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Headless Frank...

advisor to the lovelorn, weary, confused, and the overly self-involved

headless frank

Dear Headless Frank:

All your recent talk about breadcrumbs and bread, after you so eloquently compared the disciples of Heidegger and Heidi Klum, made me wonder about another important distinction. What can you tell me about the relative merits of panini vs. Paganini?
—Another Disciple-to-be

Dear AD—
You are hardly the first to confuse these two. You need only to check the suggestion box in any midsize city’s symphony hall to find repeated requests for the local orchestra to please perform Panini’s Tarantella in A Minor. Also, countless delicatessens regularly must figure out how to fill orders for a prosciutto and tomato Paganini. Common mistake.

Even though both panini and Paganini are Italian, the difference between them is reasonably clear. Panini is a sandwich and Paganini was a violinist and composer at the turn of the 20th century. The only similarity might have been when Nicolo Paganini sandwiched a minuet between a concerto and a sonata OR on such occasion as a hungry violinist played a panini to go.

Of course, your concern is who to follow. The question to ask yourself is simple: As you travel around the country, do you carry a violin case or a George Foreman grill?

Don’t be pressured into choosing one exclusively over the other, however. Violinists should be open to a panini for lunch and foodies don’t want to miss a chance to listen to the energetic strains of Paganini dancing over their sandwiches.

Choose well.

Signing off: Medulla oblongata.

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