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Over the course of the past couple days, I’ve heard at least three performances on the radio of Ernst von Dohnányi’s Variationen über ein Kinderlied (Variations on a Nursery Tune) for piano and orchestra, Op. 25 (1914).  The piece, which is based on the old French  “Twinkle, Twinkle” tune, is subtitled “For the enjoyment of humorous people and for the annoyance of others,”  and the deejays have been falling all over themselves about how “witty” and “fascinating” it is.

Well, now.

I consider myself to be a fairly humorous fellah, but I have to say that I thought the piece rayther tarsome, especially after the first hearing.

I suppose this means that either I’m more of a rube than I’d care to admit or else that somebody is seriously overselling.

I don’t believe I’ve said anything to date about the upcoming Papal visit to Britain for the beatification of John Henry Newman (perhaps some day patron saint of Anglican converts).  Nonetheless, I’ve been keeping up with the preparations, and for some time now I have been bothered by a nagging feeling that the English Bishops seem to see this event as a perfect opportunity to humiliate Benedict, with whose reforms many of them are rayther unhappy.

That feeling is growing all the time.

Perhaps I’m just being paranoid, but it strikes me that I have a singular talent for killing off other blogs in which I take an interest, as documented by the ever-increasing number of “Under the Table” sites over to the left.  This thought was most recently reenforced by the sad news that Dr. Mabuse is hanging it up.

I certainly hope that all this is just a coincidence and that I’ve actually had nothing to do with the individual decisions by the proprietors of these fine blogs to call it quits.  On the other hand, I must warn you all:  If you have gone undead and are planning some kind of zombie blogger uprising, be forewarned that the port-swilling establishment is heavily armed and more than able to drive you back into your swamp while beating a retreat to a pre-arranged and well-decantered safe house.  

And to those of you who would ask, “Why would zombies go after Robbo if he doesn’t actually have any brains?” I would simply respond, “Oh, hush.”

I don’t know what got into the water supply today, but all three of the gels called or approached me with  Götterdämmerung-themed questions.   To wit:

The 12 Year Old:  Dad! I read something that says there’s a chance a big asteroid is going to hit the Earth in 2033!

Self:  Well, I think that chance is very, very small.  And yes,  you still have to do your homework.

The 10 year old:  Dad! There’s a major hurricane heading for the Virginia coast! Why haven’t you done anything to prepare for it??!!

Self:  Meh.  I’ve been tracking closely and it looks to miss us completely.  Now pick up your room.

The 8 year old:  Daddy, if I ride a motorcycle when I’m older, will I go to hell when I die?

Self:  Most assuredly.

(As Dave Barry is wont to say, I swear I’m not making this up.)

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