I got out of bed early yesterday morning (early being defined as, "before noon") in not inconsiderable pain due a bad hip and in a really pissy mood. This, I predicted instantly and with little hope of being in error, was not going to be a good day. Limping into the kitchen, I began my daily ritual of brewing my first cuppa, a routine I ordinarily accomplish pretty much on autopilot, and let the hopper-fed, conical-burr grinder run too long thereby producing enough ground coffee for three cups instead of one; mismeasured the water first time round; and set the timer for the wrong brew time. Yes, most decidedly not going to be a good day. Bach was badly needed here, I determined, slipped the CD of Book I of the Well Tempered Clavier into the player (Gould, of course), and set it going. That's the ticket all right, thought I, and almost immediately felt the pain in my hip — or, rather, the pain's edge — begin to dissipate a bit and my head and pissy mood begin to clear. Coffee done and cupped, I then sat down at the computer to go through my morning rounds on the Web. I'd not been at it more than five minutes when came a knock at the door. Annoyed (I hadn't been expecting anyone to stop by), I called out a "Who is it?" in a not too friendly or welcoming tone. "Exterminator," came the reply. Oh damn! What the hell is he doing here, and so early in the day? Limping to the door, I opened it and there stood a uniformed young guy in his mid-twenties or so whom I'd never seen before, equipment in hand and all pleasant smiles, who wished me a good morning, said he was sorry to bug me (bug me; get it?), but it was that time of month again and he was there to do his company's monthly apartment building preventive maintenance thing. I grunted my assent and returned to my business at the computer, the full flower of my pissy mood reestablished. A few minutes passed. Then, from the kitchen, "Bach?" Did I just hear right? "Excuse me?" I shot back. "Is that Bach we're listening to?" came the reply. I couldn't bloody believe it. "Yes," I said, now stopping work at the computer. "A prelude from the Well Tempered Clavier," I continued gingerly. "Which book?" "One," I replied, now definitely unable to believe this conversation. "I like Bach but I'm really more a Mozart man myself," said the exterminator. What the hell was in that coffee I'd been drinking? Surely I'd entered into some Twilight Zone parallel universe where such conversations with twentysomething exterminators were perfectly ordinary things. I mean, this exchange couldn't possibly be taking place in this universe in this 21st-century America. But it did and it was, and though the above was practically the full extent of the conversation, just like that my pissy mood evaporated, the pain in my hip at once became bearable, and the day now promised to be a very good day indeed. And so it turned out to be.