It was always the same with amateurs. They had even less patience than talent. They couldn’t abide the noise they made, and grew angry at their own incompetence. And then they blamed Jeremy for putting them through it.
The fiddles scraped, the horns bellowed and farted, the woodwind shrieked, the percussion clattered and banged, the harpist, who should have been sitting it out, caught her fingers in her own strings and caterwauled with pain. Somewhere Beethoven was spinning in his grave. Jeremy stolidly slapped out the beat with his stick, looking stern and purposeful for a few bars before segueing insincerely into cheery and optimistic grins. Nobody believed him, on either side of the podium.
True, he hadn’t made the Philharmonic; his compositions mouldered unfinished in the box room; his wife no longer asked him how his day had gone. But, he was conductor and director of the Cincinnati Senior Citizens’ Orchestra and, surely, he was worthy of some respect. He was bringing music into these geriatric morons’ lives, wasn’t he?
Finally, he could take it no longer. He threw his baton to the ground and pounded on the podium with his fists, “Enough, enough, you tone-deaf cretins!” he screamed. “Pigs in the abattoir are more tuneful than you are!”
They looked up at him, askance, as with one more wild-eyed shriek, he rushed from the hall.
Then, cautiously at first and then with increasing vigour, they began to pick out “I’m just wild about Harry.”