Hot Off the Presses

Windmill Air Guitar in Shower Injures Awkward Student
Says He Didn’t Think He Would Ever Be Victimized by Rock Theatrics

January 25, 2011
A stateline college student named Ian Olson says his recent foray into the shower brought him new insight into the words “Rock and roll.”

“I rocked myself,” Olson summarized, “and then I most definitely rolled.”

The 26 year old is a freshman at Moody Bible Institute, taking classes online from his home in Janesville, Wisconsin. Olson has ambitions of pastoral ministry in the near future and accordingly began the arduous task of searching for the ideal bible college. Olson, you see, has stringent standards; when asked what criteria he considered prime in the selection of a college, one thing seemed to stand out above the rest. “They actually let me listen to righteous tunes there,” Olson opined triumphantly, when asked what led him to his choice of college. “Dudes can shred all manner of gnarly noiseterpieces there, bro, for real! It’s like Neil Peart being able to just let loose: buhl-le-duhl-luh-de-duh…”

What ensued seemed to be his best impression of a drummer with a gigantic, invisible drum kit performing a long fill with several rack toms and double bass drums represented by the kitchen table and his knees and thighs. Out of breath, and with sweat suddenly dripping from his awkward forelocks, Olson intoned, “You know, like his solo in “Limelight?” Come on! You know that one, right? Aw, man! Are you serious??!!”

Olson started his Tuesday morning by having coffee with his wife Kristin in the living room of the sumptuous apartment they share in the idyllic Never Never Land of southern Wisconsin. Olson was excited to be taking part in a panel discussion at Rock County Christian School that day and wore his heart on his sleeve by singing fragments of 70’s hits in a peculiar (borderline obnoxious) falsetto as he drove his wife to work. Olson is a bass and has difficulty at times approximating the pitch of some popular recording artists and says he often has to resort to falsetto to sound anything like his musical heroes. “Straight up, a lot of these dudes just have it, man- you know? Ya boy doesn’t. I’ll say it. But I do have this wicked falsetto I can unload when the time is right, like a gunslinger. You know? High noon? OK Corral? Draw!” When asked how he knows “the time is right,” Olson responded, “Well, pretty much all the time, ’cause even a tenor’s a little too high for these rubber band vocal cords, you know what I’m saying?” He then proceeded to give a monologue in a Barry White-esque vocal styling this reporter would much rather forget.

Olson returned home and began compiling notes for the panel discussion. Ebullient at the sheer weight of his gatherings, Olson detected a foul aroma in the atmosphere and realized he should probably get in the shower sooner rather than later. Inserting a Lord of the Rings bookmark into his copy of Why Johnny Can’t Preach, Olson selected his wardrobe for the afternoon with careful consideration (“Gotta look tight if you want the kids to really give a rip what you’re saying, you know? And, I mean, that’s just what I do, you know?”) and finding the water set at the Goldilocks factor (“You know- just right, bro!”) hopped in.

Olson says he felt a sense of euphoria upon getting his hair wet under the shower head and a “wicked awesome heavy song” began to cycle through his mind as he looked forward to what his day would hold. Olson became so excited, in fact, that normal mores of shower protocol went out the proverbial window and he began instead to mimic some raucous guitar tectonics. Humming loud enough that his neighbor at the end of the hall’s dog began to bark, Olson devoted the entirety of his energies to headbanging and pretending to sweep-pick a jaw-dropping Neoclassical electric guitar solo.

Unfortunately, that precluded watching his foot placement.

Fully extending his right arm out above his head, Olson performed a windmill guitar strum by executing a complete 360 degree turn downward and counterclockwise. Proud of himself, he then pretended to lift the invisible guitar above his head to the cheers of his adoring (and invisible and inaudible) audience and stomping his right foot to the pulse of (non-existent) crash cymbals when suddenly he felt his footing give away. “I thought I was gonna roll my ankle, dude, totally. Wouldn’t be the first time, either! Like when I went sledding last year- I thought I broke the thing! I punish my body, dude, for real. For real.”

Olson slid backward toward the east wall of the shower, and cracking his right elbow against the tile let loose a barbaric, painful yawp. Struggling to regain balance and composure, he slipped once more toward the north wall, slamming his body against the surface of the well and bashing the inside of his right elbow against the wall-mounted basket his wife kept face wash and other assorted, sundry items in. “No joke, man, no joke- that killed. Like, that literally murdered me. I was alive, and then that basket murdered me. Like Jack the Ripper or something,” Olson offered by way of analogy.

Olson halted the downward spiral of shower injuries by clutching at the shower head with his left hand and the north wall with his right and waited for the room to stop spinning. Soon afterward he exited the shower without bothering to get all of the shampoo out of his hair, and, happy to be alive, plopped down in the comfy chair in the living room and promptly did a massive drum fill.

Later in the evening, his wife inquired as to why there was a band-aid on his right arm. “I just said, ‘Oh, you must have given blood today,'” Kristin Olson says, recollecting that night, “but he sheepishly muttered something under his breath and tried to drop it. After repeating three more times that I didn’t catch what he had said, he gave me this convoluted epic of windmills and collapsing that is so dumb that it’s either a complete fabrication and hoax or it is in fact exactly what happened. Knowing Ian, I would have to go with the latter.”

Asked if his air guitar hijinks have taught him a lesson, Olson answered, “Yeah, right on- I think I need to wear shoes with better treads or something so I don’t lose it and spill and look like a tool, you know? Or I don’t know, maybe I need velcro feet or something. But I do know I need to get real and get balanced.” Olson intends to carry on the spirit of rock in the shower, in the hallways of his home, on the sales floor of Farm and Fleet where he currently works, and eventually on the platform when he accepts his diploma at graduation. After consulting with several experts, Olson says he won’t give in to fear but will instead try to recognize the pitfalls of air guitar theatrics in certain applications and environments and work to remain cognizant enough of his surroundings that he can determine if it is a safe enough setting to allow for rock action.

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