Now that we have worked out how to buy Metro tickets (see yesterdays blog) we have been using it quite a lot. The other night though we had quite an interesting journey. As the Metro was pulling out of the station, a small gentleman jumped on the train at the last moment and to everybody’s horror was carrying an accordion.
He was about 5 feet tall wearing, trousers that looked to be two sizes too big for him that crumpled at the ankles, black trainers, a checked shirt, a linen jacket and a natty little straw trilby. The accordion was about half the size of him and he looked like a tortoise when he carried it onto the train. I thought with him being so short he would have a good centre of gravity, however this was shortly to be disproved.
On his arrival, everyone in the carriage looked at their feet as you could see them silently saying to themselves “don’t look at him, it will only encourage him” and this man needed no encouragement. He started playing what I half recognised as an Italian tune and then effortlessly, yet somewhat surprisingly morphed into La Vie en Rose, a tune that seems to be an accordion player’s favourite.
The thing was that as he played he made his way up the carriage. I don’t know if the driver knew he was on board or whether he just had Kangaroo fuel in his train but unlike other Metro journeys, this one stopped and started quite violently without any warning. Whenever this happened our short accordion playing gentleman would find himself being flung to the back of the carriage laughing all the way. As the train picked up speed again he attempted again to continue along the carriage playing his tune. However moments later the brakes would go on and he would get flung back to the starting position.
The train was quite busy and as he flew back down the carriage he managed to strike most people who were stood holding on to the handles and bounced around like a human pinball. After a couple of stops when we lost a few passengers (because they got off, not because he has caused any fatal injuries) and the passengers began to cling to the side of the carriage creating a clear thoroughfare straight down the middle for our little Mario to attempt to get to the other end of the carriage uninhibited. What this also meant was that when the brakes were slammed on little Mario would come flying back at full speed with no one in the way to break his stride and always ended in a heap by the door that connected to the following carriage, still laughing all the time.
As I looked around the carriage I noticed that even the most hardened Neapolitan commuters were finding this amusing. Even though everyone’s head was looking down I could see shoulders bobbing up and down in laughter. I too was finding it hard not to laugh. It was just so funny hearing La Vie en Rose fading into the distance as he nearly made it to the end of the carriage, but knowing any second later that you would hear it agin a t full volume as flew past you, still in tucks of laughter.
I mean come on, if anyone doesn’t find that funny, then you have no soul. He eventually got off the train without receiving a single euro from any passenger. Even though he was terrible, I felt bad that really I should have given him something for the pure comedy value alone.