Many great men have fallen victim to the almighty pretzel. George W. Bush springs to mind. Who could forget the leader of the Free World, fainting and falling from his couch after choking on one? Here’s another story with a salty twist.

I usually walk away from team meetings with the most arduous of to-do lists, and last Monday was no different, save for the diamond in the rough – the task of sourcing musicians for a lunch event our company was organising.

Diamond, I say, since the requested musicians – two nubile, busking violinists – had quite a following in Shrewsbury. In fact, as an ardent follower myself, I had began altering my routine in order to pass them in the street, even stopping to give change. Especially odd, they might have thought, since with my iPod constantly in, I had never actually heard them play.

I passed them again after my meeting and they were indeed a sight for sore eyes. Pulling the little white things out of my ears (the iPod, that is, not the girls), I looked and listened as they played something by Mozart, or Beethoven, or something I’d heard on a TV commercial. And when they were done, I applauded, of course, told them I was a big fan of their work, and invited them to play at our event.

Since it was completely sold out I couldn’t offer the girls lunch during the event.
“That’s alright,” Vicky, the violist, said. “I’ll take a pretzel though.” She pointed at the bag in my hand.
“Okay,” I said, handing the snack. “And, since you’re clearly a fan, why don’t I bring you pretzels for the lunch as well.”
“Deal.”

And though I’d lost a pretzel I’d earned a phone number and I was happy; especially at the lunch event, where the girls played the one from the British Airways commercial. I even went out and bought the Best Classical Album in the World Ever…Vol. II CD, on which it appeared. Better still, I was really getting to like Vicky. She was cute and funny, and more importantly, found me funny, and spoke with the sort of posh accent you’d expect from a student of the Royal Academy.

Following the lunch, I sent Vicky a text message asking her out for a drink. But concerned that she didn’t immediately reply, and that SMS was not the right way to go about asking, I again headed into town, hoping to run into her. And I did.

And when she was done playing, what I think was one of the Four Seasons (probably ‘Summer’), she stopped to chat, alluding to the pretzels that I had forgotten to give at the lunch. Sensing a way to impress her, I decided to buy a bag and drop them in her violin case as she played.

And so, whilst she launched into ‘Autumn’ or something, I scoured the town centre for a bag of pretzels. Not being so popular outside of New York, never mind in the West Midlands, I struggled, only finding a bag from the Boots’ ‘Get in Shape: Low Fat’ range. I decided it was better than getting a bus to the supermarket from whence I’d originally found them, and so bought these, the healthier option, and dropped them in her case, as planned.

Later that evening Vicky responded to my text. “Thanks for the ‘Get in Shape: Low Fat Pretzels.’ Very considerate,” she wrote, mentioning nothing about going out for a drink. I hoped, if nothing else, that the pretzels would make her thirsty. But, of course, I thought, they were reduced in salt. Needless to say, I’ve not heard from her since.    

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