Prisoners of Classical Music

The area right around the Stephansdom is tourist ground zero. This means, in addition to the omnipresent Cambio/Change/Exchange/Weschel booths and shifting eddies of tour groups following their guides like ducklings, a small army of young men in full Mozart mufti: wigs, knee breeches, and long, primary-colored jackets. Their mission: sell you a ticket to a Mozart-Strauss concerts. "57 musicians and four soloists!" proclaims one, as though he were hawking Heinz ketchup. I am seized by the strong desire to kneel down behind one of them, so that Sarah can work the old schoolyard one-two and send him sprawling across my lurking back. For every incongruity there is an equal and opposite indignity.