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?