A Silent Wind

The Nourishing Power of Grand Maternal Music

I was told that scientists believe our dietary requirements can be enhanced by music. I could not believe it at first, but I now know it to be unbelievable yet true. I know, this seems to make no sense, and I was very skeptical when I first heard it. I mean, seriously, how could listening to music be a substitute for material sustenance? How could the hearing of sounds, mere vibrations of ear drums, feed our cells? It seemed preposterous.

And preposterous it was, for when I raised that obvious question as an objection, my misunderstanding was corrected. But the correction did not help me believe. You see, it was explained to me that it had nothing to do with our hearing of the sounds, though it might be related to the vibrations that make up sound, it was specifically the sound of a kind of music that we could not hear that held the power to literally feed us.

My skepticism was definitely not satisfied, but rather, it was challenged to the limits of my politeness. I was getting annoyed, and about to lose my temper with this preposterous theory, when I was struck speechless by what came next out of my friend’s mouth. He took this bizarre claim to a level that I could only have described as the absurdly supernatural. My friend was not only telling me that unheard music was materially nourishing, but he added a twist that made even less sense. He said it only worked if the music was performed by grandmothers playing sub-sonic wind instruments. I mean, honestly, grandmothers? WTAF was going on with him?

At this point, I finally lost it. I told him to cut this out, it wasn’t funny any more. Now he was adding a bizarre almost-spooky twist to his prank, as if he’d wanted to say the spell needed true witches or wizards, but then swapped in grandparents instead. But no, he was being serious, and weirdly specific about grand mothers. I left my friend, angry at his bizarre prank (and frankly more than a little worried about his sanity if he was being serious about this).

But then I jokingly mentioned his claim to my neighbor (she’s a doctor), and she told me it was absolutely true. I was stunned. I first suspected she was joining in the bizarre prank, and that I’d somehow missed some fad or joke that was going around. I just couldn’t understand. But she assured me it was true. She said that I could ask any nutritionist, and they’d all agree that tuba nanas could indeed provide your recommended daily intake of potassium.

And so that’s how I learned the odd truth about the mystical, nutritionally-supplementing, power of grandmothers who play the tuba.

Authors Note: this terrible story was inspired by a short one-liner once told to me, or perhaps I should say inflicted upon me, by one of my college professors. I’m not sure whether drawing out its retelling is a mercy or a torture. If a torture it be, then I suspect it’s at least true to the intent of its original telling (I’d annoyed the professor that day).