They stride through the streets, bold, swaggering. They’re the students of the Silver Cello University. Everyone respects them. Everyone fears them. They abide by no conventions. They ignore all laws. They defy the commandments of God and Caesar alike with their blasphemous melodies. Yet they are so beautiful! The SCU cellists can play three notes and brighten the darkest and most terrible days. Two notes, and they can shatter the most hopeful heart. Here’s an example.
Sid and Clair walk down the street. They’re just minding their own business.
“My dog died today,” Sid said.
“I’m so sorry.”
Two men in the SCU uniform swagger by. One pauses to strut. The other twirls moustaches. Sid and Clair ignore them.
“My distinguished mentor fell off a balcony onto him, breaking his spine. It was because of the heart attack, you see.”
The SCU students get angry. They hit Sid with a metal stick. He’s too sad to notice.
“He didn’t have a very weak heart,” Sid explains, “but when he found out that our home town burned down and that the Easter Bunny was caught in the fire, that just did it for him.”
“I can understand that.”
The SCU students pound Sid harder. They flail at him like the mad beating of an impassioned heart. Ba-BUM! Ba-BUM!
“The fire was my fault,” Sid wails. “My experiments in physics lab changed the constant S and made things burn down more readily.”
“I’m so sorry.”
“Plus, it means that the universe is going to run down in three days, rather than in endless aeons.”
Suddenly, THREE CELLO NOTES ring out.
“I’m so happy!” exclaims Sid. “This is the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE.”
That’s right. That’s the power of the cello! But if you invert the bow and play it backwards, it has a darker power.
“It’s the best day of my life, too,” says Clair.
“Oh?” asks Sid. He grabs her hands and dances her down the street.
“I woke up this morning and the cancer was gone! Also, the Alzheimer’s.”
“I didn’t know you’d had Alzheimer’s, Jenny!” Sid sings out.
“That’s because I’m actually Clair — Jenny’s mother! I woke up looking younger, too.”
“So beautiful!” carols Sid.
The SCU students pout. Sid’s happy, but he’s not paying attention to them! One of the students tries to kick a puppy. It grows laser-studded tentacles and growls. The student backs away. His health insurance isn’t good enough! He can’t kick that puppy!
“On my way to meet you,” Clair beams, “terrorist paratroopers invaded the U.S. and gave me all their country’s money.”
Sid stops his dancing. He looks puzzled. “Why?”
“It’s economic warfare,” Clair explains. “They made me promise to spend it — in economically unproductive ways!”
“Wow!” says Sid. “So what’re you going to do now?”
“I’m going to kill myself,” sobbed Clair. “Life’s not worth living.”
“Buck up!” said Sid. “The Easter Bunny’s dead, so it can’t be that bad.”
He’s being as reassuring as he can, but Clair sobs anyway. People are so strange!