It was Grandma Hilda’s 75th birthday coming up. She loved to hear twelve year old granddaughter, Lydia, play the piano. Grandma Hilda liked old-fashioned music. Not that Lydia didn’t, so Lydia thought she would surprise Grandma Hilda by playing a piece specially learnt for the birthday. Lydia thought and thought and thought. In the end, she decided to learn Handel’s The Harmonious Blacksmith. She practised and practised and practised. It was quite hard, even though she was very good at playing the piano.
Grandma Hilda’s birthday arrived. Lydia and her parents went to visit.
“Happy Birthday Grandma!” said Lydia. “I’ve learnt a special piece on the piano for you!”
“That’s lovely dear,” said Grandma Hilda. “As long as it’s not a piece by that awful composer called Handel. His music goes boom, boom, boom, and I can’t stand it.”
“No,” said Lydia. “It’s by Scarlatti.”
Grandma loved it. She didn’t know the difference. In the circumstance it’s possible that Handel wouldn’t have minded.
Desmond had recently had all his teeth pulled out. He awaited the arrival of brand new dentures after the customary settling of gums. He wasn’t one to hide his tarnishings under the carpet. If Desmond had a scar on his arm he would wear it uncovered and with pride. And so too his toothless gums. Why hide? If people didn’t like it, they could look elsewhere.
To show the world his daring abandonment to gumlessness, he decided to play the piano in the local mall at lunchtime. He played for an hour; Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert. People gathered. Quite a crowd in fact. Young people too. Who said classical music wasn’t appreciated? See! He was popular himself – toothless and all! He was liked! What a success! Who cares about looking awful with a mouthful of nothing?
“What composer wrote that last piece?” asked a young person.
Desmond puffed out his chest.
“Well,” he said. And then he dribbled. It was the biggest slushiest dribble he’d ever done in his life. It was disgusting. The crowd drifted off.