Monday, November 24, 2008

Doc's Jinglewhapper

Doc's jinglewhapperSome of the folks who read an earlier post may be wondering just what exactly a "jinglewhapper" is. The answer is: I don't know. Not exactly, anyway. I think it is a musical instrument consisting of a center pole made of painted and varnished wood, to which is attached all manner of percussive equipment. It could, however, also be some kind of torture device; some folks have told me so after I have attempted to play the thing.

Jinglewhappers are not unique - I have seen them in a variety of styles, depending upon the player's personal taste in noise. My jinglewhapper (pictured here) has a metal bell (sans interior clapper), a hollow wooden thingamajig, two coiled wires stretched tight against a tin pan, and bells that jingle. It rests on a large rubber ball which one can pound on the ground. You create sound by whapping various parts of this contrivance with a drumstick, or by pounding it on the ground, or both.

If you want a jinglewhapper of your own you will have to make it. The fellow who made this one disappeared under mysterious circumstances and I have never found anyone else willing to assemble such a device. Some town authorities have thanked me for not pursuing the matter. The instrument's musicality has never been a real issue. Its primary purpose is to attract an audience, which it does admirably.

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