January 6th, 2006

Penguin Cymbals

"Would you like a lozenge?"

I’ve been fighting a cold for a couple days now, but earlier this evening I felt well enough to go see the Raymond Scott Orchestrette at Makor. Not that I felt good, mind you, but sufficently hale to catch what could very well prove to be their only NYC gig this year.

Unsurprisingly, I was not the only audience member in suboptimal condition. I was, however, discreet about it — unlike the fat woman at the table behind me who kept clearing her throat. God knows what she had in there. I wouldn’t have been surprised if she’d spat out a trichinobezoar* the size of a softball. But she didn’t; all that emerged from her gullet was a HRRRRRRGGGH! HRRRRRRGGGH! at irregular intervals.

After three songs of this, I turned around and offered her a lozenge. She reacted as though I’d tried to hand her a dead mouse. “I don’t want one!” she squawked, recoiling. Possibly she realized that Would you like a lozenge? is irate-music-lover-ese for Kindly choke and die. Fortunately, she seemed to be making some effort to muffle herself after that, so I was not forced to kill her with my spoon.

* Thank you, Neil Gaiman.