Small Boo and I had a pot of tea in a hotel foyer yesterday. There were a couple of musicians on duty; piano and violin, not terribly good, but not so bad they were driving people out.
As they bumbled through 'Strangers in the Night', a boy of about eight, evidently with learning difficulties, wandered over to the piano. He began conducting the music, wild and unco-ordinated, but keeping pretty good time. The other guests looked around, slightly nervous about how to react, not wanting to be seen as voyeurs at some sort of freak show. But they soon relaxed; the kid was clearly having a whale of a time, and the pianist was enjoying the visuals as well. After a while, the boy grew tired of being Karajan, and started dancing; then he did a few unsteady handstands for his new fanbase, pausing only to lap up the applause.
The musicians took a break, and the boy edged closer to the keyboard. If this were Hollywood (I'm thinking Laura Linney for the hard-pressed, widowed mother; maybe Hugh Jackman as the playboy businessman who's redeemed by his love for the unlikely pair), he would have serenaded us with a serene Bach variation, or maybe Rachmaninov with all the squiggly bits.
But it's not Hollywood, is it? The youngster thumped the keys aimlessly and atonally for about 10 seconds, before a waitress put down the piano lid, and politely but firmly led him away.