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Posted by Francis X. on June 27, 2001 at 21:57:15:
In Reply to: Re: Will Buy a Wanker posted by Bob Gollihur on June 26, 2001 at 10:17:53:
: : Fellow Bassists:
: : I am looking to buy an upright bass which will comfortably fit in my Morgan 3-wheeler. I remember that some years ago,the Wanker Mfg Co. of Ylsiplanti,Michigan offered an inflatable doublebass. Of course,the neck and center section was made of wood,but the rest of the instrument was made of hard rubber treated in such a way as to give the appearance of fine wood. The body was easily inflated by means of a bicycle pump,or orally if one was of sound breath. They actually sound quite well;however the bass was difficult to hold out of doors in high winds. I will pay top dollar if anyone out there has a used Wanker they are willing to part with.
: You are wise in seeking one of the originals -- the reissues from a few years back were constructed of multiple layers of rubber, which, of course, were less susceptible to leakage but just didn't have the tone of the solid rubber originals.
: Apparently, players with slow leaks sometimes had to pause during selections to reinflate the instrument; it is rumored that is where the expression in our musical lexicon, "blew it", came from.
: If you do find one, I hope you'll post a photo that I can link to -- it would be nice to share this amazing instrument with the rest of the group.
Thanks,once again for your sage advice-I have already been offered a re-issue Wanker,but I sternly resisted the temptation of purchasing it,even at the attractive price which the seller(I think you know him-
Elio Gorevetsky,principal doublebassist of the Pendejo Valley Symphony Orchestra out of Pendejo Valley,California)offered it to me.
The problem is not the instrument,per se;to my shock and horror,I discovered that these inflatable basses are being manufactured in sweatshops located on depleted rubber plantations in Sri Lanka. The workers are paid less than a guinea a month,and are not allowed to go home for lunch;instead of nourishing rice,they are forced by the management to subsist on a gruel composed of gelatin and wood chips. Moreover,they have no fringe benefits,and the firm does not even offer employee discounts,should a worker desire to purchase a Wanker Inflatable of his own. I do not consider myself to be a social crusader,but it is unconscionable to contribute to this sad,explotative state of affairs. Sadly,Wanker has become the Kathy Lee Gifford of the Bass world.
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