I’ve talked about “when worlds collide” moments before – as when, for example, Joe Mantegna, Michael Welch, and Chris Marquette – Will Girardi, Luke Girardi, and Adam Rove, respectively, late of Joan of Arcadia – all appeared in an episode of Criminal Minds. It kind of hurts the brain (mine at least). I just discovered the biggest mind-blowing worlds-collide incident in my experience, and I feel like I discovered Atlantis or something. I can’t be the only one who ever noticed … *searches* … ah, of course not – but I can’t believe I never heard of it. Recently I read one of my favorite books. Right now I’m reading another. And here’s what happened.
From The Princess Bride, by William Goldman, copyright 1973 (film released 1987):
Domingo Montoya made swords….
Yeste: “This very week I have accepted a commission to make a sword for a member of the Italian nobility. It is to be jewel encrusted at the handle and the jewels are to spell out the name of his present mistress…”
As [Yeste’s] figure spread, so did his fame. From all across the world they came, begging him for weapons, so he doubled his prices because he didn’t want to work too hard any more, he was getting old, but when he doubled his prices, when the news spread from duke to prince to king, they only wanted him the more desperately. Now the wait was two years for a sword … and when that didn’t stop them, he decided to triple his already doubled and redoubled prices…
From Callahan’s Secret, by Spider Robinson, copyright 1986:
Jake: “Put yourself in his shoes. You’re Domingo Montoya, the last living guitar Wizard. And all they bring you to work on is shit.There are maybe fifty or a hundred guitars left on the planet worthy of your skill, most of which you made yourself, and they’re all being well cared for by careful and wealthy owners. Meanwhile, fools keep coming in the door with their broken toys, their machine-stamped trash, asking Paul Dirac to do their physics homework for them. Damnfool Marquises who want a guitar with the name of their mistress spelled out in jewels on the neck … You triple your fee, and then triple it again, and then square the result, and still they keep coming with their stupid broken trash …”
Montoya: “My eyes and hands tell me that this guitar was made by an old pupil of mine, Goldman. He went to work for Gibson, and then he saw the way the industry was going and got into another line….”
I guess I haven’t read my Callahan since I got to know Princess Bride. I have been a devotee of Spider Robinson’s since – well, probably since 1986 or so. I didn’t need another reason to adore his name. I’m … gobsmacked with the awesomeness of it.
*lifts glass, toasts, drinks, and hurls glass into fireplace*
ETA (after reading the author’s note after the story): All right, I didn’t exactly discover Atlantis there. Spider himself points out the mini-tribute in the author’s note after the story (which I didn’t read till this morning).
But it was still a terrific surprise, and a delight. And very cool.