[A lone fiddler plays a Prelude.]

[Once he has finished, a man in a white linen suit speaks the following:]


So it seems the least likely of stories starts in the most likely of places. However, I may have it backwards.


[Smiles, perhaps at the fiddler who shares the stage.]


A confident man has the confidence to admit those points on which he is not so confident. To both demonstrate my confidence and — it should go without saying, but say it, I will, I shall, I must — to extend my good will, I begin with one such point.


The rest, Dear Reader, I have down pat.


[The fiddler strikes up a tune, “Loop #1 — Places and Pages”]

[He produces a gold-tipped cane and a caipirinha with a tiny Confederate flag stuck in it, in lieu of an umbrella. He sips.


Throughout all of the following and what has come before, the fiddler meanders about, plays, and generally occupies himself.]


Ah, that's the stuff! A bit sweet, but I've traded in the old mint julep, you see.


Caipirinha means “hillbilly,” “country rube,” “country mouse,” “hick,” “redneck,” “bumpkin,” “yokel,” “backwoods,” “paisano,” hell an Amazonian pie-oh-neeeeer in the Brazilian patois. Just an ordinary, extraordinary American — but in Brazil, of course.