Dr. Arnie’s Very Interesting Recital
April 1, 2023
“What the. . . ?” I said to myself. All the cats and horses in the neighborhood had started to meow and neigh as soon as I began practicing the violin. And the more I practiced, the louder and more raucous the meowing and neighing became.
I have to admit, it freaked me out. So I called my favorite aunt, Aunty Histamine, for advice. She’s a cool veterinarian and very wise.
“Tell me, Arnie,” she asked. (For the record, my full name is actually Dr. Arnie Arnie.) “Are some of your fiddle’s strings made of what is commonly known as catgut, and is your bow equipped with horsehair?”
“Well, yes,” I had to admit.
“Aha. There’s your answer. The cats and horses no longer want their body parts used for your Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, or even your Tea for Two. Likewise, farm animals are demanding not to be turned into ham sandwiches or beef bourguignon.”
“But listen, Aunty, I’ve got an upcoming recital with pianist Waldemar Strumbleknauf, the most celebrated pianist of his country, Lower Upper Slobovia. What am I going to tell him?”
“That’s your problem, Arnie. You’re the doc. I’m only a vet.”
The next day, I nervously called up Waldy and told him about the situation.
“Hah,” said Waldemar, “dot explains avryting. I sit down on piano bench and soddenly it goes, “Moo.”
“Never mind, Waldy. We’ve got a completely unexpected and serious problem on our hands. The animals are coming for us meat-milk-cheese-and-egg eaters. Aunty Histamine heard a rumor that their rallying cry is a chilling “Meet ‘em, then eat ’em.”
“But,” and here Waldemar’s voice got a bit shaky, “vot about recital?”.
“Bad news, Waldy. I’m expecting every nearby animal to block our performance by pooping in front of the concert doors.”
“Poop on de stoop. Dot’s funny, yes?”
“No, Waldy. I’ll have to get rid of my gut violin strings and replace my bow horsehair with synthetic hair, and we’ll have to find someone to put leatherette on your piano bench.”
“You gotta realize, Arnie, I luff chizburgers. Actually, chizburger is beloved national dish of Slobovia, both Lower Upper and Upper Upper. Enemels know about my chizburgers?”
“They probably do, Waldy, and that’s why we have to adopt extreme measures. How about you and I go on a diet of fruits, veggies, nuts, and oatmeal — steel cut, of course — for a month, and only then advertise the concert? I can picture the announcement now:
If You Are What You Eat, Then You’ll Play What You Eat.
Tickets now on sale for the never heard before Vegan Violin and Piano recital by ‘The Vegan Vagabonds,’ Arnie Arnie and Waldemar Strumbleknauf.
“You forgot vun minor ting, Arnie. Enemels can’t read.”
“True, Waldy. But they sure can hear. With the very first notes of our recital, they’ll recognize that oh-so-veggie sound, and news will spread like wildfire through the animal community that we’ve given up beef for Bach.”
For the first time in our conversation, Waldemar smiled. “Hokey dokey. I give up chizburger, also chocolate malt, also extra scoop ice cream.”
And so, the two of us went on our new diet that could possibly be a harbinger for monumental changes in our music profession — think vegan Schubert song cycles, vegan string quartet concerts, and vegan members of an entire orchestra performing all the Beethoven symphonies without even coming near a cheeseburger.
A week before the recital, Waldemar called to ask how ticket sales were going.
“Only Mel Brooks bought tickets,” I had to tell Waldy. “People must think that this is just some kind of April Fools joke.”
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Hilarious! Brilliant! Well Saia!
These histamine notes drive me insane this time of year!
What a treat for one of your vegan readers ?
Dear Dr Arnie,
Somewhere, Al Capp is smiling — as am I. Thanks for your amusing dialog on a serious topic. While not vegan, I stopped eating meat two years ago. Still yearn for chizburger, but restrain myself thru visualization of self-aware enemal POV. Looking forward to your next missive.
Thank you, Doc, for a generous dose of humor in these humorless times!
I’m glad your stint on Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin was *not* an April Fools’ Day joke! ;-)
Dear Arnie, what a wonderful, April fools joke. Even better than last year‘s. I have a cat and so I’ve refrained from taking out my Goya guitar and trying to start it again, since my violin is long gone, and I have given up on returning to my own yowling, and to just remain a passive, or may be active listener at all the concerts I can find in Paris. In the meantime, I’m well, but being stocked on the Internet by someone who says he’s Gautier Capucon. What a wonderful, wacky world this is. I think I’ll have a cheeseburger for lunch.???????
Well Dr. Arnie – you have once again proven that violinists have the best senses of humor at least among string players. In the future you can just refer the enemals to your Key of Strawberry as validation of your vegan credentials.
Thanks and all the best,
Wow–this was great! I’m not ready to go all the way—but it’s the best sell of heard!!! Have a happy SALADAY Frances
And your witt was still sharp on your 86th birthday! It was an honor to meet you Sir at the Houston Airport. Hag Pesach Sameach and be well!
Hello again, Dr A Arnie. Your comical musings spurred two humorous — perhaps analogous — recollections of mine. The first is a dim memory of a video or transcript of the impressions you and your fellow Guanerians had during a gondola tour of Venice. The architecture reminded some of you of grand edifices in other renowned cities. But, if I remember correctly, you felt Venetian building style was like that of the UWS, which struck me as both mischievous and accurate. Similarly, my second recollection is that of USN Commander Victor Henry, posted — in Herman Wouk’s Winds of War — to embassy duty in 1938 Berlin. Invited to a reception in Hitler’s new chancellery, Henry is “incongruously reminded of Radio City Music Hall.” I imagine that if Mel Brooks read that passage, he’d cry, “Yes, yes! Exactly!”
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