I am at my parents' house, lounging in a bathrobe like I never did. A phone call is recieved -- it is my former piano teacher, requisitioning my services to display the heights of piano virtuositude her students had attained to two new ones.

I am dolled up in dress clothes, guiltily admit to myself that since I haven't really practiced any of my material for the past 2.5 years I'll require the sheet music, and procure the first movement of Beethoven's Sonata Pathetique, by J.S. Bach. (Why the dual-compositorship? Because I hate playing Bach with a passion, and the situation wasn't quite grim enough yet for my subconscious.)

I am at her studio. The two new students are giggly little girls. I manage to put off beginning the song for a half-hour - Maybe if I entertain them enough with my one-liners they'll go away without my having to mangle classical music for them. But no, finally there are no more delaying devices, and I start. And I stop. It is too horrible. But the teacher glares at me, I take a deep breath, and resume.

If you get every note wrong, you are left with an innocuous jumble of static which could be anything - could even be a Bartok or Prokofieff composition. In contrast, I got about only 25% of the notes wrong, which meant that what was heard was clearly a twisted mockery of what was displayed on the sheet music before me.

Fortunately for all concerned, turning around to wink at a giggler after page three, upon turning back we discovered that the sheet music had disappeared, being replaced in its entirety by collections of Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers comix. We snoop around, look inside them and inside the piano just to make sure it hadn't snuck anywhere nearby.

in our last episode... | p_i-logs | and then, all of a sudden...