The Little Drummer Man (Daily Planet email #870)
Hi, my name’s Harry, but you can call me the Little Drummer Man. My job is, I play drums for newborns. It’s like a fanfare! “Hoo-ray,” it’s a baby, you know? What better way to celebrate the sweet breath of new life than with humanity’s eternal rhythm? …I always say.
I built this business up from nothing and, well, I guess back down to nothing again. Now I’m mostly retired. Even before this year, I’ve got to admit the takers were few. Hospitals and security, plus there’s just not a lot of appreciation for live music anymore. I also play weddings. Some cop funerals. War reenactments, if I’ve got some bills to pay for, but they’re a bummer trip. Don’t dig ’em at all. Who would celebrate that?
I’ll play most anywhere really, if you got the cash. My kit’s smaller now, I got to tell you. Time was, I was set up like the middle of a Rush concert. It was kind of beyond, but I think people appreciated the intent, even if it looked like they were trying to pay me to stop. Babies, who can tell why they’re crying anyway? I think some of the greats aren’t appreciated until they’re gone.
Did I ever tell you about my first gig? Come, they told me! So I did, and do you know what, it was pretty unassuming. Young family, some rich dudes from afar, plus a bunch of animals. It was like a barn, for Chrissake! But we blew the roof off that barn, rocking out under the star. Man, even the ox and lamb got into it, ha! You know, for such a little guy, he had a look of an old man’s forbearance. The only time he got fussy was when the rooster started crowing, that really riled him up. Otherwise, he dug it just as much as the rest of them. Somebody said he was a newborn king, I thought it might be good for business. …Wonder whatever happened to him?