August/September 2005

A Performance
Bradley Sands

Wake up. It's time for a healthy breakfast.

Don't worry, your gallon of sulphuric acid will eat it.

I'm sorry…I wasn't talking to you. You know, it's very impolite to interrupt someone while they're trying to have a conversation. I don't understand why everyone assumes that I'm speaking to them.

Listen carefully – do you notice what I'm looking at? It's your eyes. I always make a point to look at the person who I'm talking to. It's just a matter of proper etiquette. As you may recall, my eyes were cast below during the duration of my previous discussion and I didn't look up once. I was addressing the tub.

Don't look at me look that. I know that a bathtub can't talk back. But there exists the possibility that it can understand everything we're saying. It's unlikely, but I like to cater to every possibility. And were it possible, tubs from all over the world would be suffering from a psychosis brought on by conversation deprivation.

I wouldn't want my musician to feel anything but contentment. It agreed to participate in tonight's performance under short notice and the least I can do is give it something to munch on.

Would you please stop pestering me with questions? I have other matters to attend to.

Sorry about that, Mr. Splish Splash. It won't happen again. I hope that you're enjoying your food. Since this is the first time you've played Scarnegie Hall, let me fill you in on all the details:

You, along with a series of others, have been placed on stage; each containing a person who gave the correct answer to a trivia question during a radio promotion for the New York Philharmonic concert. But instead of winning a free ticket to show, they have been awarded the privilege of becoming your musical instrument. We have thoughtfully provided you with a quantity of industrial acid to assist you in entertaining wealthy men of particular tastes. The instruments have begun their baths at different intervals and are being subjected to acid of various concentrations, resulting in a symphony of screams and flesh bubblings…and satisfying your otherwise unquenchable hunger.

What the hell do you want now?

I once again apologize, Mr. Splish Splash, but I have to take care of this or risk the disruption of the performance. Good luck and corrode a leg!

Can you please speak up? I can't hear you over the chorus.

Oh, you have a family? It warms my heart to know you trust me enough to reveal that information. People on the street always run in the opposite direction before I get a chance to ask them how they're doing. So I appreciate it, really and truly.

I knew there was something special about you the first time we met. You're a member of a family! How irregular! It makes you stand out from the herd! Now that I know this fun factoid, there's no way I can allow Mr. Splish Splash to finish with his performance!

Wait! Open your eyes. Wider. If it's possible to see through the downpour of melting flesh, you may notice your family in the audience, cheering you on. Instead of mourning your death in the indiscernible future as a result of heart failure, they'll be bragging to their acquaintances about the great honor that you experienced moments before death.

Please excuse me. It's time for the curtain call.