The meal that shaped me the most was the lunch at Cici’s pizza during my 2012 all-region clinic. We had pizza-eating contests, which ended up making people really sick. I felt really bad for the Cici’s pizza staff. You can honestly tell a lot about a band kid in how fast they eat. There is something enjoyable about gorging yourself in a competition that no one really ever wins.
The pizza-eating contest was the talk of the band for several weeks before hand. There was talk about what the different people who planned to be involved in this event did to train to consume copious amounts of pizza, and I have to admit, didn’t sound pretty. Most of their plans were to stuff themselves full until they “popped”, or so they said. One of them claimed, “You have to let the grease allow the pizza to slide down.” The thought of this made me a sick; little did I know the contest would be pretty gruesome.
There were quite a few people who trained, but only consisted of three sections, the tuba, clarinet, and saxophone sections. The tuba section, who had about eight members, all seemed to prefer meat lover’s pizza, which matches their instruments quite well; both have a hearty characteristic to them. The Saxophone section, which is the section I was in, had six members all preferred pepperoni pizza, which just like saxophone, is a very classic choice. The last group to participate were the clarinet section, who had about ten members in their section, preferred cheese and Canadian bacon pizza, which also compares to the instrument, because its light yet enjoyable.
Believe it or not, you can determine a dedicated band kid by how fast or slow they eat. The slower they eat shows they are super dedicated in getting things right. In other words, they slow things down to enjoy every piece of the pizza and song. The faster they eat shows they like to rush through and don’t really care about getting things right. The faster they eat shows they don’t take time and enjoy what they are eating or working on. You would be surprised, during this competition I have found that the slower you eat, the more pieces of pizza you can put down, so once again the dedicated band kids win.
The day that everyone had been waiting for was finally here, the day of the all region clinic, which meant the praised pizza-eating contest. Everyone piled in the door excited for the pizza feast. Everyone made their selections and sat down. The contest began and the pizza sauce flew literally everywhere. This contest went on for about twenty minutes with close to thirty or more pizzas eaten. Pizza sauce, cheese, and sick kids were everywhere. It was such a delicious disaster as the saxophones won.
The Cici’s pizza location in Fort Smith was so incredibly messy. The staff constantly had to clean the floors, plates, and tables. They also had to clean up the product of being sick and eating too much, which would have been horrible. I imagine the cost of all the pizza ingredients to be extremely expensive, so I imagine that they might have lost quite a bit of money. I felt really bad for them.
The all-region clinic is a post competition two-day convention where musicians from around the region that made the all-region bands get together and play. It’s a total of twelve hours and the next day give a concert to show how awesome they are. There are four different bands, two Jr. high bands and two Sr. high bands. The better of the musicians are obviously in the first bands of Jr. and Sr. High bands. My band director was the director of bands and the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, W. Dale Warren. They brought in talented and very well know band directors and famous conductors to work with the students who made all-region and to give the students feed back so that we could learn more amazing ways to play our instrument and to play amazing music with amazing fellow musicians.
When you are at these clinics and try to play your instrument when you are full of pizza, it is super hard, especially if you are already super sick. When you find yourself in this situation lots of prayer and faith is needed to get through it. It’s quite horrible to play while feeling sick. It’s not something you can easily forget, because it is complete torture.
This day was a delicious disaster with the saxophone section as the victors, of course. However, at the end of the day, especially with the factor of playing on an overly full stomach it was proven true that there was no true victor in this delicious disaster. This day truly changed my life forever. I realized that one should never be in an eating contest while having to play for a very long extended period of time, otherwise you will be miserable while doing something you love which is a very weird combination.