Piano Exploits 1 "Where are you?"




(The phone rings.)

ME: Hello, Peter Tryon Pianos

CUSTOMER: Do you tune pianos?

Me: I do.

CUSTOMER:  Brilliant! What’s the cost?

ME: That depends. Where are you, any repairs needed and  how long it was since it had  been tuned?

CUSTOMER:  Well, we live a long way from anywhere. The piano’s been here since before 1960, so at least that long. I don’t think anyone has spoken to a piano tuner before.

ME: Gosh, that’s a really long time!  Do all the keys go up and down, and does each key make a sound?

CUSTOMER: Yes, we checked. It's out of tune of course but everything sort of works, but my mother  only plays the notes in the middle.

ME: Where exactly are you?

CUSTOMER:  Norfolk. We’re 25 miles south of Norwich on a track  that goes through a wood. Actually it's more of a forest, because it’s called Thetford Forest.  You have to go through the entire thing to get to us.


(I looked up their location on an ordnance survey map, calculated the driving fee, and gave them a price for a standard package. They did indeed live in a forest.)


ME: That’d be £X, which covers a basic tuning and the odd adjustments. 

CUSTOMER: That’s great!  Do you do the moving?

ME: Yes, I have a mover. Where do you want the piano moving to?

CUSTOMER:  I don’t know. We’ll need it moving twice.

ME: Why do you want the piano moved twice?

CUSTOMER: Well you have to don’t you.

ME: I’m so sorry, but I’m not following you at all. Let’s start over. Where is it getting moved TO?”

CUSTOMER: How would we know that?

ME: Well, you asked.

CUSTOMER:  Where's your workshop?

ME: Drinkstone, Suffolk. 

CUSTOMER: Well it'll need to go there then. And then back to mine.

(The penny drops.)

CUSTOMER:  Hello? Are you still there?

ME: Yes, still here. Let me explain something...

Piano tuners always tune the piano where the piano is located. The piano does not have to be brought to me. Anyway, moving them would put them out of tune.

Customer: So, how much less is the tuning now you don’t have to move it?

ME: I quoted you for just a tuning.   No moving.

CUSTOMER: Will you need putting up for the night?

ME: No – I’ll come, tune the piano and leave.  OK?

CUSTOMER: You sound a rum ‘un! (Norfolk saying: “A bit of a lad”).  Cheerio!


The people were absolutely delightful.


Copyright: Peter Tryon 21st March, 1997