On the way to the Kazoobie Kazoo Factory in Beaufort, South Carolina, my mother said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea to give Michael a kazoo.”
Michael is my fun-loving, bigger-than-life, anything-for-a-laugh husband. He’s a grown man, but I’m pretty sure his own mother would have said the same thing. But when we arrived at the small showroom, we were greeted by a Boy Scout troop buzzing their kazoos. Maybe Michael wasn’t the one we should have worried about.
The Boy Scouts were actually on their way out and we had the whole 3:00 tour to ourselves. We went into the back factory area where one of the five employees very thoroughly showed us their process for assembling and counting kazoos.
Kazoobie is the only plastic kazoo manufacturer in the United States and they distribute all over the world. The plastic molds are manufactured in Florida, not South Carolina, but she demonstrated how each resin is inserted, caps are sealed into place, and ink printing is stamped. After the brief tour, I felt like I’d had on-the-job training and thought, this wouldn’t be a bad job…
We went back into the store area/museum and watched a short film titled ‘The Brief History of Kazoos.’ It featured kazoo characters playing kazoos and did indeed share the brief history. Then our tour guide demonstrated how to play a kazoo. Hum — don’t blow. She added a horn to the top and it became the “excessively louder” Wazoo. Then she added bugle bell and it became a Kazoogle. Add a longer trumpet and it becomes “the world’s loudest acoustic kazoo.” (Does Dr. Seuss know about these words??)
She played tin kazoos, wooden kazoos, and other types of whistles so that we could hear the difference.
Then the big moment arrived — we got to assemble our own kazoos to take home. We choose a body color, inserted the resin and picked out a cap color. Then we put it all together and stuck it into the resonator for sealing. It all took about 10 seconds and then we tested them out. And tested them out. And tested them out. We were as obnoxious as any Boy Scout troop could be.
We played our kazoos out of the store and then in the car. Yep– it was noisy. Then my husband played his as we walked down the street to dinner AND at the restaurant. All the children around us were a little awed by the grown-up playing a kazoo at the table. Especially since he was the only one playing and then he decided to talk through his and make dinner conversation that way. We laughed for hours.
My husband woke up the next morning and started playing his again. My mother may have had a point. Giving Michael a kazoo wasn’t a good idea. It was actually a great one.
Who’s the ‘Michael’ in your group?
We just love this tiny nuggets of Americana! Putting this on our list.
You should. It was definitely worth the stop and we’ve had fun with our kazoos for hours.
Wow, you’ve just opened up a whole new world to me. I did not know what a kazoo was … much less what else you could do to “enhance” it. You’ve piqued my curiosity.
Shoot. Now I’m afraid you don’t know what they sound like, and you just have to hear one. Or two. Or twenty. 😉
Dr Seuss would have been right at home. If they’d had anything lying around without a name, they certainly could have asked him.
Very true! Too bad he didn’t use these terms in a book. Or maybe he did. I’ll have to pay attention when we reread them all again.
I had no idea there was only one manufacturer of kazoos in the US! They’re obnoxiously loud but there’s just something addicting about being loud and obnoxious through a plastic instrument. Suffice to say, I would probably be the “Michael” of my family (with occasional assistance from my little sister 😉 ).
There is something appealing about them. Good to know that Michael has kindred spirits in the world. I should have known you’d be the fun-spirited one on your family, Lillian. It shows in your writing.
It must be wonderful living in that town 😦 I wonder if anyone ever got punched in the face by a resident who just couldn’t take it any more?
Roy, this made me laugh. I can imagine that so vividly. It should be in a book. 😉
Waking up to a kazoo – now that must be an experience. Michael would have had so much fun at the soccer world cup in South Africa with those horns, the vuvuzelas!
We have a vuvuzela. :). My daughter cringes when we bring it to her soccer games, but she’s gotten used to it. We only blow it when we think it will make her laugh.
Haha!!! I can’t believe you have one! I should have guessed 😀
Hilarious! But I’m sooo sad we moved away from SC without ever even knowing it was there! Mohamed and I both love to pkay kazoos together, he’s really talented, making it sound just like an egyptian musical instrument! There’s a funny little horn they play when the arabian horses dance at weddings, it’s wonderful fun and the horn sounds like a kazoo, one more great reason to come to Egypt… Tempted yet?!
Yes! I didn’t need another reason to want to come to Egypt, but now we know to bring our kazoos. :). I can’t believe you already have a kazoo player in your life. You’re one of the few…
Lol and the lucky, I must admit ♥♥♥ ;^)
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Hi Julie, just gave you a shout out on my latest post! I had to do it after you inspired me with this great post on the kazoos lol ♥♥♥ ;^)
Aisha’s Egypt: Mizmar-izing Music
Awesome! I feel honored. 🙂