Best Man to Wish the Summer Goodbye (2008)


Mingus, he may not be. But the PORTLY MAN OFTEN FOUND ON 6 TRAIN PLATFORMS is far superior to other underground transit musicians because his method is simple. He plays only one string—attached to a plastic bucket—and he plays only one song, Bryan Hyland's "Sealed With a Kiss." Big belly extended for posterity, he offers the platform crowd his best rendition of a '60s, white-boy love song, only in dark, bullfrog baritone. "Tho' we gotta say goodbye for the summer, darling I promise you this," he starts, plucking the string, swirling his bucket around, arms pumping like the leader of a brass marching band. Then, suddenly, his mood turns somber, face filled with brokenhearted pain. "I don't wanna say goodbye for the summer/knowing the love we'll miss/oh let us make a pledge to meet in September/and seal it with a kiss." Nobody on the platform ever seems to notice his routine. He plays it again. It's the only song he knows.


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