Vexing Questions

I ended the week vexed by two questions, the first newly-minted and the second near-eternal:

  1. What is wrong with Rafael Nadal?
  2. Is Liszt’s E-flat Piano Concerto worse than a root canal?

Pleasantly, or unpleasantly, the latter question has at last been answered to my satisfaction. The Liszt is far, far worse.

It turns out avoiding the dentist for nearly 30 years is pretty bad for your teeth, but I’d really needed a dentist to tell me that, so how was I to know? Bit of a Catch-22, really, and I certainly wasn’t going to toddle along for a check-up on the mere say-so of any armchair experts. These included my wife, who had nonetheless displayed saintly patience as I sobbed quietly into my pillow each night. After only a few months of this, I discovered that pain in sufficient quantities proves compelling. My resistance wore away as steadily as the back end of my molar, and so I relented.

Apparently it was a pretty bad scene in my mouth, although I told the dentist I already felt contrite as hell, so he let me take the spirited and inevitable lecture as read. I felt like I’d kind of dodged a bullet on that one, but the Lord works in nebulous ways. God’s plan for my come-uppance was truly labyrinthine, and long-range even by his standards, and began with inspiring a young Franz Liszt in 1830 to begin work on one of the lousiest pieces of music in history, and ended by making someone program it to air on the radio just as I was being jabbed repeatedly with a whopping needle. I let out a low groan, inspiring some concern that the local anaesthetic had failed. Really, only a general could have saved me, but it wasn’t to be, no matter how I begged.

I have now endured a root canal and Liszt simultaneously, and lived to tell of it. I didn’t feel great, and no one was certain if the drool was due to half my face being paralysed, or to being sonically lobotomised by the vacuous idiocy wafting from the radio. I’m due for round two in a week. Liszt’s Second Concerto is a better work, but I’m taking some Rachmaninov along just in case.

For the record, I have no idea what is wrong with Nadal. No one does, and all the theories sound trite. Perhaps someone messed with his water bottles?

Leave a Comment

Filed under Grand Slams

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *