I’ve been hearing a lot of sniggering during practice lately about a so-called “rusty trombone,” and I tell you, I won’t have that kind of talk in my rehearsal hall!

Now, I don’t know which one of you little miscreants decided the idea of a rusty trombone was something to laugh about, but instruments of any kind, especially the brass, falling into disuse and disrepair is a cause for mourning and somber reflection, not for the giggling and winking I’ve been seeing in the back rows.

Yes, I’m talking to you, Mr. Winterbottom! You think I don’t see you, mocking a poor, undeserving trombone, but I do, Mr. Winterbottom, I do! And tell me, Mr. Winterbottom, if you would like to have a rusty trombone?

I assume from your grimace that you would not! I thought so. Children, stop laughing! You still think it’s funny? Imagine Mr. Winterbottom then, frowny-faced, receiving a rusty trombone for Christmas. We wouldn’t be too happy then, would we, having our mother or father give us a rusty trombone? Dammit, I said stop laughing!

Have any of you little brats ever tried to manage a rusty trombone?! I tell you, it’s a horror show! Pressing your dry lips against the browned, rough opening, moistening it with your tongue, all the while tasting the sour taste of a neglected and unhygienic mouthpiece.

And then, to place your hand on the front knob and begin to manipulate the sliding apparatus! All, only to have the worst kind of filth issue forth from the erect horn, despite your fervent blowing and sliding…it’s…well, quite frankly, it’s something I wish all of you get a chance to try! Maybe that will teach you the proper respect for a musical instrument!

Yes, that’s what I will do! Next rehearsal I’ll arrange it so that each of you gets a rusty trombone! I doubt there will be any laughter then, after I have personally given each and every one of you your very own rusty trombone!

Is that what we want, class?! Is it?! Because if this behavior doesn’t stop, I tell you I’ll go get a rusty trombone from Mr. Woodruff right now! And he knows how to make them very rusty.

Fine, you know what? Keep laughing. I give up. But I’ll tell you this much: it won’t be so damned funny when you’re all penniless, incompetent musicians, scrounging up loose change so you can buy a rusty trombone off of a street person!

Then you will wish you had taken my advice. I, who am a proud and competent tromboner! Why I bet I could perform a rusty trombone better than the lot of you combined! That’s the kind of skill you can only get through years and years of practice, children!