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I know that Wilhemina will

June 25, 2014

I have many meetings today and am heading to London tonight, so I’ll have to catch up later. But, for the moment, this:

Scene: The home of a retired Oxford don who is showing me his impressive collection of musical instruments, accumulated from a lifetime of international research. We have just looked at dozens of wooden flutes and horns made of actual horns and a couple of trumpets made from human femurs and a conch shell trumpet that is nearly 2000 years old. We are now looking at a shelf of small curiosities, proceeding from right to left.

Don: You probably know what this is [he picks up a small bird whistle and demonstrates it]

Harriet: I do — I may even have one of those at home.

Don: And these are ocarinas [there are ocarinas shaped like frogs and horses and people]

Harriet: Ocarinas seem to inspire a great deal of creativity. [We both pause as we come to the next instrument, an anatomically correct and slightly larger-than-life sized reproduction of a portion of the male anatomy]

Don: Hmm. Well, then there’s this rather rude little instrument.

Harriet: It is rather.

Don: I didn’t buy that one. It was bought for me by a friend as a joke. [Pause] But it is rather funny isn’t it?
Harriet: It certainly is.

Don: I’m not sure I should tell you how you play it.

[Post title from an obscure Irving Berlin tune, “Ocarina”]

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2014 1:27 pm


  2. June 26, 2014 1:15 pm

    Hahahahaha. This is even funnier to me because I know who the Oxford don in question is.

  3. June 26, 2014 1:38 pm

    Yes, you do, Jenny!

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