Michelle was tired after a long day at work. She just wanted to get home, order a pizza for dinner, and go to bed. As she sat on the train home, she closed her eyes. Suddenly she heard music. It was a harmonica playing a sad song. It sounded like a blues song. She opened her eyes to look where the sound was coming from. Was it from someone’s iPod with the volume up loud?
The sound was coming from a man leaning against the subway doors playing a harmonica. When he finished playing the song he walked up and down the aisles with a cup in his hand asking for tips. Michelle didn’t feel like this was fair. While the music wasn’t unpleasant, it’s not like she had a choice. She was forced to listen to it since she has to take the train home from work. Now he was asking to be paid by the people being forced to listen? He had some nerve. Michelle didn’t give the man any money. Some of her fellow commuters did drop a few coins in the man’s cup.
“You shouldn’t encourage that,” Michelle told one of her fellow commuters after he dropped some change in the man’s cup. “I don’t even think it’s legal for him to play music in the train and ask for money,” Michelle said. She then scanned the advertisements and notices inside the train car. Sure enough she found a sign that said playing music and soliciting was not allowed and that there would be a fine for people caught by the police.
When the harmonica player passed by Michelle and extended his cup out so he could put in some change, she pointed to the sign. The harmonica player shrugged his shoulders. “We all have to make a living, lady,” he said.