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The Essay
Show #50
Silver Anniversary Edition
David Gunn
Bon radio, and welcome to the -- hard to believe, isn't it? -- 50th anniversary edition of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Sesquihour. Today's episode is "composer as toreodor day," in which we stick some of our favorite folk heros from the normally strife-free world of music into the bullfight ring with El Toro, only one of whom is likely to emerge unscathed. Each contestant will be issued a weapon from the Soren Kierkegaard Existential Arms Consortium to battle this huge animal which has been genetically altered by crafty extraterrestrials into a ferocious man-eating beast with an especial taste for the kidneys.

Oh, and that musical refrain tells us that the first encounter is about to begin. In the far corner, weighing 162 pounds and wearing the aqua trunks, is Heinrich Ignatz von Biber, late Bohemian composer who used to stick the cellos with hundreds of unneeded sixteenth notes. And in the near corner and also in the center of the ring, tipping the scales at just under 3,050 pounds and wearing nothing but a smirk, Rufus the Brahma Bull. <(bell) And there's the signal for the round to begin. Rufus' trainer has headed to his corner, but not fast enough as the mighty bull has charged his former trusty companion, gored him, and thrown him over the ropes. And the crowd is loving it! Now he spins to face von Biber, who has ventured cautiously from his corner. His weapon of choice is ... I think it's a metronome.Yes, a metronome. He turns it on ... and Rufus looks confused. He tilts his head, and von Biber charges. But, ohhh! The bull steps adroitly aside. And now he charges von Biber. Von Biber parriers, but not in time, and Rufus knocks the European to the mat. And now, ohhhhh, he's goring the harried composer unmercifully. The referee steps in to call the match, but it's too late for poor Heinrich. Score game one for Rufus the Brahma Bull. The next match on today's sesquicard features a bull versus a tag team. Oh, they're having a little trouble budging Rufus from the ring. But, there he goes now, chasing a petite woman in a red pullover. And now entering the ring, weighing a svelte 1,500 pounds even and wearing a chemise haltertop is Bunny Bull, 4H entry of the Happy Kids Day Care Center. Her opponents, wearing frowns and sneers and brandishing menacing pieces of what looks like thermonuclear plumbing equipment, are the tag team of Virgil Fox, Pete Seeger, Marshall Tito, James Brown, Christopher Cross, Tammy Wynette and Richard D'Oyly Carte, weighing in at a combined 1,048 pounds. (bell) And there's the bell. Marshall Tito and Pete Seeger race to the center of the ring, stop, and begin to taunt Bunny Bull, making insulting male cow noises. As Bunny tries to ignore them, Seeger picks up Marshall Tito and flips him onto the back of the surprised bull. But wait! What's this? An audience member has stood up and is taunting the members of the tag team. Why, it's Karl Marx! He's quoting from his famous treatise, le flambeau oriange, and now Christopher Cross has punched James Brown, and Tammy Wynette is kicking herself, for who knows what reason. I tell you, things are out of control here, so let's send you back to the sesquistudio, and the rest of Kalvos & Damian's 50th, believe it or not, episode, this portion of which is being brought to you by Kalvos & Damian's New Music Sesquihour. Don't be fooled by imitations. Insist on the original sesquihour for your listening pleasure.

Speaking of which ... oh, never mind.