"Do we really have to go?"
"But we don't want to go!"
"That's beside the point," I said in a friendly way.
"Anyway, I hate opera," said the teenage boy.
"You couldn't possibly," I lied. "You haven't heard enough of it to know one way or another. Anyway, the 'Messiah' isn't opera. It's choral singing, with an orchestra."
A long groan emerged naturally from...