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Cultured entertainment

We are glipishly behind schedule and I insist that we leave immediately, but Fatty, patting his rumbling belly, tells us that dinner is due to be served and he can't leave until he eats something, or he won't have the energy to carry on. Juan says that we can't leave until we stock up on supplies, and he starts smashing more furniture, looking for concealed bottles of vintage Scotch. George says that we can't go until he puts the finishing touches to his latest paintings. Albert says we can't go because Rory has got his head stuck in the piano.

I tell Albert that Rory is not stuck in the piano, he just finished a bottle of Vintage Glengarioch Special Reserve, which is normally used only as a powerful emollient so, naturally, Rory is being sick into the piano. Albert says that Rory is being sick into the piano but he is also stuck in the piano because Juan closed the lid on Rory's head. After watching Rory struggling for some time, Albert says that he doesn't understand why we are laughing, there's nothing entertaining about seeing a man with his head stuck in a piano. I remind Albert that he is German and doesn't understand culture or entertainment.

After we release him, Rory complains that it's not fair, he keeps hurting himself on furniture he couldn't even afford. I tell him that, if that is the case, he should not buy it, it would just be inconvenient, but, I remind Rory, he can buy furniture on his expense account. Rory says that to buy luxurious, expensive, furniture and then charge it to his expense account would be wrong. This is a puzzling attitude, so I tell him that, if he is worried, a pianoforte is, strictly speaking, a musical instrument, so he doesn't have to call it furniture. Rory says that that would not be honest. I remind Rory that his wife is a woman and, therefore, it is perfectly honest to refer to her as a wife, or as a woman, in the same way, a piano can be a beautiful instrument or just a piece of furniture, noisy furniture.

George tells us that, as he hasn't seen any American birds yet, he has painted a spotted fly-catcher instead. I tell him it's very nice fly-catcher, and, with a diet restricted to spotted flies, I am surprised that it isn't extinct. Albert remarks that, here in America, George could sell his paintings easily. George says that, in Britain, only upper class people buy his paintings but, in America, where everybody is equal, there aren't any upper classes, so nobody would buy them. Juan says that nobody would buy them because they're rubbish. If George stopped painting one pointless bird after another and painted women instead, he could sell millions of paintings, because it doesn't matter what class you are in, or what country you are in, pictures of birds are boring and stupid and nobody wants one, but, in in every class, in every country, people buy pictures of women, and, as George can throw out pictures of birds like a high-speed mechanical bird-painting machine, he may as well paint women instead, if he does that, Juan guarantees, George's paintings will sell in their millions.

George says that painting can take a long time, so, whatever the subject, to paint millions of paintings would be impossible. I remind Juan and Albert that George is not a business man, he is an artist. He is not interested in money or fame; as long as he can pursue his art, George is content to remain an utterly uncelebrated nonentity and spend the rest of his life in desperate, squalid, poverty. George says that this is not entirely true, but I'm not interested in his opinion so I shove Rory head into the piano again, slam the lid down and bash out Beethoven's piano concerto no.1 as loudly as possible while yelling at Rory that he should privileged as, because of his deafness, Beethoven played like this all the time, and not many people get to hear a great piano concerto as it was meant to heard, from inside the piano. This gives Rory a unique opportunity and, furthermore, proves that, despite what Albert says, seeing somebody with their head stuck in a piano can be very entertaining.

Juan smashes his way into an armoire and discovers bottles of Vintage Miltonduff, Tamnavulin, Scapa, and Glenburgie Private Reserve. This is cause for celebration and, raising our glasses, we offer toast after toast to loud music and birds, then, singing 'The Pride of the Glen', 'The Wee Wifukie', and 'The Weel-tochere'd Lass', we link arms and crash around in exultant confusion, as fast as we possibly can.

Professor Humperdink's Diary