Otto Potts inherited the metronome. His mother insisted he take it. “Your great-great-grandfather brought it over from the old country.”
Otto never knew the old guy, so it had no sentimental value. And it didn’t even work. No value of any kind.
When the Antiques Roadshow came to Little Rock last month, a friend had an extra ticket and asked Otto if he’d like to go. Otto loves the show, so yes. His friend said, “Oh, and you’ll have to bring something to be appraised; everyone does.”
Well, diddley-dang. Otto had no antiques. But wait, he sure did! He had that metronome; he’d been using it as a paperweight.
Otto was admitted and directed to the appropriate appraiser.
The Roadshow pro asked, “Do you know what you have here?”
Otto shrugged and said, “Far as I know, just a worthless metronome that doesn’t work.”
“You sure it doesn’t work?” The expert slid the weight up the pendulum a little way and wound the crank. It worked fine.
Otto blushed, forced a laugh, and shook his head. “Knock me down with a feather!”
The appraiser grimaced and said, “But you’re right about it being worthless.”
Worthless in dollars and cents perhaps, but…
I wonder if it would help Otto to know that he owned the same metronome Ludwig Fakowee used when he composed “Waltz of the Frahnkinschteen Fairies,” the same song that was playing on the elevator where by chance he met and fell in love with Anna Morada, the woman he would later ask to marry him.
Probably not. Anna turned him down. She became a pioneer in the development of 3D printers and recently sold her startup company for 3.6 billion dollars. I’m guessing Otto doesn’t want to hear about it.
But is it really worthless? Isn’t that the same metronome the cat knocked over? Otto stooped to pick it up, causing the stray bullet to merely part his hair instead of departing his—
“What the hell are you talking about? I don’t even have a cat.”
Oh, hey, Otto. Just looking for a way to make that metronome valuable.
“Look, I’m only a character you created, so I may be out of line here, but do you have any idea what time it is? It’s five o’clock in the morning! Give it a rest, will you? Some of us have to go to work today. Speaking of which, could you get me a job somewhere besides Pep Boys? That’s a little over the top, don’t you think?”
Sorry, man. Otto Potts won millions in the Powerball lottery.
"That's more like it."
But it didn’t make him happy.
And it made him very happy.
“That’s better. Good night!”