It’s always difficult when you announce bad news to someone on accident. There’s that sick feeling that suddenly floats down over your head like a blanket that you can’t get our from underneath. When you regret your words, but it’s too late to reel them back in. They are out there, bouncing around like bullets in the room, simply because you didn’t consider who all was listening. I thought I had grown out of this by now. I thought I was mature now, I was a grown man and I knew how to choose my words wisely. But I guess I still have a lot to learn.

We were in basement. I was on the computer, and Andrea was sitting across the room in a chair, with her laptop propped up on her knees. Behind me on the couch two little girls took turns reaching their hands into a bowl and then stuffing them into their mouths. A boy appeared and disappeared about the room, as he ran a car across the floor, around the walls, up and down the arms of chairs and couches, in his sister’s hair. It was a regular evening just like any other.

I was researching something that Andrea and I had talked about earlier. A song that I had mentioned but didn’t know the origin of. Was it a Beatles song?

“Oh, it turns out it isn’t,” I said over my shoulder.

“Isn’t what?”

“Isn’t the Beatles. The ones that sang that song. But apparently I’m not the only person that thought so. The band that played it really were influenced by the Beatles sound.”

There was some crunching behind me on the couch.

“Anyway,” I went on, carelessly, “It wasn’t the Beatles that wrote it, and the Beatles never even played it, because the song came out several years after the Beatles broke up.”

There was suddenly a coughing fit behind me and I shot my chair around to see what was the matter with my daughters.

Clara was choking on something and her eyes were huge white disks. She looked like someone had just punched her in the stomach.

“You okay?!” I asked and quickly started across the room.

She swallowed hard and looked back and forth between me and her mother, frantic, gasping “Wait! What do you mean The Beatles broke up?!”

‘Oh dear,’ I thought to myself. ‘She hasn’t heard…’

I laid a hand on her shoulder and took a deep breath. “Um okay, Clara. I’m afraid I have some bad news…” She took it pretty well, considering.

Thankfully she didn’t ask if John Lennon was going to keep recording music on his own. We will save that news for some other day.