Intro: Pounding bass note and a stirring fanfare of horns. Welcome to another edition of Things to Think about. Here's Stacy. The horns continue with a keyboard note held.
Relaxing piano music is in the background.
Welcome to the Things to Think About podcast, where we use fables and fairy tales to uncover deeper truths about our subconscious world. I'm Stacy Casson, and today's story is an experiment based on a Lemony Snicket book called “13 words” I technically got 12 words from my connections and used a random word generator for the final word. We will dive into the idea of bringing disparate things together in a tale I call “Challenge Accepted.” And now, get comfortable and relax. Take a deep breath in. And exhale. A deep breath in and exhale. A deep breath in and exhale. And if you'd like, you can slowly close your eyes.
Once upon a time, there was a yeti who wanted to play the erhu. The yeti was well respected in the village because of the tourism dollars. The yeti would use custom giant feet to leave tantalising footprints for the tourists to discover in the winter. During the off-season, it would help the villagers plow their fields and lift heavy loads. Contrary to popular belief, yetis are very social creatures. You probably don’t want to go drinking with them, though, because they become very loquacious and will talk your ear off. You may also be in danger of personal injury if they slap your back good-naturedly while they are howling with laughter. Thankfully our yeti was a teetotaler and very persnickety about brewing a proper cuppa. Everyone in the village loved the yeti.
Why the erhu? While helping the local museum curator unload some heavy crates, it came across a beautiful lithograph of a lady playing the elegant two-stringed violin. “What is this thing the lady is playing?” The yeti asked the curator. “Oh, that’s an erhu; it’s like a violin,” replied the curator. “What does it sound like?” the yeti questioned. “My aunt is a retiree and has enjoyed collecting and playing unique instruments. I’m sure I can cajole her into playing it for you.” A few days later, his aunt agreed to play a concert in the village square so everyone could enjoy the erhu. The first scintillating notes transfixed our giant friend, recalling when yetis roamed free and proud. The yeti was in such a state of limerence that it knew it was destined to play this magnificent instrument.
“What will it take for you to teach me?” it begged. The aunt was taken aback by the passion of the great beast. She shuddered at the thought of the fragile instrument in its enormous hands. Hers was from China and was constructed traditionally using farmed python skin. “Let me consider our options,” she diplomatically responded to the yeti. She scoured the internet and convinced another villager who was handy to create a makeshift erhu and bow for the obsessed giant. The yeti sat on a fallen log and listened attentively to the woman. She patiently explained how to care for the instrument and to prepare it for playing. She guided the yeti on how to wax and hold the bow. Tuning the erhu created such violent notes that half the village ran out of their homes to see what the kerfuffle was about. The yeti had not removed its rose-colored glasses and was determined to bring the fantasy of coaxing beautiful music from the erhu to life. Nothing was going as planned. The strings sometimes got painfully caught in its fur, and instead of sonorous melodious music, the yeti produced something equivalent to cats in heat yowling in an alley.
The yeti cursed the instrument as it failed to live up to the expectations. The yeti had dreamed that it would get an erhu and immediately be able to create beautiful tones. When its fur got caught in the strings, it would believe the erhu was playing hard to get. The yeti haunted internet cafes watching erhu videos. It ate, slept, and dreamed about playing. It was falling behind on the village chores. The aunt was ready to give up when finally, there was a breakthrough. The yeti played a note and it reverberated with hope and possibility. Once it accepted that there was no magic aside from hard work, things began to change. It continued to practice and was finally able to play duets with the retiree. As a reward for its perseverance, the village presented the yeti with a proper bespoke erhu. The present also included custom gloves to prevent its fur from getting caught in the strings. Now the mystery of the village during the tourist season is where the unearthly and beautiful music comes from.
It's easy to become infatuated with a new idea. It is essential to understand the distinction between obsession and perseverance. Very few things happen without putting in the work.
Closing: Closing jazzy keyboard and thrumming bass. I hope you enjoyed today's segment. Tell a friend. See you next time. Music fades. "
The thirteen words with contributor and definitions
Limerance (Limerence) – Sarah Phelps - a mental state of profound romantic infatuation, deep obsession, and fantastical longing. The experience can range from euphoria to despair.
Erhu – Todd Pliner - A Chinese stringed instrument that is played with a bow and has two strings stretched from a small sound box along a long thin neck
Loquacious/Laughter – Angela Dahlen - full of excessive talk : WORDY/to show emotion (such as mirth, joy, or scorn) with a chuckle or explosive vocal sound
Persnickety – Kristin Bigras - fussy about small details : FASTIDIOUS
Wax – Jessica Jahns Au - : to treat or rub with wax usually for polishing, stiffening, or reducing friction
Scintillating – Asmara Kazmi - brilliantly lively, stimulating, or witty
Tantalising – Sharon Hurley Hall - : possessing a quality that arouses or stimulates desire or interest
also : mockingly or teasingly out of reach
Bespoke – Taryn Talley – custom made
Lithograph – Sara June Jo Saebo – to produce, copy or portray by lithography - : the process of printing from a plane surface (such as a smooth stone or metal plate) on which the image to be printed is ink-receptive and the blank area ink-repellent
Play – Tiffany Castagno – recreational activity or to engage in recreational activity or to perform music
Kerfuffle – Christopher Henderson - a disturbance or commotion typically caused by a dispute or conflict
Retiree – Random word generator - a person who has withdrawn from one's position or occupation