Same planet, different worlds

Mom called me the other day with another death update. She’s infamous for it. Anyone that she thinks I may have even remotely known, she calls me to inform me that they are now dead.

Mom: “Do you remember Mr. Pangrazi? She was grandma’s friend. You probably met her a couple of times.”
Me: “No mom, I don’t.”
Mom: “Oh. Well, she died.”
Me: “Wait a minute … what the hell time is it? Jesus mom, it’s 6am!”
Mom: “Well, I thought you’d like to know.”

So, it came as no surprise to me when I picked up the phone the other day and saw I had a voicemail. It was from mom. At like 7am (Bear in mind, I don’t get home from work until midnight, and I usually don’t get to bed until 3am). Apparently, one of my childhood friend’s grandfather had died, and there was a huge-ass obit in the paper about it because he was Mr. Uber Musician Extreme, playing multiple instruments and for all kinds of symphonies and various groups in the big band era.

I had to call her to discuss some other stuff, but invariably, she slid back to the obit. Did I know him? Was my friend musically inclined? Did he play any instruments? The interrogation ran for about 10 minutes. Mentally, I checked out after the first 10 seconds.

But after I hung up, I flashed back to a time when I was over at his house. And this had to be when I was in 6th grade. At any rate, something was going on — I think they were making homemade pizza for dinner — and  I think we were talking about ancestry. And I believe his mom proudly mentioned that they were related to Bach.

I told them I had no idea of who Bach was.

They all stopped, obviously stunned by my complete cluelessness.

“You don’t know who Bach is?” his mom said in disbelief.

“No. But I know who Bossk is, though.”


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