We found this particularly enigmatic note on the base of a lamppost the other evening. I’m convinced it’s an omen… my life has had more than the usual share of buffets, and now is about to acquire another. 

Way way long ago, one of the first pieces of grownup furniture I ever bought was a mahogany buffet in an 18th century style. It was painted white at the time, and I got it for what seemed like a song. We kept it through several moves, eventually refinished it (so-so results) (don’t use a pressure washer), and finally traded it for a smaller hutch when we moved to a more constrained  house in Alameda. 

Under circumstances I don’t exactly remember, we acquired a print by depressive French artist Bernard Buffet, and then another and another. 

Now, as it happens, I’m in the market for a clarinet, and it turns out that one of the brands to consider is a Buffet (actually it’s Buffet Crampon, but that sounds even less sexy in English than in its native French). Buffet clarinets are well-respected, but – new or used – they ain’t cheap, and so I’ve been hesitating… could a Yamaha or even some lesser marque sound as good for half the price?

The answer to that question is probably yes… especially in my inexperienced hand. But then again, if a man my age suddenly picks up the clarinet in the first place, surely it’s as much about the romance as the waveforms? Paris café bands in the 20s and 30s were playing Buffets, so why in the world wouldn’t I do the same?!

The universe has spoken!

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