When Mum was reading my post about Steve Albini, she told me she thought that ‘Kill him. Amen’ might have referred to The Accordion Guy, and I was all ‘Oooh, him, yeah I can see that!’
After Mamie’s funeral most of the immediate family had lunch together, after which most people headed home. I decided to stay an extra night on the coast with Mum and Dad, because hey, I’d only managed to stain half the hotel pillows brown with hair dye the first night, and if I hadn’t stayed an extra night, I’d never have known what it was like to have to go, clad only in a towel, to my parents to tell them I couldn’t work out how to use the shower.
We were at a bit of a loss as to what to do and Mum was very drained, so we thought, why not go and find the local wood-fired pizza place and have a nice, relaxed meal?
After passing shark attack-themed cafes in an otherwise impressive restaurant strip, we found the pizza place in one of those modern takes on a Colosseum type buildings. I was immediately impressed by the eight or so jumbo jars of Nutella they were using as decorations around the entrance. We were seated and scanning the menus when “it” started. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat, Dad’s face went beet red, Mum started laughing nervously.
Our post-funeral relaxed meal had added accordion.
Someone had the brilliant idea that this small, enclosed room, where people would come to eat and chat would somehow lack the atmosphere that can only be provided by some old guy, pants hitched up practically to his throat, playing an accordion three feet from where we were all sitting.
We grimaced through loud, grating versions of ‘That’s Amore’, something from The Godfather soundtrack (because it was an pizza place, geddit?) and ‘Happy Birthday’. I sank lower and lower in my seat, knowing from experience that there was a very good chance we were going to have a Dad Scene, the scene where my Dad tells some poor waitress, who probably loves accordion, that he would rather pay the dude’s salary for the night to not play the accordion rather than sit here and listen to it while he tried to eat and she would laugh nervously and he would let her know that he wasn’t joking. This is the man who once told a girl at McDonald’s who tried to give him UHT milk for his tea that he would shoot a cow if it produced milk that tasted that bad.
The grim look on the waitress’s face and the severity of her ponytail was pretty much all that stopped him I think, either that or the fact that I was practically hiding under my chair. I eagerly downed most of a glass of a hazelnut liqueur that was served with my mum’s dessert just to calm my nerves and as soon as we’d chowed down what happened to be really good pizza, we split like the bananaramas that we are.