Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
An overzealous tambourine player was tazed and pepper sprayed at a church service last week. Seriously.
Now, how many of you just said out loud, "That's terrible" while your inner rad-trad giggled at that headline like a 14 year old girl at a One Direction concert? Come on. There's a reason you clicked on the link and it wasn't to donate to the "Don't taze me bro" recovery fund.
I know you're not going to take my word that something like this actually happened so here's the actual news item, according to The Church Report:
A woman was apparently playing a tambourine too loudly during Wednesday night services. When she refused to stop, the woman was escorted out by an off duty Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Deputy.
(Sheriff spokesperson) Myers said, “He had to physically escort her outside the church. Once outside, she broke free from the deputy and tried to go back inside, there became a physical confrontation.”
According to the arrest report, the deputy was forced to pepper spray and taze the unruly woman.
Myers said, “She was not filled with the Holy Spirit. She was not being very Christianly and this is why the folks decided to get her out as soon as possible.”
Witnesses said the combative Christian was staggering and had slurred speech.
I've gotta' wonder if the staggering and slurred speech was post-taze or pre-taze because it kinda' makes a difference.
But let's focus. This is clearly an unfortunate and unique incident. But perhaps we shouldn't allow this unfortunate and unique incident to go to waste. Perhaps we should make it so that some suspect it's not so...unique. I'm not saying we do anything like this but maybe a lot of us should just print out this article and hand it out to the folk musicians at your Church service who make the Mass about them. Hand it out to them and just nod while backing away slowly. And then have the usher with the lazy eye stand behind them and reach into a non-descript brown bag every time they start "expressing their individuality" with their tambourine. (Please remember to print it out in a large font because a lot of these folks were in their prime in the 1960's so they don't see as well as they used to.)
Once again, I'm not promoting this or inciting anything, I'm just thinking that maybe we can use this incident as what they call a teachable moment that could make the tambourinists at Church think twice. And maybe make the guitarists at least feel like they have to look over their shoulder now and again before they break into the second verse of "This Land is Your Land."
Lutes, of course, must be considered a serious offense while bongo drums (and perhaps the entire percussion family) may call for...more immediate action that tests the response time of local police.
A legal note: Matt Archbold in no way advises people to taze musicians but if it's completely necessary please set it at a low voltage. Unless they whip out a harmonica. Then all bets are off.