Once upon a time...

Once upon a time not so very long ago there was a land where shiny musical instruments of all shapes and sizes were seen and heard everywhere.  They were seen in movies, on TV, in musical shows, on the radio, in clubs and restaurants and dance halls.  If you walked around in the middle of the great city in the days when air conditioning wasn't ubiquitous, you'd here their sounds coming out of the windows of rooms where people were practicing them.  You could see men and women walking along the streets of the great city carrying these instruments in brown or black or leather or canvas cases on their way to places where they were actually going to get paid for playing these instruments.  Indeed, many players of these fantastic instruments were even able to make a living and support families playing them.  It was a magical time.  There were several blocks of streets where stores in this great city were dedicated to selling, renting, and repairing these marvelous instruments, and if you entered one of these stores it was possible to stand next to or pass by or listen to one of the great players of these instruments discussing its merits or its problems with the proprietor.  Of course none of these many players of these wonderful instruments knew that their days were numbered, and that little by little the people seen carrying those brown or black or leather or canvas cases around the great city would be fewer and fewer and concentrated in only a few areas around the concert halls.  An invasion was being mounted across the sea that would forever disrupt this world.  No one knew about the invasion, not even the people who were planning it, but it happened, and before long all those shiny instruments in all the windows of all the instrument stores of the great city began to disappear.  The many-shaped and many-size black or brown or leather or canvas cases that people were carrying around the great city on their way to play them for money were fewer and fewer.  Players of these instruments who were one day so busy they hardly had time to go home, were now watching daytime TV and wondering how they were going to pay their rent.  Players of jazz on these instruments became theater musicians.  Theater musicians did whatever they could to keep their jobs.  Classical musicians began to compete for fewer and fewer places in orchestras, and everyone began to teach.  Now as we walk along the streets of the great city we can still spot a few individuals who still carry one of those black or brown or leather or canvas cases of different sizes, but more often than not, most of the cases are all shaped the same and are all carrying the same instrument.  The mania for it began with the invasion, and it has to this day never let up.

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