good a capella singers. * Computer solitaire is much easier than the real thing. * Restaraunt-goers will do a double take at a "band 'ten hut!", even if you don't. * Just because a band is from California doesn't automatically make them any better than us. * Allow plenty of extra time before your first performance of the year for your new uniforms to arrive.* Lysol disinfects everything. * The clarinet section leader will respond to the name "Satan." * A cartoon person wearing full uniform takes six minutes to draw completely. * Beware the band room piano- the low Bb sticks. * Open the door to the room where the pitsters keep their stuff and you will be brutally maimed. * If you think sitting through one of Meredith's lectures is boring, you haven't driven through Nevada "to look at the beautiful scenery." * You might be surprised at the number of brass players who know how to do the "Chicken Dance." * California is full of plume trees! * If you don't eat at McDonald's, the employees give you mints. * Be prepared to explain where Veradale is. * Large water jugs are more precious than platinum. * If you march at an eight-to-five, 120 bpm, without stopping, you could march from Spokane to San Jose in a little over nine days. * Don't blow on your hands to warm them up during rehearsal; the condensation will freeze and leave your fingers even colder. * If at all possible, do not rehearse near a pig farm or an air force base. * It's a bad idea to wear contact lenses on long bus rides. * Jeweller's screwdrivers can be used as currency. * Move at attention and prepare to kiss some asphalt. * Playing "We Are the Champions" before a competition is bad luck. * Dating within your section is considered by some to be incestuous. * Rock & roll is king. * Male trumpet players tend to look like clowns- even without makeup. * Chocolate is the food of the gods. * The guys who take ground pictures of the band really have no clue about music. * Super glue will stick your fingers together, which makes it very difficult to play. * Cork grease is not lip gloss! * Never let those with Zippos get a hold of hairspray. * "Let's do that again for number twenty-three..." * Rainstorms, dust devils, hurricanes, etc. only happen to other bands. * The pit is evil. Never listen to them. * Bubble gum takes seven years to be dissolved by the acid in your stomach. * You know you're doing all right when the instructor recognizes you only by your drill number. * You haven't really lived until you've put on the black and blue uniform! *

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