A Vignette Which, to the Best of My Memory, Actually Happened at the Liquor Store Where I Work Some Nights

6thAug. × ’12

(enter stage left Walrusman, a unkempt gentleman who brings in returns but never makes purchases. He places thirteen empty cans on the counter.)

WALRUSMAN: I have fifteen.

ANDY: No, you have thirteen.

WALRUSMAN: That’s fifteen.

(Andy prints a receipt)

ANDY: Thirteen.

WALRUSMAN: You have no soul.

ANDY: Sure.

WALRUSMAN: What does your mother think of you?

ANDY: She probably thinks I could apply myself more, but otherwise I believe she thinks well.

WALRUSMAN: What are you doing in the fall?

ANDY: What?

WALRUSMAN: What are you doing for school?

ANDY: I’ve been out of school of a year now.

WALRUSMAN: Where did you go?

ANDY: The Boston Conservatory.

WALRUSMAN: A musician? What do you think of the works of Arnold Schoenberg?

ANDY: I like him.

WALRUSMAN: You WHAT?

ANDY: Yeah, he’s good.

WALRUSMAN: It is nothing but noise! Existentialist nonsense! All those string quartets are garbage. The only good thing he wrote was Verklarte Nacht.

ANDY: Yeah, that’s pretty good. You don’t like the Serenade? Or the Fourth String Quartet?

WALRUSMAN: It’s all terrible. Pointillism, or something, disjointed crap. Do you like his operas?

ANDY: Moses and Aron is alright.

WALRUSMAN: How can you? And the bats in Pierrot Lunaire? It’s like nightmares from a prison camp.

ANDY: That sounds like Wozzeck. Are you sure you’re not thinking of Berg?

WALRUSMAN: Alban Berg! He’s worse!

ANDY: You’re going to tell me that Berg’s Violin Concerto isn’t any good?!?

WALRUSMAN: It is awful. I like some Mahler, but who I really like is Rachmaninov.

ANDY: He’s okay. Do you like Britten?

WALRUSMAN: Some of it. I’ll tell you what you should listen to, do you know the Meditation from Thaïs by Massenet?

ANDY: Here’s your change.

(end scene)

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