The time Jeremy played the accordion at an aquarium
By Dan Leicht
It was 1938 and tickets to the aquarium cost only a nickel and a smile. Waiting in line, alongside an elongated suitcase, was Jeremy, the golden child of Harvey’s Hardware. His hair was slicked back and his suspenders held up his brown knee-high pants.
“Are those pants meant for children?” asked a woman in line.
“I’ve had these here pants since I was a wee lad,” replied Jeremy. “I’ve had too many adventures in these pants to give up on them just yet.” The woman raised her eyebrows and pursed her lips. She didn’t approve of his sense of fashion. Her elegant lavender cape fluttered in the wind behind her, slapping an elderly man in the face. The elderly man’s name was Reginald, but that’s not important to the story.
“One ticket please,” said Jeremy, once at the front of the line. He gleamed a smile, but seeing the facial expression of the ticket clerk assured him the money should do just fine. With ticket in hand he entered the aquarium ready to be dazzled by the world of the ocean floor. The walls, the ceilings, in some cases even the floors, were covered with what looked like green wallpaper. Every few feet there were small fish tanks with some goldfish swimming about.
“Look, mommy, this fish can float!” shouted a child with glee. The boy’s mother patted him on the head and rushed him towards a different tank.
Jeremy looked around and gauged his surroundings. He was looking for the perfect place to open up the elongated suitcase. He found a spot next to an elderly man eating a sandwich out of a plastic bag. “My name is…” began the elderly man, but realizing the man’s name wasn’t important to the story he silenced him with a finger to the man’s lips. He then opened the elongated suitcase to expose a long bo staff. “Check out my ninja skills,” said Jeremy to the old man. He then started swimming the staff around, breaking several of the fish tanks within the first few seconds. “Hiya!” he shouted. People began to clamor around to watch the master at work.
While showcasing his skills he heard something coming from behind the crowd. He stopped twirling the staff and stepped over the people he’d accidently knocked out to find the cause for such beautiful music. Sitting alone, eating a plastic bag, was an elderly man playing an accordion. The music soothed the soul of the bo staff master as he moved ever closer.
“I must play your accordion, if only for a moment.” The elderly man looked up, chewing on the plastic bag as if a piece of gum. He shrugged and handed the accordion over. Jeremy began to play, but unlike his mastery of the bo staff he was quite terrible at the accordion and everyone left, including the old man.
Dan Leicht 2017©