Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for Zig Zag

When most people think of Zig Zag, they think of the famous brand of rolling papers.  Rolling papers are used primarily for hand rolling cigarettes, or, for some, other substances.  Interestingly, though, for me, Zig Zags have always served a different purpose.

Strange as it might seem, I've never rolled a cigarette or anything else with Zig Zags.  So why do I know about them?  Well, I first encountered Zig Zags when I was around 10 or 11 years old as an aspiring clarinet and saxophone player.  It is sometimes the case that when playing clarinet or saxophone that a pad will get saturated or will sometimes get a spit bubble underneath it, resulting in a warble sound when playing notes with that pad open.  This type of problem can easily be cured with the use of a Zig Zag rolling paper!  All you have to do is place the rolling paper between the hole and the pad, close the pad gently, and pull the paper out from between the hole and pad, thereby eliminating any spit bubble or excess moisture.

Of course, not everyone know of this usage of Zig Zag rolling papers.  As a result, I got a lot of good-natured ribbing as a teenager from folks who saw the pack of rolling papers in my clarinet and saxophone cases, especially from adults in our local community band.  If I was being sarcastic, I'd say most of the uninformed were brass players lol j/k.

I did encounter Zig Zags one time outside of playing clarinet and saxophone.  After attending a Black Crowes concert at UC Davis as an undergrad, I was chagrined to discover I had forgotten to hit the ATM for some cash for a souvenir shirt.  Fortunately I had $3 in my pocket and that was enough to buy a pack of Black Crowes branded Zig Zags (fitting, right?)  Let the good times roll...

1 comment:

  1. I wonder who was the first person that realized rolling papers would be effective for the use you described. Very clever! As they say, 'necessity is the mother of invention'.