Getting a Piano
When we bought our first house back in 1990, we discovered that it came with an upright piano.
Great! We could all learn to play and we’d take turns playing concertos and whoever wasn’t playing would be listening while reading great works of literature and science and history. Maybe I’d get a pipe.
That didn’t happen. It turns out that it was a worthless piece of junk in need of extensive costly repairs. It also turns out that this piece of stuff was already there when the previous owners moved in. They figured that they didn’t want it and they certainly weren’t moving it.
As we settled into the new house, we decided that the piano had to go. It was too heavy to lift over the sliding door’s runner so I decided to take the piano apart and move the smaller bits out of the house.
I Do Something Stupid
I was trying to take the piano apart gracefully. Unscrewing things so that, in principle, this thing could be put back together. A man can dream. At one point, I needed to lay the piano on its back because some of the screws were accessed from underneath. I got it back about 5-10 degrees. “Hey! This isn’t that bad. Kinda silly to have been worried like that.” At around 30 degrees, it was getting pretty heavy. I tried to stop it but I was barely slowing it down.
The piano was mostly on the floor on its back. This is what I’d wanted. I was also on the floor, lying on my side. The part of the piano that wasn’t on the floor was on my leg. This isn’t what I’d wanted. I wasn’t hurting but I wasn’t going anywhere. I thought that I could twist my leg out but I was worried that toward the end the weight of the piano might try to shear off my kneecap.
I considered calling Pam who was a couple of rooms over. “Hon-.” I paused. what was I going to say? One way of looking at this scene could have you thinking that I’d done something pretty stupid. There was a good chance that Pam would see it that way. Alternatives weren’t coming to mind.
I called Pam over and she reacted. She was concerned about whether I was hurt and how I was going to get out from under the piano. I’d forgotten that she was nice.
I did some twisting and pushing and practicing some old Anglo-Saxon terms and got my leg out from under the piano. My kneecap came out with the rest of my leg so that was a bonus.
I continued taking apart the piano but as time passed I was less carefully using screwdrivers and more savagely using hacksaws. Eventually, the piano was in bite-sized pieces in a pile in the garage.
Every week I’d add a bunch of ex-piano bits to the garbage cans. I was reminded of the episode of MASH where Radar mailed a Jeep back to his family piece by piece. I thought of my garbage man having a retroactive hernia if he ever found out that he’d thrown a piano onto his truck.