Organ Grinder

by Joshua Blanc

Pasquale Serdivici was a pipe organist. Tenmont Athabascon The Third was his pipe organ. That is, except for today, for the Pipe Organ Exploder was about. So, with Tenmont away on a questionable amount of leave, Pasquale had enlisted one of the local scabs to serve as pipe organ for the duration.

"It hurts somethin' awful, Mister Pasquale!" the fellow complained after a couple of turns of the handle.

"Shut up and evhistle," said Pasquale.

The fellow's head disappeared beneath the cloth covering, and sounds that could vaguely be called whistling issued forth - with an occasional "ow" thrown in.

There came a passer-by. Pasquale straightened up and smiled, his waxed moustache failing to glisten in the gloom.

"Ee, thank you ver' much," he said as the gentleman tossed a shiny metal thing, that may or may not have been money, into his boot.

He continued cranking the handle but the organ, being new at this, was getting all the tunes wrong. At present it played something akin to `Pop Goes The Weasel' crossed with Beethoven's Fifth and an amateur recorder recital. But it mattered not to the people in this filthy neighborhood. All they saw and all they heard was an over-greased chap in a tuxedo, standing on the corner with his tune box, hoping to get enough scratchings for a warm meal.

Just now, a fellow in rags shuffled up. This was in no way remarkable, as most of the people in the street were thusly dressed.

"Good day, Organ Grinder," said the man, scratching at his stubble.

"Arr, fine dayee," said Pasquale.

"Be that `Stardust' that you're playing?"

"No, it's er..." he listened intently for a recognizable tune, "God Save The Queen."

The dirty man listened again, but by now the song was neither.

"Ah yes," he said.

The man dug around in his pockets for something to throw in the boot.

"Oh, please, kind Sir," said Pasquale. "You look like you could juse that money more than I."

The man smiled.

"Nonsense. Mind you, you must be very brave to play your organ while the Exploder is about."

"Aye!" said Pasquale. "I do what I can."

"I heard that the great Alsdorf had his organ exploded last week."

"Aye, poor Alsdorf. A great teacher."

The man finally found something in his pocket, and drew it out.

"Well, here you go. Have a nice day."

Another vaguely money-shaped object fell into the boot. The Organ played something happy, before a spectacular explosion happened and bits of boot flew all about.

"Ai! Mama the mia!"

The End.