Monday, February 11, 2008

Death By Baby Grand

Digging into archives again, this one was recounted over dinner last night with friends who thought it worthy of this hateful blog. And somehow I avoided being demonized this weekend so this will have to suffice.

About six months into our new home search my wife, daughter, real estate agent and I enter a home that was almost ours - for some unknown reason, the owner, who had never even met me, refused our full-price offer.

As we make our way up the front steps, we pass two less than capable looking piano movers. One guy is pushing his mid-90s. The other appears to be on a steady diet of Big Macs and Tivo. The truck outside is emblazoned with the name of the company, something like "Barely Capable Piano Movers" and a caricature of two guys struggling with an oversized piano.

The house was empty, minus the baby grand just inside the entrance. Somehow, my agent, wife and daughter proceed to the rest of the house while I stay behind, checking out the main room. The two men grunt and heave under the instrument, uncomfortably nearby.

As the elder gentleman complains of a bad back, they ask if I wouldn't mind giving them a hand hoisting the piano onto a roller. It seemed simple enough. I didn't want to be a jerk. And before I know it, I'm pinned against a wall with the weight of the piano against my chest.

As my realtor and wife walk by, I look to my realtor, a strapping man of 6'2 for some help getting me out of the situation. I went so far as to ask him if I should even be there from a liability standpoint, to which he simply shrugged and walked to another room. I can understand how frustrated he was with us as clients - we'd been incredibly indecisive with him - but that should have been my cue to find alternate representation.

Luckily, my lovely and very charming wife bails me out with a simple, "what the fuck are doing? Get out of there!" I look at the piano movers, push my way out and give the same shrug/walk away that my agent had just given me. They respond with a very sincere, "thanks, dick." And just so we're clear at this point, my name is not Dick. So I'm the bad guy.

A few moments later, from down in the basement, we all hear a large crash. We give each other some furtive looks and quietly escape out the back door with my agent making the "call me" sign holding his pinky and thumb up to his mouth and ear, as we split for our respective cars. We drive away with the windows down, and I'm pretty sure I heard something about a punctured lung through the wails of the two grown men.

Don't you hate when you refuse to help piano movers and one of them perishes as a result? And, we didn't get the house.

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