This event actually occurred, although four decades have elapsed since it happened. Names and places are omitted, however, to protect the participants. Some men of the congregation had an opportunity to attend a song leading class with a nearby church hosted by brethren. A few men decided to take advantage of the opportunity and felt that they profited immensely. They all returned with bright, shiny pitch pipes to use in order to be certain that each song began on the right note. Not everyone was convinced that these contraptions would make that much of a difference, but no one protested—until the day when its use caused a tiny problem. The brother directing this portion of the worship announced the song, and the congregation began to sing when suddenly the song leader had an uncontrollable urge to cough. He had been taught, as most people have, that it is not polite to cough without covering one’s mouth. The only problem was that he did not have a free hand. He was holding the songbook in one hand and the pitch pipe in the other. Reacting quickly, he used that hand to cover his mouth. BEEP! BEEP! The preacher, sitting near him, held out his hand and motioned to him. So, he reluctantly and sheepishly surrendered his pitch pipe, never to receive it back.
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