July 16th, 2004

An Old Joke

This fellow graduates from college with all the top musical honors they have.

At graduation, he is approached by a man who invites him to join their conservatory – a music “think-tank” if you will.

The young man agrees and is soon at the conservatory.

As he is getting the tour, the guide says, “Now, be very quiet” as he opens a door. Behind the door is a tropical setting, with a three-toed sloth hanging from a branch in the middle of the room. The young man is very confused.

When the door is closed, the young man asks about the sloth and the guide says, “Well, this is going to sound crazy, but every time we compose a new piece of music, we run it by the sloth. If he likes it, we know it’s going to be good. If he doesn’t, we destroy it because we know it will be bad.”

The young man thinks this is odd, but accepts it – what’s he going to do about it, after all?

A few weeks go by, and things are going great. He’s feeling creative and challenged and at the top of his musical game. He’s learning things he never dreamed of before – and every composition gets run by the sloth. Some he liked, some he didn’t.

One morning, the young man rushes in to the group – his hair is disheveled, his eyes are red –

“I’ve been up all night, but this is the greatest thing I’ve ever written!!”

He shows it to them – it’s got 13 treble staffs and 14 bass staffs – lots and lots of staffs.

Immediately they react negatively – “No, I’m sorry.” “No.” “Uh uh.”

“What???” he says. “This is genius! I’m taking it to the sloth!”

“NO!” they yell in unison. “Don’t do it!”

“I’m doing it!” he says and heads off to the sloth’s room.

They try to stop him, but they are too late – the young man runs into the room. A few seconds later, horrible screams are heard and the young man is never seen again.

The moral?

Too many clefs roil the sloth.

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