Here is a transcription of the message my father just left on my answering machine:
“Hi, Faustus, it’s Dad. I’m calling at about 1:00 on Saturday, March 9. Gee, today is Felix Mendelssohn’s birthday. Or is it Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s? Well, one of those. Give me a call, and I’ll talk to you soon. Thanks.”
I haven’t called him back, mostly because I don’t want to break his heart by telling him that it is neither Felix Mendelssohn’s birthday (February 3) nor Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s birthday (February 24).
But wait! I can totally forestall any potential heartbreak by telling him that it’s Carmen Miranda’s birthday!
Whew. That’s a relief. I mean, he’s old. So God only knows how much disappointment he can take.