It’s always the same drill at airport security: lay all my carry-on
items and coat on the x-ray machine’s conveyor belt, saving the
accordion bag for last. Then, walk through the metal detector and wait
for my stuff to emerge from the other end of thew x-ray machine.
Note the look of surprise on the x-ray machine operator’s face. Watch
as s/he quickly stops the conveyor belt just as the accordion bag is
halfway outside the machine and puts it into reverse for a second look.
Inside, an accordion is a mechanical forest, full of pistons, levers
and other clockwork bits that separate it from ordinary luggage. I
alway get told to take it to another security person for manual
inspection, where it gets a thorough swapping with a cloth which is
then fed into a device which I assume “sniffs” for explosives.
At Pearson (Toronto) International Airport, the security person at the
x-ray was a woman who asked me if it was a typewriter. On the way back
from Logan (Boston), a guy in dreads said “Heeeeey. Nice accordion,” nodding in approval.
Redhead, her friend Jenn, Ejovi Nuwere and Chris Connelly. We enjoyed a
fair bit of beer, good food, great conversation, and I got to perform a
couple of numbers for the table. Clery’s was packed with people that
night, and handful of folks who were in the area around our booth
joined in the singing.
One of the immutable laws of barrooms is that any given bar on any
given weekend will have someone celebrating their birthday. Another of
these laws is that if one of their friends spots you with an accordion,
they will walk up to you and ask you to play “Happy Birthday” for the
celebrant. Both laws held that evening, and I was led to a blonde woman
wearing office casual clothes and a “Kiss me, I’m 30” button on her
They invariably forget to tell me what the birthday person’s name is,
but I’m very good at throwing the “Quick, what’s his/her name?” glance
just as the song hits the “Happy birthday, dear ___________” point.
I think Ejovi is an accordion believer now. “I have got to get me an accordion!” he said.
“Forget social software,” I said, holding the accordion over my head as if it were the Golden Fleece, “this is social hardware!“
On the way out, a guy who’d sung along to some of the tunes put his hand on my shoulder and said “Hey man, where you goin’?”
“Gotta go, man,” I said, pointing to Wendy, and I followed her out of the bar.
Since the weekend promised nothing but rain, rain and more rain, I
carried the accordion its padded accordion bag (normally, I just carry
it “bare”), which is emblazoned with the accordion brand name “Weltmeister”, a brand of accordion.
As Wendy and I walked towards the T station, a young woman approached me, pointed to the bag and asked “is that a keg?”
Come to think of it, I could be a one-man party with an accordion
strapped to my front and a keg to my back. Maybe my next birthday…