Monsieur Music

“Americans who travel abroad are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages.” —- Dave Barry

Mike swears he’s being stalked. Yes, stalked, by an accordion player.

It  began on our first evening  in Paris when we were dining at L’Ecurie, a cafe on the corner right outside our door. Cue the French accordion player, squeezing out  a bit of local color. In a moment he was at our elbows, the bellows wheezing in our faces. Mike relented, reached in pocket, and gave the guy a euro. After the tune, the musician wandered off in search of another tourist who’d cough up a coin or two.

Since then, we’ve seen the Music Man everywhere. Dinner at a cafe on Rue Pot-de-Feu? He’s snaking his way among tables, tickling the buttons and keys and  and bleating out a discordant “La Vie en Rose.”

Out for a gelato on an evening walk? He’s on the corner, squawkng out his version of  “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” (Yeah, San Francisco.)

Getting a pizza at the place next store? Yup, he’s there, regaling the diners with his treacly repertoire from his stomach Steinway.

The poor guy works hard at his craft, and his persistence and good humor are admirable,  but his efforts leave us begging for silence.  Does anyone really like accordions?

The other night, we sat at our apartment window with a glass of wine, companionably tapping away on our iPads, when the strains of the squeezebox wafted up from the street below. Mike moaned, begging for deliverance.

“I’m going to lean out the window and take his picture,” I said, reaching for the camera.

“Are you nuts? He’ll be serenading us every night under our window if you do that!” Mike said. Reluctantly, I put the camera down.

Could Mike be getting a tad paranoid about the ever-present troubadour?  Or maybe we’ll be sitting at Jimmy’s Grill in Naperville and our Parisian artiste will appear, clutching that infernal accordion. How about a little “My Kind of Town”? Just the added charm that Naperville needs!

 

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