The Boston Symphony recently performed Beethoven's Ninth symphony, which is a wonderful piece that has a part near the end in which the bass violins do nothing. So, the bassists snuck offstage, out the backdoor, and next door to the local pub for a drink.

After quickly gulping down a few stiff drinks, one of them checked his watch and said, "Oh no, we only have 30 seconds to get back!"

Another bassist said, "Don't worry, I tied the last page of the conductor's score down with string to give us a bit more time. We'll be fine."

So, they staggered and stumbled back into the concert hall and took their places just as the conductor was busily working on the knot in the string so he could finish the symphony.

Someone in the audience asked his companion, "What's going on? Is there a problem?"

His companion said, "This is a critical point - it's the bottom of the Ninth, the score's tied, and the bassists are loaded!"

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