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I missed the last step of the stairs at a friend’s house this weekend, so I was in the doctor’s office to be sure I hadn’t broken my ankle.  It was a holiday, so it was a long wait, but I’m not here to talk about health care right now.  When he came in, the doctor made some small talk by asking me what I do, etc. etc.  I of course said, well I’m a musician, and I teach private flute lessons.  “What kind?” he asks.

“Fllluute.” (I’m not sure what people think I am saying when I say this, but I often have to repeat myself.  Far more than I would have thought.)

“Oh.  I played flute when I was young.  I wasn’t any good…. (other such friendly small talk…)”

[Me nodding and smiling, happy to be engaged in conversation about something other than my foot.]

“So, men are better flute players because of the volume of air used, right?”

[Awkward pause.]  “Not necessarily…”  (What on earth do I say to that??  Can we go back to talking about my foot, please?)

Honestly I don’t remember much of what was said after that, because he then started poking and prodding my foot, which is only mildly sprained (thank goodness).  I wish I’d had some witty response, or maybe a caustic one, or even just sarcastic, but honestly!