Monday, November 26, 2007


Alright, it's been a slow few days out there in genealogy blog
country and here as well.

This has given me the chance to ponder the 49 Genealogical Uses
for a Flutaphone list and to update and make corrections.

So here is the new, updated, expanded, and revised list so
far, with new entries in honor of Dick Eastman's recent
post comparing the various genealogy cruises. If I missed
any contributions from other bloggers please let me know
and I'll re-revise!

1. Doorstop- It’s more humane than using dead cats or dead
Wesley Crushers. And it smells better.

2. Windchimes

3. A Habitat trail for Earthworms-All those finger holes.
“The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out…”

4. Tank decoration for guppies- All those finger holes.“
The fish swim in, the fish swim out…”

5. A defensive weapon-For when that librarian finally
snaps when you ask her to find another dusty volume in
the stacks. Mouthpieces on flutaphones are pointy!!!

6. A diversion: used to exit an overly proprietary historical
society. Make some noise behind the bookshelf with it, and
while the volunteer is investigating the noise, grab your
first born child (the one being held hostage to make sure
you don't steal anything) and run like hell. (Janice)

7. Learn a snake charmers tune and play it when you need
to hypnotize a records clerk to get them to check the books
one more time for that record you KNOW is there.

8. A pry-bar, to break into old file drawers that have been
holding your genealogical notes from 20 years ago. You've
moved a few times, and lost the key. (Janice)

9. Flower holder- for when you visit the ancestral grave.
Stick sharp pointy mouthpiece into the ground and your
flowers into the other end of the flutaphone.

10. Bookmark-When you have to leave your chair for a
moment to ask the librarian to find you another genealogy
book in the stacks.NOTE- DO NOT LET THE LIBRARIAN

11. Bookfetcher- That particular tome on a shelf you can’t
quite reach? Using the pointy mouthpiece end, gently rock
the book loose and down.

12. Bookcatcher- See above. Quickly reverse the
flutaphone to catch the falling book on the wide-ended
mouth. If the librarian notices, tell her you are practicing
balancing the books.

13. Eartrumpet- For when a librarian starts yelling. Insert
narrow end in ear after REMOVING the pointy mouthpiece.
Remember, catch any books before they hit the floor if you
were performing uses numbers 11 and/or 12 when the
librarian started yelling. Turn wide end towards librarian
and say “Eh?”

14.Backpatter - to pat your own back when you have
solved a particularly difficult family genealogical mystery.
Caution: do not run while performing this action, or you
may put your eye out. (Janice)

15. Temporary flag pole. Tape a patriots napkin
(preferably one with a patriots logo). Wave wildly when
the Patriots score. (Janice)

16. Distress Signal. IF you become lost in the stacks of a
major genealogical library, DO NOT PANIC! Use your
flutaphone to summon help by blowing as hard as you can
on through the mouthpiece. A series of the highest and
most shrill notes will be most efficacious and a friendly
librarian will arrive to escort you safely back to your chair.

17. Use for a Flutaphone--Car Buddy: it easily slips over
your car antenna (you ARE still driving the vehicle you
bought in 1960 right?) and helps you to locate your vintage
auto in the research library parking lot (when you leave the
library all bleary-eyed). (Janice)

18. Hidden Message DeCoder. It is a long held deep dark
secret that when a flutaphone is held lengthwise under a
bright light over a line of text that certain words in the text
are illuminated to reveal hidden messages only you can see.
It is recommended you only employ this method when there
is no one else present nearby who might steal the secret
message. Send the librarian back into the stacks first for
another obscure text to ensure they will not see you!

19. Treasure Finder- Another little known fact is that when
a flutaphone is held in a certain way outside on a bright
sunshiny day while the holder nonchalantly hums “I Can
See Clearly Now” the reflection of the flutaphone will
reveal the spot where buried treasure is hidden. There have
been recent reports of genealogy bloggers wandering about
Northern New England employing this technique while
searching for the legendary Money Pit. No one has found it
yet but there have been complaints from angry hunters who
claim “the damn humming scared all the deer away!”

20.Social Icebreaker- Use your flutaphone to socially break
the ice on your first Genealogy Cruise. Amaze and delight
your fellow genealogists with your musical prowess and
your unique knowledge of the more arcane uses of the
legendary musical instrument.

21. Nautical Distress Signal- If you should be accidentally
bumped overboard from the Genealogy Cruise ship or
set adrift in a lifeboat during the lifeboat drill. Keep the
flutaphone dry and periodically blow a series of high shrill
notes to help rescuers locate you.

22. Dolphin Repeller- To ward off overly friendly dolphins
who mistake your distress signal for the an invitation
to socialize

23. Icebreaker- Use the sharp flutaphone mouthpiece to chip
away at the ice forming around your lifeboat. Reciting your
pedigree while chipping might make the time go faster.

24.Paddle- Use the flutaphone to help propel your lifeboat after
the Genealogy Cruise ship. Note- If you were accidentally
bumped overboard, forget paddling. Grasp the flutaphone firmly
in your teeth so you don’t lose it and swim after the ship instead!

25. Safety Device- Once you’ve been rescued, use the flutaphone
to ensure you remain safely aboard afterwards by keeping your
fellow genealogists at least one flutaphone length away from you
on deck. Hold the sharp mouthpiece end outwards towards them
at all times!

1 comment:

Janice said...

I think this article would make a great "Cabinet of Curiosities" submission.

#27 Snake charmer - play it when you see scary snakes in the cemetery, where you happen to be browsing for your ancestor's stones. Heck, it works in the movies!