I’m an atheist, but I have a very clear vision of what Hell must be like. I recently had a glimpse of it in real life. There is a busker with an accordeon at the entrance of the train station where I live. He’s been there for as long as I can remember (I have a short memory). Normally I pass him by rather quickly, just enough to hear a few notes. Not enough to recognize the song he’s playing. But recently, I stood smoking outside the train station and I could listen to him for a minute or two. It took me half of that time to notice that the guy was playing the same few notes I had heard him play before, OVER AND OVER AGAIN!
Seriously, this guy has been standing there for years, almost 24/7, playing the same 4 or 5 notes in a row! Looking at his accordeon I noticed that some of the buttons on it were totally worn, and the rest looked brand-new. With his lobotomized stare, this poor excuse for a busker gave me a feeling of what a sinful musician’s hell must be like. Imagine eternity listening to the same short musical phrase repeated ad infinitum. Well, that’s what this guy’s life is like.
It reminded me of another musical torture. Once I got stuck during the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland. The small boat we were in got jammed or something. The little puppets kept singing their cheerful song, while we were stuck for almost an hour. Like one of these puppets, the busker at the train station just keeps doing what he’s programmed for, playing his mantra, faking to be a musician.
But you’ve got to hand it to him: he’s smart: people leaving and entering the train station are in such a hurry, that they would never notice he’s not actually playing a song. Thanks to my nicotine addiction I discovered his scam.
He could be just a tad smarter though… if I were him, I wouldn’t have taped that worn cardboard McDonalds coffee cup to the accordeon. Especially with his nasty case of B.O., when people don’t dare to come close enough to put money in the cup, otherwise they might get sick. I know B.O. comes with the busking territory, but here’s a good advice for all of you: we buskers don’t care all that much for personal hygiene, so don’t place the money container too close to yourself.