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Our Great Spherical Friend, Part One

Our Great Spherical Friend, Part One

by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.

Originally published in American Lutherie #6, 1986 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2000

See also,
Our Great Spherical Friend, Part Two by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
Our Great Spherical Friend, Part Three by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.
Improving the Plywood Bass by Frederick C. Lyman, Jr.

We are referring to the cloud of gases, still largely beneficent, that surrounds our planet. This immense mass must be immensely and massively frustrated. Because, while it constantly tries to find a state of peaceful repose and equilibrium, it is just as constantly subjected to agitation by forces large and small. The earth whirls beneath it, the sun warms it on one side at a time, various objects in space tug at it, and innumerable minor annoyances are inflicted upon it by the residents of Earth.

By far the worst of the minor offenders are the members of the human race, who should really be more grateful to their spherical friend. Instead, they have craftily discerned that the atmosphere that surrounds them is indeed indefatigable in its effort to reach an equilibrous state. With fiendish zeal they have invented devices for the sole purpose of agitating their friend. Some of these torture implements are known as “musical instruments” and are accorded a special reverence by those who create and use them (some of whom, however perversely, even banding together in special societies to promote these activities).

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