Mr Key And Dr Fang

MR KEY goes to see DR FANG, a wholly imaginary expert in the field of distempers and maladies of the cranium.

DR FANG – Good afternoon, Mr Key, and what brings you to my consulting room on this fine day of overcast skies and drizzle?

MR KEY – I suffer greatly, Dr Fang, greatly!

DR FANG – Plop yourself onto that ergonomic beanbag and unburden yourself of your sorrows, Mr Key. I am all ears.

MR KEY – I am experiencing a debilitating attack of vacancy-between-the-ears, Dr Fang. It is as if my brain is empty.

DR FANG – You have suffered such symptoms before, I think, Mr Key, if I am not mistaken.

MR KEY – Indeed I have, Dr Fang. Whereas usually my brain can be relied upon to emit fumous babblings which I then, via a keyboard, tippytap on to what our Belgian chums call Het Internet, now I find myself staring like a mongoose into a vacuum.

DR FANG – Hold that thought, Mr Key, hold that thought. I am not sure it means anything, which could be a sign of your distemper and malady of the cranium, the field in which I am, as you know, an expert, albeit a wholly imaginary one.

MR KEY – Yes, Dr Fang, that is why I have come to see you.

DR FANG – A sound decision, if I may say so, Mr Key. What you must understand is that even an empty cranium can eject or spurt forth mighty prose, or babblings, whichever term one prefers.

MR KEY – But how can that be, Dr Fang?

DR FANG – Do not forget, Mr Key, that though your head be empty, like the Basket of Saint Dymphna, much, oh! much has gushed from it heretofore, if I am using the word heretofore correctly. Thus, for example, only recently from within your cranial integuments there burst forth a rather amusing bagatelle about Robert Fripp and his wife and his sister and the bard Sinfield. You recall it, do you not?

MR KEY – Yes, yes I do!

DR FANG – Well then, Mr Key, what could be simpler than to let brew in your brain something inspired by another titan of prog? To pluck a name at random, how about Ian Anderson? Could you not consider the gestation of a piece where the Jethro Tull frontman is, let us say, invited to give the keynote speech at the annual convention of the Association Of Flautists Who Stand Upon One Leg While Tootling?

MR KEY – Well… I suppose I could, Dr Fang.

DR FANG – Do not just suppose, Mr Key, do! Act! As Father Hopkins said, Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here Buckle!

MR KEY – You are right, Dr Fang. I shall indeed Buckle!, as in Buckle down to the task.

DR FANG – That’s the spirit! Now haul yourself up from my ergonomic beanbag and get ye hence! Ian Anderson won’t write that keynote speech himself.

MR KEY – Thank you so much for your help, Dr Fang.

Outside, the skies were still overcast, and the drizzle still spat. MR KEY made his imaginary way homeward, past ditches and puddles and bracken and muck. As Anderson sang, more than forty years ago, it was a new day yesterday, but it’s an old day now. How true that was, in a very real sense, how true…

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