[Scene: Colonel Potter and Major Winchester are in quarantine after coming down with the mumps.
Winchester: Colonel, it hardly requires an advanced degree in differential calculus to master the numerical sequence of ace, deuce, trey. 54 points– record.
Potter: Shut up and deal. I can’t remember the last hand I won.
Winchester: Oh, really? Having won so few, I should think they’d stand out in your memory.
Potter: On second thought, I think I’ll read a little and then turn in. Some Zane Grey, maybe.
Winchester: Ah, Zane Grey– Tolstoy with spurs.
Potter: He happens to be a great writer!
Winchester: Colonel, what gin rummy is to games of skill, Zane Grey is to literature. Therefore, I shall counter with something civilized– Caruso.
Potter: Enrico Caruso, the singer?
Winchester: Yes. I do believe he sings.
Potter: Nix on that. I hate opera!
Winchester: Colonel, a closed mind is an empty mind. All I ask is that you listen and I assure you you will be carried away on majestic clouds of musical rapture.
Potter: The guy sounds like a banshee in a bear trap.
[Potter stops music]
Winchester: Sir, this man is one of the giants of serious music.
Potter: If I want music, I’ll send for my Tex Ritter 78s. If I want a giant, I’ll send for Mel Ott!
Winchester: I don’t know Mr. Ott’s work, but cowboy crooners, even one so noteworthy as old Tex, can hardly be mentioned in the same breath with the immortal Enrico Caruso.
Potter: Oh, yeah? If you want to match windpipes, can that Caruso guy yodel?
Winchester: Not even at gunpoint!
—M*A*S*H, “Heal Thyself”