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Classical Conditioning

A little after 10 last night Kit came into my shop after I'd tucked him into bed complaining that Tio was bugging him. I asked Tio about it and got a different story. This issue was small but it really bugs me when I get lied to. I told one of them to come clean but they both stuck to their stories. "Okay," I said, "you can both stand here while I work until one of you admits you were lying." I went back to work to wait it out. After all it was my intention to stay at work until 3 am. There was no way they would be standing there that long.

I must say, I was surprised at how long it took. Seeing as I had a captive audience, I put Beethoven's 7th symphony on the stereo and we waited. And waited. And waited. "You know," I began, "this is one of 3 symphonies that are considered Beethoven's best. The 9th may be the most well known and probably tops it, but for my money this one and the 6th are inspirational. Of course, this is only the second movement. There are 2 others and after that we can listen to the 9th and you can decide for yourself."

"Wasn't he blind?" Kit asked.

"Deaf. Totally deaf when he wrote the 9th which makes it incredible." I then added something like 'stop leaning on the wall' and 'stay in your corner'.

"How long is it?" Tio asked, hoping that lasting through the whole symphony would be the length of their stay. We'd been there almost 40 minutes by that point and the allegro con brio was winding down.

"I think the 9th is about an hour. We can move on the Emperor's Concerto after the symphonies. It's a piano concerto and Grammo loves the slow movement of that one. She thinks Old Ludwig van was inspired directly by God when he wrote it. I wouldn't disagree. Personally, I find the 3rd movement of the 9th an inspiration but I'll let you judge after we hear them both ...."

"I give up!" one of the boys cried out. "I can't take this anymore." and I heard his confession. I assumed this was the one who was lying all along so it jived. They both went off to bed and I told the one who had to stand there for an hour for no reason that I'd make it up to him with a treat.

Now that's what you call real classically conditioned punishment.