Conservatoire Director: How can I help you?
Toddumptious: I want to study music here.
Conservatoire Director: What sort of music are you interested in?
Toddumptious: I play the anvil.
Conservatoire Director: Hmmm. An unusual choice, but not unknown. Verdi used anvils in Il Trovatore, and Wagner used 18 specially tuned anvils in Das Rheingold. I presume that’s the sort of thing you’re thinking of?
Toddumptious: No. Mine just goes “Clang”.
Conservatoire Director: I see. Anvils used in musical pieces are usually made by specialists. Is that what you have?
Toddumptious: No. It’s just an anvil. My mate found it clearing out an old blacksmith’s shop in Dollymount.
Conservatoire Director: Right. How about playing technique? - Paradiddles? Flams? Rim shots?
Toddumptious: No. I just hit it. With a hammer.
Conservatoire Director: I understand. And have you composed anything?
Toddumptious: Oh yeah. There’s a piece where I hit it now and then, sort of randomly, you know? That’s called “Some Clangs, Now And Then”.
Conservatoire Director: Anything else?
Toddumptious: Yeah, there’s another one where I hit it a lot. That’s called “A Lot Of Clangs”.
Conservatoire Director: Any more?
Toddumptious: There’s one - I got the idea from John Cage - where I don’t hit it. I just stand there for three minutes. That’s called “No Clangs At All”.
Conservatoire Director: Right. And do you have a name for the style you play?
Toddumptious: Well the anvil weighs 300 pounds. So I call it “Heavy Metal”.
Conservatoire Director: I see. And do you have an audience? A following?
Toddumptious: No. But if people liked it, it wouldn’t be Art, would it?
Conservatoire Director: So true, so true. Tell you what, would you like my job?
Toddumptious: Do I get paid?
Conservatoire Director: Oh yes. Lots, in fact.
Toddumptious: What will you do?
Conservatoire Director: I think I’ll write books everybody raves about, but nobody’s ever actually read.
Toddumptious: Can you do that?
Conservatoire Director: Oh yes. James Joyce got away with it for years. Made a living out of it.
Toddumptious: OK, I’ll do it. Tell you what, on your way out, take this bloody anvil, will you?