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Discovering Big Bertha

Boom

September 19, 2013

By Joey Bland

I sidled up close to Big Bertha, and the crew lifted their mallets. I wanted to hear just how loud and deep this drum could get, this drum named for a howitzer. So there I was, six inches from the drum face, and Wham!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Time stopped.

Discovering Big Bertha

So did my heart. So did my thoughts. In the ringing echo of Big Bertha’s super-percussive whomp, the walls of Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium vanished. I could see for miles. The vibrations in the air aligned with those of the universe, and everything was one. We are all energy, and we are all light. Or so, at least, that’s what the drum said. This primal bang communicated through all time, our ancestors and our children. Time vanished. I could see wide-open Texas plains where no buildings stood. Just miles of desert and dust. And a steer in the distance, nodding. He heard what I heard. Texas. Fight.

Slowly, the drum’s song faded, and the world coalesced again. The coffee shop and the burger joint returned, and the orange uniforms of the Bertha Crew became visible. Everything was familiar again . . . except the sounds. Where were the sounds?

Big Bertha’s roar had given me the gift of a great vision, but it seemed to have stolen from me the gift of my hearing.

My audiologist says it should return in a day or two. She also says I was stupid to stand so close to one of the biggest bass drums in the world. She says I shouldn’t do something so dumb, that I should be an adult, and that I should think about the consequences of such a rash and silly act. What does she know? Gentlemen, take up your mallets. I am in place. Proceed.

P.S. What’s the loudest event you’ve ever been to?

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