July 19, 2006

When I was about 15 I fell in love- with the bassoon. The instrument soon started playing an important part in my fantasies, not of me playing stirring renderings of a bassoon concerto to rapturous applause, but of a rather more earthly nature. In the most common, I was alone in a castle with a fellow bassoon player, a stunning, slender blonde. She stood by the tressalated window and allowed the moonlight to reveal the wonders lying beneath her diaphonous nightgown. Later, she would snuggle up to me in bed, her flimsy garment riding up to offer me the thrill of a cold ivory body. Most nights I would pray that whoever was up there might make this vision a reality. He nearly did, in a round about sort of way. When I took my ageing bassoon, held together by pieces of string and sticking plaster, to a regional schools orchestra weekend and met my fellow bassoonist, I was indeed confronted by a vision of complete loveliness, a lithe blonde with a slender but shapely body crying out to be carressed even more lovely than I could have dreamed of. Unfortunately, the body in question belonged to the shining new German bassoon, its owner being a dumpy, grumpy bespectacled young lady with pimples who clearly regarded boys as a form of life slightly more objectionable than the amoeba. That was what first shook my faith in an all-knowing all-loving all powerful deity. I suspected that if there was someone up there he was either a practical joker or just incompetent. After that at morning assembly I sang ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’ with vigorous sarcasm. Later, it struck me that it was probably not some single awesome deity that was governing our affairs but rather a hopelessly bureaucratic committee. Someone in the ‘Customer Relations, Prayers Section, Musical fantasies sub-section’ had goofed. Whatever, it just shows that you have to be careful when praying- make sure you say exactly what you want, avoiding any possible ambiguity just as you might when explaining your income tax refund claim to a particularly obdurate tax inspector. Otherwise, if your prayers are answered you could be in for a nasty surprise.


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