Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Symphonic Sneezes

I Googled myself yesterday. I do that every few months to check on all those arrest warrants and bad credit claims that may or may not be against me, but I can pay just $9.95 for the Premium Plan to find out for sure.

Also, as an author, I always enjoy seeing what crazy German, Arabic, and Indian book websites are selling my books, which are all in English. You can pick up a copy of Bullies & Bagels for just under 3,800 rupees. Can you believe it?

There are nine pages of me on Google, and yesterday I scrolled through all of them for fun and a couple of new items caught my eye, besides the possible impending credit and legal actions.

I am now actually quoted on under the “quotes about spit” category.

Men are far more likely to clean things with spit than women are. ~ Marc Schmatjen

I am definitely the originator of that quote, and while I appreciate them including me in their stable of quoted folks, I do have to take issue with the name of the website and its implied description of the website’s contents. In my opinion, “” should probably contain only wise quotes by famous people, or famous quotes by wise people, or some combination thereof.

My quote about spit is not wise, and I am not famous. Simply having a quote category named “quotes about spit” calls the entire “wise and famous” premise into serious question, don’t you think?

Still, it was fun to see.

The one that really made my day, though, was a calendar event at The Virginia Discovery Museum. From their website:

The Virginia Discovery Museum is proud to partner with Charlottesville Symphony to offer virtual musical storytimes and instrument demonstrations. Meet a new musician each month as we learn about instruments from the brass, percussion, string, and woodwind families.

On December 4th, 2020, Katy Ambrose, who is the Principal Horn (Brass) for The Charlottesville Symphony, located at The University of Virginia, read (and played) the kids my book, The Very Sneezy Garbage Truck, and apparently introduced them to a DIY instrument called the Hose-O-Phone.

I spit out my coffee when I read that.

What happens when Sneezy the garbage truck picks up his weekly load at a new factory? Meet principal horn Katy Ambrose, from Charlottesville Symphony, and learn all about brass instruments as she brings “The Very Sneezy Garbage Truck” by Marc Schmatjen to life through sound during a virtual musical story time.

I clicked on their link to the DIY project and I could not be more sad that I only just found out about this and I didn’t have the chance to Zoom into the reading back in December. I would have loved to see and hear a professional musician, so skilled in her craft that she is the leader for her instrument in an actual symphony orchestra, make garbage truck sneezing sounds and air horn noises with a makeshift horn constructed from a funnel, a garden hose, and a water bottle cap for a mouthpiece.

I mean, I guess she could have used her actual symphony instrument, but in my mind, she’s reading my goofy book to a bunch of kids and making glorified farts noises with a hose-o-phone.

I emailed the director of programming at the Virginia Discovery Museum, first to tell him or her that they are a genius, and second to request a copy of the recording if it exists.

You can rest assured that when I return to in-person school visits and finally get to read to kids again, the kindergartners and first graders are going to see me walk into their classroom wearing a DIY Hose-O-Phone across my chest like a bandolier!

See you soon,



Copyright © 2021 Marc Schmatjen


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