You Are What You Are

Mario Stresow

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You Are What You Are

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Not all of you know that I have already lived a few hundred years ago. At the time, "King Bruno, the Questionable" still ruled. I was his court musician and played the old German Wurfzither. A very practical instrument with which could be used to either make music or to kill animals by deliberate throwing. I used the second characteristic in a slightly modified way at my concerts at that time. If I had the impression that someone in the audience was not listening with the right concentration, I would throw the zither in exactly that direction. The resulting pauses were a bit annoying, because I had to fetch back the instrument and the hitted person was dragged out of the hall by my personal assistant, who grabbed him by one leg.

That is why the king called me "King Lui on the marketplace". Because in his opinion, during my concerts and often enough at other times I behaved as if I was the king. Except me nobody at court could do that and it shows how much the king valued me and my compositions.

Every Sunday I had to deliver a new musical work, which was then performed before a select circle of ladies from the population. To recruit this circle, a specially trained staff swarmed out every Saturday. They consisted of men and women and they all belonged to the king's closest circle. In the markets of the region they looked for ladies who had a certain charm, individuality and also seemed to be a bit strange.

Of course, the ladies from the aristocratic class were very worried that they were not invited to these concerts. However, most of these ladies did not have the just mentioned character traits. In addition, some said that the king wanted to create a certain closeness to the common folkd with his procedure and also to bring some culture to the dull people. Others claimed that the king himself came from the lower classes and was not the rightful heir to the throne. So he was not at all the son of his predecessor "King Peter, the very small one" and would therefore be called "King Bruno, the Questionable.

A few of his "hunchbacked buddies", as the king called those men whom he considered his friends, were also allowed to attend the concerts. These men usually had enormous abilities. For example, one of them, a trumpet player, could burp incredibly loudly and fart just as loudly at the same time. Over the years he had developed this ability as a kind of hobby. Due to this enourmus noise level, it was sometimes impossible to tell what was what. While this often caused laughter among the men and the king often had to hold his little belly under laughing cramps, the ladies present usually looked at each other quite piqued. One even threw up spontaneously. Since then the trumpeter was not allowed to perform his hobby any more, to his regret.

One day, the king asked me to talk to him discreetly and asked me what I thought of him as a man and especially as a king. It was about the fact that it was the common people who had given him the title "King Bruno the Questionable". I replied: "Well, ..... It was very clear to me that the formulation pause that was taking place at that moment could not be very long. Recently the king had given the order to install a crocodile tank. Any employees who had becoming unpopular in his eyes would be thrown into it without further ado. King Bruno liked me very much, but with him you never knew exactly where the hammer was swinging and whom it was going to hit. Only recently, a servant of the court staff very hard tried to hold back a yawn while the king held a speech. Noticing this, the king had him led away and a short time later the water in the crocodile basin turned red. The animals got no other food, so a quick death was guaranteed.

King Bruno's look rested on me waiting for my furhter words. He saw my wet forehead and I noticed how drops of sweat ran down my back while I continued: "... my dear Impertinence, I compose a wonderful music and the sound and the title saying everything about your highborn style! It is important to know that King Bruno knew no foreign words and could not speak English. However, he would never admit to either of these and he always pretended to understand everything. So the king pursed his lips, directed his eyes upwards to the right and left as if thinking for a moment and said: "King Lui, you old music digger, always in the realm of sounds, eh? Go and do your work!" Whew, just got out of the situation. Life at court was not without its pitfalls at times.

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