The tubas and trombones only play during the end of Beethoven’s 9th symphony. During the first several movements they have a famously long period of rest.
One performance, the low brass decide to sneak out to a local bar and grab a few drinks during the beginning of the piece. They quietly duck out of the rear section of the theater, walk a couple blocks, and sit down for drinks.
After a couple rounds, having lost track of the time, the section leader glances at his watch and exclaims “we’re running late, our entrance is in just 1 minute!”
A trombone player tells the group that he bought them some extra time by tying the last few pages of the conductor’s score together. When he comes up on the finale he will have to slow the orchestra down to allow himself time to untie his music – thus buying the low brass enough time to get back in their seats.
They stumble back in their seats right before their entrance, but the conductor was furious…
it was the bottom of the 9th, the score was tied, and the basses were loaded.