So, there’s this YouTube guy with the name of Brendan Kavanagh who likes to play public pianos to the delight and surprise of passersby. In one of his most recent videos he is trolling a loud cell phone user who eventually leaves the scene. This got me thinking: what if there hadn’t been a piano present? What would have BK done?

It got me thinking because of a story my Latin professor told us in school. Apparently, he was somewhat of a ladies’ man during his uni years (1940s) and liked to enrich our lives with anecdotes from his life.

He and his friend both fancied the same young lady. After many dates and attempts to get her to commit to one or the other suitor the three of them agreed to go on a communal date at the end of which the young lady would announce her choice of lover. It being the late 1940s and the students having almost no money they decided to go to the movies together followed by a very small dinner and finally coffee at the young ladies’ room where she would announce the winner of the contest.

And so it went. The evening went by in an excess of manly lovecraft, with the friend lugging his violin case everywhere because the trio met after their afternoon music lessons. My professor was confident that the friend’s bulky violin case would surely turn the young lady against him because she was frequently bumping into it. My professor was studying the piano and was therefore free of any such encumbrances.

Coffee arrived. And that is when the friend’s secret plan came to fruition. It soon became clear why he proposed that they meet directly after their music lessons. The “friend” pulled the violin out of its case and began serenading the young lady. She was completely overwhelmed and announced him the winner of the contest. My professor was fuming. He was fuming because he knew that he was a much better piano player than his friend a violin player but there was no piano in sight for him to prove his artistry. He left abruptly.

He concluded his story with this recommendation: “If you are going to learn to play a musical instrument pick one that you can carry with you!”

I always carry a harmonica with me. I can’t play it, but just in case.

Which musical instrument to learn?

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