In the thirties, due to the economic depression, paradoxically the show business moved higher. People needed to get away from their everyday worries. The less privileged went to the movie theaters. Wealthy people filled Broadway shows. The lights of Broadway at dusk were already a spectacle in itself. But in 1937 it was scheduled a show titled “I’ve got a stain in my pants” that drove the agency ENIGMA CONSULTANTS S. L. nuts. George Firstein, the show’s producer, contacted Michael and Jacob because of a strange phenomenon that happened at the end of each performance. It turned out that while the audience was leaving the theater, Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” sounded. And what was so strange about this?, someone might ask. Plainly and simply, the strangeness lay in the fact that the orchestra had already stopped playing. The pit was empty and yet not only did the music sound but it sounded so loud that many spectators threw themselves to the ground thinking that the nazis or the communists were bombing the theater. Besides, the “Ride of the Valkyries” was not related to the show that had just been staged. In fact, it was totally antagonistic. The play is about a school teacher who only has one pair of pants and, unfortunately, a huge seagull (a mechanical device that almost occupies the whole stage and looks more like a plane than anything else) drops a by-product of its digestion on the schoolmaster’s pants. The huge stain is of a bright yellow that contrasts horribly with the jet black of his pants. The poor man tries frantically to clean it, but it’s impossible. No cleaning product is able to put up with the stain. The main part of the show consists in the pathetic pilgrimage through all sort of institutions of the protagonist in his underpants and with the extended arms holding his only pants (this pilgrimage favoured some poignant songs in the manner of the great Al Jolson) in search of a detergent strong enough to eliminate the fateful stain. At the end of the play, the public left their seats with the grief gripping tight their hearts, moved by the sad ending (the play ends with the return of the seagull, which drops another “gift” on the poor schoolmaster, this time on his head, thereby turning his black mop of hair into a ridiculous yellow beret). And in that precise moment, (tatatatxan!!) the Valkyries began to ride at full gallop.

In the course of several performances, Michael and Jacob moved behind the stage trying to discover the origin of the music. But they did not find anything suspicious. No orchestra concealed in the attic or in any other room. No gramophone. Nothing at all. The music filled the whole theater with a deafening sound without seeming to come from any particular place. But the most serious thing was that lately this sudden outburst of decibels happened at the most colossally inconvenient time ever: What a pathetic thing it was to see the schoolmaster in his underpants at the very moment when, with a pleading look, was lengthening his pants to a sales agent of cleaning products and suddenly was shaken by the Valkyries’ ride!). Other times the outburst happened late at night, when the theater was silent and the only audience was the security guard. It was not until Michael and Jacob heard about a phenomenon called psychophonies on the radio when the enigma began to be deciphered. In his favourite radio show, “Mysterious Universe”, one night they heard an interview with a member of the American Society for Psychical Research. This man, who was an expert in this kind of phenomena, had the theory that the old houses were impregnated with certain sounds that had once echoed on their walls. And he illustrated his explanation with an audiotape recorded in an old house in Charlottesville, Virginia, where in the midst of total silence, suddenly a distorted and almost imperceptible voice apparently said “Tell Susan she have to put the socks in soaking”. “Psychophonies!”, Michael and Jacob jumped, “that must be the answer to the enigma”. They quickly contacted the ASPR expert who came provided with a very sensitive voice recorder, able to record the slightest sounds. He refused to be informed of the nature of the psychophony on the grounds that it would be a spoiler. This caprice was about to cost him his life because, when late-night they carried out the experiment, an absolute silence reigned in the empty theater. And then, all of a sudden, Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” burst at such a high volume that the ASPR member suffered a collapse and, since then, at the slightest unforeseen noise, he jumps out the window.

This is a non-profit blog whose purpose is to raise funds for children in need. So if you want to make a donation in exchange for this story, click on this link to UNICEF. I really appreciate it!

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