Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Thudding Theodore

I would like to tell you about my new friend. His name is Theodore.

Theodore is the chapel piano that I practice every day at lunch. I'm not sure what his real name is, or if he even has a real name. One can hardly go to the church office and ask the nice church lady what the chapel piano's first name is, and if it would prefer to be called, say, Robert or Bob. With my luck, the piano's name would be "Leslie" or "Dale" or "Pat," and I would then have to ask "Um ... is the chapel piano a boy or a girl?"

So, I must use my own powers of intuition. These things take time. Franzi, Sebastian, and I have spent more than a month getting to know the chapel piano. With their help, I've decided this piano would be called Theodore.

See, the chapel piano is a very muddy, thuddy, pluddy piano. Whenever I strike a key, it has a mudding, thudding, pludding kind of feeling, and the sound itself sounds kind of thunky and muffled. So I thought "Thuh ... thuh ... thuh ..." This piano need to have a "þ" name, also known as a "thorn" name. Or maybe it just needed an "ð" name.

So I thumbed through the baby-name databank that I've stored in my head since 1983. Went straight to the ð and þ sections, I did.

Well, Thelma wouldn't work, and neither would Theresa, Thomasina, or Thalia. I'd already decided this piano was a male, despite the lacy skirt-thing the church ladies have hung on the back of it.

I also decided against Thelonius, Theobald, Thomas, Thor, Theophilus, and Thurston (though Thelonius was a finalist, for obvious reasons). In the end, none of ðese sounded þuddy enough. None of ðem had the right ththth feel to it. Thubbaluffalus was a consideration, but no self-respecting piano would want to be called Thubbaluffalus. (Or am I wrong in this assmption?)

So I decided on Theodore. Perfect. A thuddy "thuh" name for a piano, and a noble-sounding name as well. A þ name if there ever was one. A perfect name for a muddy, thuddy, and pluddy piano.

A bit of etymology, anyone? "Theodore" means "Gift of God"--an appropriate name for a chapel piano that, mudding and thudding and pludding as it is, gives my spirit wings for an hour every day on my work break.

But should I spell his name Theodore or Þeodore?

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