Right. I'm putting this here so I can find it when I need it, as I seem to need it more than one might think.
This is an old and long music joke that I first heard back in high school, yet the one I usually find online is not the one I first heard, and is, in my opinion, the lazier version. I'm posting both versions because I can't think of the original without the aid of this one, and also for comparison.
Online Version (found at http://www.ducksdeluxe.com/jokes.html):
Quite a number of years ago, the Seattle Symphony was doing Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 under the baton of Milton Katims. Now at this point, you must understand two things:
1.There's a quite long segment in this symphony where the basses don't have a thing to do. Not a single note for page after page.
2.There used to be a tavern called Dez's 400, right across the street from the Seattle Opera House, rather favored by local musicians.
It had been decided that during this performance, once the bass players had played their parts in the opening of the symphony, they were to quietly lay down their instruments and leave the stage, rather than sit on their stools looking and feeling dumb for twenty minutes. Once they got backstage, someone suggested that they trot across the street and quaff a few brews. When they got there, a European nobleman recognized that they were musicians, and bought them several rounds of drinks. Two of the bassists passed out, and the rest of the section, not to mention the nobleman, were rather drunk. Finally, one of them looked at his watch and exclaimed, "Look at the time! We'll be late!" The remaining bassists tried in vain to wake up their section mates, but finally those who were still conscious had to give up and run across the street to the Opera House. While they were on their way in, the bassist who suggested this excursion in the first place said, "I think we'll still have enough time--I anticipated that something like this could happen, so I tied a string around the last pages of the score. When he gets down to there, Milton's going to have to slow the tempo way down while he waves the baton with one hand and fumbles with the string with the other." Sure enough, when they got back to the stage they hadn't missed their entrance, but one look at their conductor's face told them they were still in serious trouble. Katims was furious! After all... It was the bottom of the Ninth, the basses were loaded, the score was tied, there were two men out, and the Count was full.
Now, before I post my version, I'll explain some of my changes. First, it's too specific. The only thing that contributes to the joke that needs to be named is Beethoven's 9th. Specifics like who was playing and where take focus away from the setup. Second, the bassist having tied the score feels like a cop-out compared to what I first learned. This way makes it longer, but adds another element, so here's my attempt to "fix" this joke.
Many years ago, there was an orchestra performing Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. Now, here you must understand two things:
1. There's quite a long segment in this symphony where the basses don't do anything. Not a single note for page after page.
2. There was a tavern right across the street from the opera house, rather favored by local musicians.
Unfortunately, on the day of the performance, the air conditioner had broken. They tried, but it couldn't be fixed it time, so instead, large fans were set up to keep the opera house cool. This, however, caused a great draft, and the conductor couldn't keep the score from flying all over, so it was suggested he tie it down with some string. He would have to work to turn each page, but it would keep him on the right one. So, with everything figured out, the symphony began.
Now, it had been decided that during this performance, once the bass players had played their parts in the opening of the symphony, they were to quietly lay down their instruments and leave the stage, rather than sit on their stools looking and feeling dumb for half an hour. Once they got backstage, it was suggested that they run across the street and have a few beers. When they got there, a European nobleman recognized that they were musicians, and bought them a round of drinks. Several drinks later, and they were all rather drunk, including the nobleman, to the point where two of the bassists had even passed out. Finally, one of them looked at his watch and realized that they were out of time; their parts would be coming up any minute now. They tried to wake up their section mates, but it was no use, and those who were still conscious had to give up and hurry back to the opera house. When they returned, they found that they had not missed their entrance, but the conductor was having great difficulty with the heat and the score, and the stage nearly resembled chaos. After all, the fans were going wild, it was the bottom of the Ninth, the score was tied, the basses were loaded, there were two men out, and the Count was full.
I would actually appreciate some feedback on this. Let me know what you think of my version as compared to the other. Thanks, and happy joking. :)