Dud brought the accordion in the other day. Right there in the Mule Barn truck stop, in the middle of hot cakes and coffee and grits.
We started to groan as he opened the case and lifted the shiny stomach Steinway and pulled the straps over his shoulders. We hadn't heard Dud play since the band director got sick before a pep rally last fall and Dud filled in for the band. Of course, waltzes weren't exactly what the kids were needing to get their blood up before a football game. We lost.
"You're not going to play that, are you?" asked Doc, trying to pry his eyes open.
Dud nodded and grinned, popping open the bellows release snaps top and bottom.
"Before coffee?" wailed Steve.
"It's a known scientific fact," said Herb, "that music can help you digest your food, and put you in a better mood to start your day."
Steve pelted Herb with cracker packets. Herb hadn't heard Dud try to fire up the offensive line with the Altenhauer Waltz, after all. We had.
As we were looking to see if the exits were blocked, Dud began to play. And we stopped and smiled and raised our cups to Dud. The waitresses smiled. The cook came out of the kitchen.
Hey Ã¯Â¿Â½ he got good.
Dud started with a couple of sweet, flowing waltzes, and then swung into some light polkas. So there we were, at seven in the morning, dancing between tables with Mavis and Loretta and keeping them from their coffee pouring, and we didn't care, and they didn't care, and Dud kept playing andÃ¯Â¿Â½.
Ã¯Â¿Â½ well, I mean the Mule Barn's owner had a point, after all. It was the breakfast rush, after all, and we were keeping the waitresses from waiting. And the French toast doesn't cook itself when Bernie the cook is dancing through the lobby with Mrs. Lawson from down the street.
So Dud put the squeezebox back into its case and we turned back to solving the world's problems. But we were smiling more than we usually do at that time of the morning. By golly, ol' Dud really has been practicing. We're proud of him.
Doc summed it up best. "Dud Ã¯Â¿Â½ if you were to play for a pep rally now, I believe we'd win."
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