1619. One night his worst fears about false praise were realized when he overheard a long discussion in the restaurant. The patrons at his table were discussing the life of a singer by the name of Florence Foster Jenkins. Apparently there was a Mrs. Jenkins who lived a hundred years ago who considered herself a great opera singer even though she could not sing and had no sense of rhythm. With no talent at all she was able to sell out a concert at Carnegie Hall.
1620. The concert was sold out because people bought tickets just for the comedy of the situation, going to the performance for a laugh. Even though Mrs. Jenkins saw that people were laughing at her, nevertheless it did not alter her conviction that she had a fine operatic voice. Coromo listened to this story of Mrs. Jenkins but he did not believe it. Later he even looked her name up on Google and discovered that indeed the woman was just as the patrons described.
1622. “No Coromo,” he answered himself, “music and movies and stage plays are different than paintings because you see them once or even twice and then you forget all about them. But when a person buys a painting they take it home and live with it, perhaps for years. So it is practically impossible for anybody to buy a picture they really think is bad, just for a joke, because then they will have to live with it.”