Franz Kafka, Bruno Schulz and Galina Ustvolskaya walk into a bar.
Nick Cave and Tom Waits are there.
“Sorry, wankers, bar’s full,” Nick says.
Galina stares him down.
She just looks at him until he takes his cigarettes to another table.
Tom takes his hat and follows him wordlessly.
“Ants, you were saying,” Schulz says after they all sit down.
Kafka shakes his head slowly. “Talk about having formica in your kitchen.”
“I got up this morning and…” Kafka continues.
“I like the sound of that,” says Lightnin’ Hopkins.
Ustvolskaya stares at Hopkins. He shuts up and moves to sit with Nick Cave and Tom Waits, who are trying to get the bartender’s attention without success.
“I mean,” Kafka continues, “I lifted up the sponge and there was this sponge-sized square of ants underneath. Like they were trying to carry it back to their hill.”
“I hate ants in my kitchen,” Bruno Schulz says.
“There are no ants in my kitchen,” says Galina Ustvolskaya.

Also, final concert of the season last weekend.
How to describe it.
The people involved – the teachers and especially the conductor, they are heroic.
They are good teachers.
What could be better than that?
We played with several other orchestras this year. Our conductor is the best.
She kicks butt.
Makes a big difference if you have a conductor who does that.*
The people involved – the kids, mostly kids, playing, and the teachers organizing it – they all work their butts off all year long.
What could be better than that?
Also, I didn’t play into any rests, or start early, and I waited my turn to take a bow.
What more can you ask.
And no one stole my coat, and rarely scratched my cello.
It’s a big relief, having this season over like this.
It’s, I would like to sleep until Christmas or something.
But I would also like to go home and practice scales. Boy, I need to work on my intonation, and my bowing, and speed in general. And everything else.
It never ends.
*You can have, theoretically, an orchestra full of real good musicians, but if their conductor is lame, they will sound lame, whereas an orchestra of pretty good musicians, if they have a fiery conductor who knows what she’s doing, guess how they sound? They sound good, because they have that Bad News Bears spirit, you know? Tatum O’Neal smoking cigarettes with the brass section, everything.

3 responses to “Joke

  1. Jann

    Great that you had a successful concert season…But, wait a minute! Did I not see on TV George W Bush conducting a 400 piece orchestra playing “The Stars and Stripes Forever?” Apparently, when the Commander in Chief asks for the baton, you hand it over. Oh, well, they said nice things about his efforts.

  2. mig

    I heard fuel prices doubled while he was playing, and it went on forever because he couldn’t remember how it ended.

  3. They used that secret stunt-double that does complicated public appearances for the President when he’s available.. besides, how can you screw up Stars and Stripes?