The Tank is not one to bottle up our woes. "A problem shared is a problem halved," has always been our motto, which may explain why we were rather perfunctorily thrown out of that maths GCSE exam.
But all too often we've met with this rather surprising response from supposed friends: "Oh boo hoo, I'm playing the world's smallest violin," they say, with a convincing mime. "And don't forget you still owe me a fiver."
Although a demand for repayment is no bolt from the blue, the Tank was none the wiser as to why our friends would reference tiny instruments. That is until today, when their subtle ecological message finally filtered through.
You see for 250 years Brazil's pernambuco tree has been used to create the finest bows, but the pernambuco are disappearing faster than bacon rolls off Chris Moyles' breakfast platter. And with bow supplies declining, it stands to reason our friends' violins are shrinking.
Fortunately, a network of bow-makers calling themselves the International Pernambuco Conservation Initiative has leapt in to action as only artisans know how: spending a decade collating a three volume reference guide called "The Conservation, Restoration, and Repair of Stringed Instruments and Their Bows" and then flogging it for £925 (or a more reasonable $1,395).
There is, of course, a small chance this won't raise enough funds, so it's just as well there's a back-up plan...
Nope, our mistake. Apparently there isn't a back-up plan and the pernambuco has now been added to Appendix 2 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.
The Tank does have some alternative suggestions, but according to a classically trained acquaintance we might have misunderstood the precise meaning of Bach's Air on the G-String.
Looks like we'll be buying that book then – or Don McLean's classic slice of Americana will prove to be far too prophetic.
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