For about the last week or so I’ve been in bed taking Percocet and listening to Gilbert and Sullivan.
I don’t know quite how this combination came to be, but last week, after coming home from gallbladder/hernia surgery, I took my meds, got in bed, and thought, out of the blue, “I’m going to listen to some Gilbert & Sullivan.”
And it wasn’t just a passing thought, either: it was more like “I NEED TO LISTEN TO HMS PINAFORE NOW OR I’M GONNA BURN THIS PLACE DOWN!!!1!”
The weird part is that I don’t listen to musicals, or opera, or Gilbert & Sullivan … ever. I have a sentient person’s knowledge of Pinafore and Pirates and The Mikado and I saw Topsy Turvey and that’s about it.
So, that was odd, and not among the listed side effects of either Percocet or abdominal surgery.
In the past week I’ve had a barnstorming tour of the whole G&S oeuvre, thanks to a combination of streaming music with multiple versions of each show, this incredibly deep Gilbert and Sullivan Archive, and a helpful discography to serve as a guide through the various performances. I prefer full dialog versions and am partial to the mid-century D’oyly Carte releases on Decca, but I supplement these with odd items like the Ohio Light Opera’s excellent rendering of Ruddigore and Oh sweet mercy what has happened to me? What else did they remove along with my gallbladder?!
Turns out the offending organ was really really bad and likely causing much of the problems I’ve been having the past few months. My surgeon–an army field surgeon with experience going back to the first Gulf War–didn’t seem prone to overstatement, so when he told me afterwards that it was a really rotten gallbladder, I was relieved to have it out of my body.
One parting gift: Chesterton on Gilbert and Sullivan.