Not a Rickroll

(scene opens at dinner table)

Beta: My music teacher told me that I needed to watch 4:33.
Me: (processing) What?
Beta: 4:33. Both he and the orchestra teacher were laughing about it. It’s a music video.
Me: Oh! Yes. (starts laughing) Of course we can watch it. (calls up the orchestral version of John Cage’s 4’33)

(minute goes by)

Gamma: When are they going to start playing?
Beta: For real. They’re just sitting there.

(second minute goes by)

Beta: I don’t get it. Why is this funny?
Gamma: They’re not playing.

(third minute goes by)

Gamma: This is boring! Where’s the music?!
Beta: (extreme suffering) I don’t get it! Tell me why this is so funny!
Me: (calls up the sheet music for 4’33)
Beta: (incredulous) Rests. The whole thing is rests. Why the hell would anyone write a piece of just rests!? And why wouldn’t anyone think that’s funny?
Me: (starts giggling)

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Erring on the side of reasonable

(scene opens in pediatric exam room)
Alpha: (bored and restless)
Doc: (enters cheerily) Hello! And why are we here today?
Alpha: (eyes mother filling out paperwork) I have a cyst on the back of my head.
Doc: (starts poking his head) What makes you think it’s a cyst?
Alpha: Mom told me.
Me: (looks up from paperwork) WebMD says it’s either cancer, lupus, meningitis, or a cyst. I was betting on a cyst.
Doc: (laughs) Good guess. No need to go overboard.