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haolejohn
06-18-2010, 02:59 PM
Walking out of the restaurant today with my kamaka slung over my shoulder (in a gig bag) and my helmet in one hand. This gentleman looks at me as he and his wife are walking in and asks: "Is that a banjo, mandolin, or gun?"

Man got to love living in the south.

Then I explained it was an 'ukulele. He smirked and his wife's eyes perked up. very comical.
Anyone else ever had their uke mistaken for something outside the norm?

UncleElvis
06-18-2010, 03:05 PM
I thought a ukulele WAS "besides the norm"!

I was asked (by a child, so I cut slack) why my guitar was so small, with a mention of my mental capacity ("Are you special?" Polite child!), but other than that...

mm stan
06-18-2010, 03:10 PM
Aloha John,
You should have said, This the Kamaka 45 the most powerfull ukulele in the world....
Anyways, "Keep on Strumming them strings" Ukuleles are forever...MM Stan..

13jparker
06-18-2010, 03:45 PM
I've gotten a few tiny guitar and violin guesses, but never a gun.

Uncle-Taco
06-18-2010, 04:14 PM
With the gig bag, I've had pool cue, fishing rod, mandolin, lap steel, and lawn chair. (Surprisingly no gun questions, which, now that you mention it, is odd for around here.)
Carrying it in the hard case, all I've ever been asked is what kind of ukulele it was.

hoosierhiver
06-19-2010, 04:11 AM
Not a gun, but equally as lethal.

dianalele
06-19-2010, 05:09 AM
A friend and I took our ukes into the city once, and while we were heading to our train at the station a couple of homeless guys started hitting on us. It was really disturbing. But the point of this story is that they asked us if we were gonna play some violin for them.
We did not justify their comments with responses.

Lori
06-19-2010, 06:37 AM
After I bought my ukulele in Hawaii, I didn't want to leave it in the hot car while we hiked (we didn't have a room anymore, 'cause it was our last day). It was in the lightweight, black nylon covered styrofoam case, a super concert size. I was wearing the backpack straps, and was being very careful walking over the slippery rocks on the trail, and red faced from the exercise when someone asked if it was a violin. You would think ukulele would come to mind first, being in Hawaii and all, but we were in a place were many tourists hike.

–Lori

Pinebaron
06-19-2010, 07:01 AM
Walking out of the restaurant today with my kamaka slung over my shoulder (in a gig bag) and my helmet in one hand. This gentleman looks at me as he and his wife are walking in and asks: "Is that a banjo, mandolin, or gun?"

Man got to love living in the south.

Then I explained it was an 'ukulele. He smirked and his wife's eyes perked up. very comical.
Anyone else ever had their uke mistaken for something outside the norm?


Yeah man. That's why everyone is so nice to one another. BTW we are neighbors. I live over in the Newnan area. Good to know there are other uke people around.

NatalieS
06-19-2010, 07:10 AM
That is too funny, because the exact same thing was said to me two days ago! I made a trip down to my new place to move some particularly fragile stuff in (ukes, fish tank, etc etc). Later on, a guy came by to do maintenance on the A/C unit. He points to all my uke cases on the floor and says, "You totin' instruments or machine guns in there?" (This, too, in the South... Florida to be exact).

austin1
06-19-2010, 07:23 AM
you could always obscurely reference lee harvey oswald and say you're carrying curtain rods, but probably no one will actually get it.

MoreUke
06-19-2010, 07:24 AM
Not a gun, but equally as lethal.

No, on par with a lethal gun would be an untuned Banjoele.

I've heard that instead of taking a Banjoele to a luthier when something is wrong with it. You need to take it to a mechanic!

Melissa82
06-19-2010, 07:44 AM
I've been asked if it was a violin at the airport here.

rock_and_roll_camera
06-19-2010, 08:13 AM
With the gig bag, I've had pool cue, fishing rod, mandolin, lap steel, and lawn chair. (Surprisingly no gun questions, which, now that you mention it, is odd for around here.)
Carrying it in the hard case, all I've ever been asked is what kind of ukulele it was.

LAWN CHAIR? WTF?... How big is your uke case? :P

rock_and_roll_camera
06-19-2010, 08:17 AM
you could always obscurely reference lee harvey oswald and say you're carrying curtain rods, but probably no one will actually get it.

Classic! Your right that nobody would get it, which is a shame... but that can just fuel our immense feeling of superiority!... Now off to play my "little guitar"...

UKES DON'T KILL PEOPLE... TUNES DO!...

MissJonib
06-19-2010, 08:30 AM
We've probably heard "Is that a BANJO?" way more frequently than the "look at that tiny guitar" line. BANJO? We don't own any banjo ukes, and that's when the ukes are out of the gig bags, too. I sometimes wonder if people who don't play music spend their lives living under rocks. I've also heard someone call a dulcimer a banjo, too. Maybe BANJO is the catch-all code name for any stringed instrument that isn't a guitar.

Brad Bordessa
06-19-2010, 09:09 AM
I'm Italian so my brother and myself always joke that if someone asks us whats in the cases we'll say "we wit da mob".

Lori
06-19-2010, 09:30 AM
We've probably heard "Is that a BANJO?" way more frequently than the "look at that tiny guitar" line. BANJO? We don't own any banjo ukes, and that's when the ukes are out of the gig bags, too. I sometimes wonder if people who don't play music spend their lives living under rocks. I've also heard someone call a dulcimer a banjo, too. Maybe BANJO is the catch-all code name for any stringed instrument that isn't a guitar.
I think the banjo connection is from the sound more than how it looks. The re-entrant tuning on the uke is similar to the 5 string banjo tuning, and so there is a relationship sound-wise. I had played guitar and banjo, before the uke, and often found myself referring to the uke as a banjo in my early days of playing, so there is something there that sticks in the mind.
–Lori

haolejohn
06-19-2010, 02:12 PM
After I bought my ukulele in Hawaii, I didn't want to leave it in the hot car while we hiked (we didn't have a room anymore, 'cause it was our last day). It was in the lightweight, black nylon covered styrofoam case, a super concert size. I was wearing the backpack straps, and was being very careful walking over the slippery rocks on the trail, and red faced from the exercise when someone asked if it was a violin. You would think ukulele would come to mind first, being in Hawaii and all, but we were in a place were many tourists hike.

–Lori
Yeah, tourist are kinda stupid like that:)

haolejohn
06-19-2010, 02:13 PM
Yeah man. That's why everyone is so nice to one another. BTW we are neighbors. I live over in the Newnan area. Good to know there are other uke people around.

PM sent, you got to meet up with us on a tuesday night.

haolejohn
06-19-2010, 02:14 PM
That is too funny, because the exact same thing was said to me two days ago! I made a trip down to my new place to move some particularly fragile stuff in (ukes, fish tank, etc etc). Later on, a guy came by to do maintenance on the A/C unit. He points to all my uke cases on the floor and says, "You totin' instruments or machine guns in there?" (This, too, in the South... Florida to be exact).

I'm assuming you graduated? congrats if so. But Natalie not sure if you are native to the south but the panhandle and northern florida can only be referred to as the south. the rest of the state is just the southern most northern state:)

NatalieS
06-19-2010, 02:24 PM
Yep, graduated. And I'm heading to North FL...

haolejohn
06-19-2010, 02:46 PM
Yep, graduated. And I'm heading to North FL...

awesome. have fun.

ichadwick
06-20-2010, 03:08 AM
Anyone else ever had their uke mistaken for something outside the norm?
Been asked it if was a mandolin, banjo and violin.

In Canada you would never be mistaken for carrying a gun because, aside from the fact it would be illegal to carry one around outside a locked, solid case, we just don't have that many guns.

Chris Tarman
06-20-2010, 06:08 AM
I have had people (other musicians, mind you!) refer to it as a mandolin, seconds after I had called it a ukulele. Repeatedly. I don't get it.

ashleychantel
06-20-2010, 09:32 AM
I've been in Telluride, CO for a while now and this whole weekend there's been a blue grass festival going on, so I've had a few strange questions.. I've had a lot of people ask if it was a mandolin or violin but I think the best was a guy (that was already obviously a little out of it) asked me if I "have a bong in that case" hahaha

Chris Tarman
06-20-2010, 10:53 AM
I've been in Telluride, CO for a while now and this whole weekend there's been a blue grass festival going on, so I've had a few strange questions.. I've had a lot of people ask if it was a mandolin or violin but I think the best was a guy (that was already obviously a little out of it) asked me if I "have a bong in that case" hahaha

You're in Telluride? I live just over an hour away!

ashleychantel
06-28-2010, 05:19 PM
You're so lucky to live in such a pretty place. This is one of the most beautiful areas in the U.S. in my opinion!

happyslappysoong
06-28-2010, 08:30 PM
I've got one of those Kala made Uke Crazy cases that look like violin cases and im ALWAYS being asked whether its a violin. Annoying.

jehicks87
06-29-2010, 07:19 AM
When my Honu finally arrived here in Kandahar, one of my pilots asked almost the same question.

"Is that a Violin or a gun?"

JT_Ukes
06-29-2010, 07:34 AM
I'm assuming you graduated? congrats if so. But Natalie not sure if you are native to the south but the panhandle and northern florida can only be referred to as the south. the rest of the state is just the southern most northern state:)

Yes, But only around the edges and in orlando.. the rest is pure delivernece contry...

ukecantdothat
06-29-2010, 11:39 AM
I'm usually asked if it's a mandolin if I'm carrying a hard shell case or a plain gig bag. If it's a gig bag with a Hawaiian print, they can sometimes call it right. Once a guy said, "That's either a mandolin or a gun yer totin' there." Just the other day at work, a guy walked by and saw the tweed case that holds a Mainland concert and said, "I didn't know Fender made ukes!" That was pretty astute to figure it was a uke, and to link tweed with Fender wasn't too far fetched. I told him Fender indeed does make ukes now, but that this was a Mainland and that Fenders should be avoided IMO (I had bad experiences with the three I tried and ended up sending them all back for different reasons). He was most impressed with the Mainland when I pulled it out and is now considering getting one himself!

ukeeku
06-29-2010, 04:10 PM
If you want to have real fun, Try sending a Risa solid through security in an airport. When I was coming home from Vegas I had my All black Risa solid and a smokey amp (http://www.smokeyamps.com/) in my carry-on. I had to plug it in and play it to prove it was not a weapon.

cletus
06-29-2010, 04:31 PM
I had to plug it in and play it to prove it was not a weapon.

Okay, I have to know: what song did you play?

tnobes
06-29-2010, 04:45 PM
I thought a ukulele WAS "besides the norm"!

I was asked (by a child, so I cut slack) why my guitar was so small, with a mention of my mental capacity ("Are you special?" Polite child!), but other than that...

I was asked by an adult the same question (minus the mention of my mental capacity). I told her it was a ukulele and was met with a blank stare...That was the very first day I got it. After that, I knew I was getting into something good :p

StereoJoker
07-04-2010, 12:07 PM
Last night (or, more accurately, waaay early this morning), I was walking home from a friend's house and had my uke slung over my shoulder in a gig bag. The streets in my town were almost completely deserted, but a police car drove by me as I was walking past an apartment complex. The cop turned around and sort of followed me before flashing his lights once to get my attention and stop me.

He asked me what I had in the bag, and I told him what it was. Of course, he had me open the bag and show him (suburban twenty-somethings are far more likely to carry around controlled substances at three in the morning), and when he saw the uke, he gave me a funny look and just stared for a bit. After all that, he offered to give me a ride home.

Apparently, this cop thought I had a gun in the bag. So strike one up for "ukes-in-gig-bags-being-mistaken-for-guns". But this time, in New Jersey (in his defense, I live between Camden and Philadelphia, and even though my town doesn't really have much crime other than the occasional bike theft, the main road gets some traffic from city drug dealers).

mm stan
07-04-2010, 03:28 PM
Aloha Kirstin,
Nice story, enjoyed it very much!!! If you didn't have your ukulele, you
wouldn't have had a ride home!!Lol....Chalk this one up for the ukulele.....
Take Care and"Keep strumming them strings" ..Ukuleles are forevers!!!
MM Stan...

dans003
08-02-2010, 08:23 PM
i was walking through schoool with my soprano the other day (trying to look cool hanging out with the emos on guitars) and my principal came up to me and said
"Daniel, is that a badminton racket in your bag?"
I patiently explained (through gritted teeth) that "NO it was NOT a BADMINTON RACKET - it's a ukulele"
He seemed far more interested now that I was carrying something with real use to it
dans