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Think about it. If you’ve got some jerk in the living room playing a fiddle all day long, you’re gonna spend more time dancing all over the place, and then you wouldn’t be so cold. That’d create a lot of new jobs for fiddlers. But then the heating people would be out of work. Maybe they’d all have to learn the fiddle. It’d be good for them to try something new.

When I was a kid, my dad used to try to build a fire in the middle of the oven, which was pretty smart for the time. “What a fine thing that is, Max,” he’d say, and if I didn’t go “you betcha, mister” right away then he’d get out the belt and I’d be in trouble. Until he stopped wearing a belt. My brother Dolph bought him suspenders for Christmas one year and then everything was fine. You can’t smack somebody in the ass with suspenders.

My dad never liked the suspenders as much, but not cause he couldn’t hit his kids with ’em. He didn’t like the color. “These are too green, they never go with any of my suits,” he says. They were blue, actually, but Dolph and me, we knew we’d get in trouble if we corrected him. So one day he figured out they were blue, and he says, “What the hell didn’t you boys tell me these suspenders were blue?” But we ran out of the house and went to college and he couldn’t do anything then, cause he was afraid we’d outwit him.

I was working in a clothes shop once, and there was a big fight. This guy pulled his hat off and threw it on the ground, and started yelling all sorts of cuss words at this other fella. And the other fella says, “You can’t call me those cuss words, Mister,” and he pulled his belt off to whip at the first guy. Well, the first guy took off his suspenders to use on the fella, but I said, “Suspenders are against the law, you crook” and he tried to hit me with them, but I just laughed. Then the other fella hit him with the belt and that was that. I sold them both socks later.

I heard one time there was a lady who got her arm caught in an airplane and she was carrying a fiddle, and they flew to Nova Scotia with her hanging off the side of the plane. She must’ve really loved that fiddle. Maybe she didn’t want to go back to turning the heat up all the time at her place. Or maybe the airplane didn’t have a good enough heater, so they wouldn’t let her off or else they’d all be too cold. But then somebody inside the plane would’ve had to play the violin while she held it. I guess you’d have to check the flight log for that.

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