The young man was nervous. His parents were proudly sitting in the front row. His cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents were there. There was not an empty seat in the house.
As he stood up, he burped a little...okay, it probably was a Vurp...either way, he was nervous and it showed. He walked to the front of the stage and began to play his heart out. That squeeze box started whining and while it seemed to sound fine, something was clearly wrong.
Rewind 30-minutes. That young man sitting in my grandfather's office.
Grabbing a small handful of the chocolate that sat on the desk, he said "Pastor, I have never really played in public before." Into the mouth went the chocolate.
His face contorted. His eyes bulged. His hands instantly tightened. He did not know what to do.
The chocolate he grabbed was not bad, it was just filled with garlic oil. Seeing nowhere to spit it out, he just swallowed.
You see, if you take candy without asking, you really don't know what you are going to get. Candy coated insects, poop flavored jelly beans, or even chocolate covered garlic oil. Of course, if you asked politely, a fresh box of See's was always kept in the drawer just for sharing.
Fast-forward back to the stage. As you may know, the accordion plays by sucking in air and pushing it through the instrument, flowing over the reads, creating a very unique sound. The problem today was not the young man's playing, but rather the air that was flowing in and out of this particular wind instrument.
You could see it as it hit each row. First it was his parents crinkling their noses...then Cousin Jim looked cross-eyed at his mom. Row two, heard his grandma whisper, in a not so whisper voice, "What is that?"
Row three politely held their hands to their noses...then row four and five...all the way back through that packed church. The pungent smell of garlic permeated that sanctuary.
There was gramps, sitting behind that young boy, with tears running down his face just trying to contain his laughter.