Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Arrhythmia Of The Night

The election is over, and I won.

All right; don't panic.  I'm not going to be president or anything.  But the annual Philistine convention, meeting in secret congress, overwhelmingly voted me the least cultured individual on earth.  I narrowly edged out Gary Busey, and observers attribute my victory to my adamant refusal to enjoy "The Phantom of the Opera."

We go back a long time, this musical and I.  In 1988, Peggy dragged accompanied me to New York to see it on Broadway.  I remember walking around the fabled streets of Gotham, having an authentic slice o' pizza and then shuffling into the Majestic Theatre for a matinee. 

And the next thing I knew, some candelabra was plunging toward us all.  Having always associated overly baroque lighting with Liberace, I was stunned at first, so I woke up confused.  The legendary showman had passed away the previous year, and yet here was this shimmering stalactite, swaying six inches from my face.

Down below a pretty woman was wading through what appeared to be a sewer, or the River Styx.  A man with a horrible case of goiter was darting after her.

And there was also a play, right on the stage.  People were singing.  As a matter of fact, playgoers really got a lot for their money, because the lady, the ogre and the guy in a tuxedo were all three singing different songs!  But the crowd really roared with applause when they sang "The Music Of The Night."  And do you know how they sang that show-stopper!


And Gently.

Oh Lord, how slowly.  It seemed to take the rest of the afternoon.

The man in the hat sang

Night time shahpens, heightens each sensation
Dockness stirs and wakes imagination
Silently the senses abandon their defenses

And so I abandoned mine. Speaking of abandoned mines, this whole sorry episode blew up in my face again on Sunday evening, when channel surfing led me to Public Television's broadcast of this dreadful event. Here's a little taste of what I saw, in case you missed it.

So all right, I prefer Stripes to A River Runs Through It, and the only Iron Lady I recall seeing was a woman at the State Fair who caught a cannonball in her plush solar plexus.  I can't be the only person who doesn't see the deal with POTO.

Can I?

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