A piano tuner had a parrot with a speech impediment, so he went to the Vet to ask about a remedy. “My parrot stutters when he talks,” he lamented. “What can I do about it?”
The vet suggested, “You know how the parrot’s beak curves around and there’s a sharp point on the end of it? If you file off that sharp point, the parrot will speak clearly.” At the hardware store, the tuner asked for a very small, very fine file and told the store owner what he planned to do. “I don’t know,” warned the owner. “I’m afraid you’ll kill him if you do that.” “I don’t think so,” replied the tuner, “the Vet seemed to know what he was talking about.”
The next day, the tuner shuffled back into the store. “I want my money back on this file,” he mourned, “the parrot died.” “I told you!” exclaimed the owner, “I told you that you would kill him if you filed his beak.” “No, that’s not what killed him,”replied the tuner,”I think he was dead when I took him out of the vice.”
I try to be careful to not park near mail boxes that are along the street. Once after parking close to one the mailman drove off without leaving any mail. My customer took off running down the street trying to catch him in order to get their mail. The run was a success. If I need to park close to a mail box now, I always ask if the mail has already come or when it is expected.
Also there is some thought that goes into whether to park by a dumpster at a school. I will first park in the teacher’s lot and walk in to see where the piano is located before bringing in my tools. If the dumpster entrance is a lot closer, then I will ask about the pickup day and time. I hate it when a dumpster driver gets upset. Then there are the times when no good parking spot is available except a staff members slot out front. It is best to call to see if that person has left for the day. I still stay away from the Teacher of the Month and the Principal’s reserved areas.
Letting out Pets
While leaving a residence I allowed a newly acquired dog to escape out the front door. My lady customer took off running (barefooted) as I was going to the car to get my receipt pad. When I looked in the direction she was headed, there was no sign of her or the dog. I called her later to learn that the dog had gotten past the fence for their housing division, but someone on the other side caught and handed her the dog under the fence. She couldn’t have crawled under it or gone over the top. My name was not totally mud at that point.
Finding Things in Pianos
Some things that are found in a piano are better off not mentioned. One time I found a snake skin in the bottom of a lady’s vertical piano. As I pulled it out for inspection she asked, “What is that!”. She wasn’t happy with the answer since one starts to wonder where the snake might have gone. She said to not tell her if I found something similar in the future. She never called again for service. Another time I found a mouse skeleton which was well preserved. The guy owner was quite intrigued with its intricacies. He didn’t want me to dispose of it as I recall. I found some mouse remains in the piano’s action on a vertical piano one time. There was still some smell to it, but the lady was glad to know where the odor was coming from. She had thought that something had died in her walls and had various people searching her home to track it down.
Peace and Quiet
When going to school auditoriums, I check with the office to find out if there will be any activity that could be loud. Recently I was given the information that “All was calm on the Western Front”. Upon arriving I found that the orchestra normally met in the aud. and the director said they would be rehearsing another 2 hours. The secretary was surprised that my tuning would disrupt an orchestra rehearsal. Their playing, however good, would affect my job as well. In looking over the piano I found enough other maintenance items to do to keep me busy for almost 2 hrs.
Another time when I arrived at an Elem. School to tune an auditorium piano, I noticed alot of carpenter tools and wood on the stage. After about 15 minutes of tuning, many workers returned from lunch. The noise became horrific as they were replacing the wood seats that day. They were sawing and taking apart the old benches to replace the wood. I told the office secretary that I would return the later that day in order to get the work done before the next mornings’ program. That was a close call.