Curse of the maraca

What is it about retirees and maracas, especially when the old bossa nova tune “Blue Spanish Eyes” is playing? I think maracas were actually invented for this number in order to appease the country club octogenarians who, without fail, spring to life and forcefully gesture an unrelenting desire to provide a spontaneous hundred-man percussion section whenever the tune is called. I have witnessed this time and time again. Blue Spanish Eyes starts playing, everyone starts playing air maracas and does that little hip swivel thing. I remember one time, back in the late 1970s, when I was playing with a society band called Tiffany Brass in Amarillo, Texas. All I can say in comment on that memory is, there are few spectacles in contemporary leisuredom comparable to the adrenaline-pumped 87-year-old retired vinyl salesman in plaid blazer, maroon golfing slacks, and white Hushpuppies sashaying with Phyllis Diller’s twin while surrounded by a maraca-sporting mob of AARP militants.

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