My uncle was walking home from the subway, a five minute stroll through a rundown West Side Manhattan neighborhood. As he passed a musician lugging a bass fiddle in the opposite direction, he said to himself, “My wife’s planning a surprise birthday party for me!” His birthday came the following week, so he soon found out he was right. Here’s how he reasoned, quite correctly:
What’s a bass fiddle player doing in this neighborhood?
He might be rehearsing with my wife. [His wife was a fine accompanist and chamber music player.]
Hmmm, my favorite piece, Schubert’s Trout Quintet, uses a bass fiddle.
Why didn’t my wife say anything about this?
It’s my birthday next week, she’s planning to surprise me with a performance of the Trout!