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Blue Star


By Scott Sullivan


Pizza Beethoven

When the Varchetti family from suburban Detroit ordered a pizza from Hungry Howie’s, they didn’t expect a Beethoven topping.

Delivery guy Bryce Dudal, 18, peeked in the Varchettis’ foyer and asked to play their baby grand piano. Um, sure … Fingers flying across the keyboard, he blazed through the difficult Third Movement of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.”

Dudal’s playing was so good, The Washington Post reports, that the Varchettis’ son Ryan stopped playing a video game to listen. “When he started,” said Ryan, “I was surprised. I thought he would break the piano.”

“He was beyond good,” added mom Julie Varchetti, who posted the video on Facebook. People started liking and commenting like crazy, the Post reports.

Who knows what gifts lie within us all, buried under day-to-day, pay-bills duties? The schlub waiting tables could be the next Streep or Brando, plumber Picasso, your trash man the next Tchaikovsky.

“Watch this,” I told my wife, placing an order with Hungover Harry’s. “Where’s the baby grand?”

“We don’t have a baby grand.”

“Hurry, rent one.”

Jimmy John’s showed up with a Steinway just before Harry came with our cheese sticks.

“Want to play?” I asked.

“Play what?” Harry asked. “Your kid’s video game?” He slapped the sticks on the Steinway’s deep, rich mahogany top. Grease began leaching from them, next to condensation rings from pop cups Harry plopped down next to them.

“No!” my wife screamed.

“Calm down,” I said, handing sheet music to the Hungover one.

“Great, a napkin,” he replied, wiping his hands on it, then the wood.

“Call the piano tuner!” my wife cried. “Call the police! Call someone!”

Sigmund Flouride, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., P.C.B. and so on walked in.

“Your shrink is on speed dial?”

“Doc’s the most civilized man I know,” I said.

“Dude!” Harry greeted Sig. “I haven’t seen you since the monster truck show at the DeltaPlex!”

“Yeah, Bro,” Doc high-fived him. “Then we pounded a keg of Blatz and watched mud wrestling.”

After wolfing the cheese sticks, they engaged in a burping contest, then sat down together on the piano bench and pounded out “Carnival of Carnage” by Insane Clown Posse, sprinkling the ivories with their saliva.

“This is your shrink?” my wife said. “Call the demo man. We need the grand gone before Steinway comes to reclaim it. We’ll tell the insurance man it was stolen.”

“How do you steal a piano? Slide it in your shirt pocket?”

Spike, who looked like Olive Oyl, showed up, wielding an ax.

“You’re the demo man?” my wife asked.

“What’s this?” Spike asked, picking up the sheet music. “Ah, the Master’s Piano Sonata No. 14 in C# Minor, Quasi una fantasia, Op. 27, No. 2. I should have known as soon as I saw the cheese sticks. Third Movement in presto agitato, full of broken chords, strongly-accented notes and fast alberti bass sequences …”

“Um,” I said. “Exactly.”

“We don’t need a scholar,” my wife said. “We need a hauler.”

“We can all be someone we’re not,” I explained to her. “Why be imprisoned by self- definitions when …?”

“I’m calling the Varchettis,” said my wife. “To warn them.”

“Machetes-R-Us,” a voice answered.

“Varchettis, not Machetes,’ my wife said.”

“How long would you like your blade?”

“Husband neck-wide.”

“That’s a popular one.”

When the knife truck came Spike grabbed one and beheaded Harry and Sig.

“That wasn’t nice,” I said.

“Better that than your wife get it first.”

“Good point.”

“The best,” Spike said, using the blade tip to play the Third Movement.

“Life’s a box of cheese sticks,” I said. “You never know what you’ll get.”