My dad moves pianos for a living and naturally, over the years, I was roped into helping him from time to time.
But I don’t anymore.
Because, here is how it is supposed to happen if someone hires a piano mover:
When you call to make your reservation, the piano moving company will ask how many stairs you have. You should respond truthfully to this question! Too often, the customer says they only have two stairs, but when we arrive, the house looks like it is sitting on top of a Lego pyramid! TWO STEPS!?!? Try 10,000!
The shoe lands on the other foot when it comes time for the bill. The customer asks, “How much is this going to cost?”
“Oh… you know… TWO.”
Customers are also too often dishonest about where they want the piano moved to. In the initial phone call, they say they just want it moved from the living room to the garage, but when the movers arrive, they learn that they want it moved to the third story of the backyard treehouse!
Then they get mad when you can’t get it there. As if they can’t tell by the moving company’s ad in the Yellow Pages that… they’re mortal!
Then movers get the sob stories:
“You don’t understand. My son is a first-year piano student, and the piano HAS to be as far away from the house as possible!! IT HAS TO BE IN THE TREEHOUSE!
Next, newlywed C.J. Harlow joins the show to discuss the stresses of getting married outdoors. As a groom, you find yourself worrying about if it’s too hot, if it’s too cold, if it’s too dry, if it’s too moist, will the bride even show up??
And, while many families view an outdoor wedding as a nice option, C.J.’s family found it practically mandatory as there are so many smokers in his clan, the Harlows are sponsored by Marlboro Light. (I guess every family has its traditions… each time a new child is born in his family, they come with 1,000 pre-approved Marlboro points)
But, C.J. and his bride received several nice gifts. They were registered at the Cracker Barrel Gift Shop. They got practically everything they had registered for, including a couple pecan logs and Oak Ridge Boys CD’s. In fact, if his uncle continues to make all the payments on it, C.J. will eventually be given a Cracker Barrel signature rocking chair!
But what are you going to do… they’re family!
Speaking of family, C.J.s town was recently hit with a widespread power outage. Everyone in his family was without electricity except for C.J.. So, they all converged on his house. This lasted an hour before C.J. paid a neighbor to cut down a tree and blow out the power lines to his house as well.
Why should he be special?
And no event receives the fun and honor that it should be due. Every get together is combined with others in his family. It’s never just a “Happy Birthday Party”. When the Harlows celebrate, it’s a “Happy-Birthday-Anniversary-Intervention” get together.
So, there’s cake, pie, and ice cream. But, then you have to sit in a circle and tell Uncle Joe that there won’t be any piñata filled with Percocet.
Up next, singer/songwriter/composer Michelle Saddic calls into the show. Michelle will be studying abroad soon in Dublin, Ireland to learn more about scoring for film, television and video games. Video game music is booming these days! In fact, the Philadelphia Orchestra recently held a concert completely devoted to the music of Pokemon!
Michelle has been a bit of a “Banana”, herself for several years now. In her high school speech and debate tournament, she won first place reciting one of my bits about infomercials from the Banana’s DVD! (Which is much more acclaim than the routine has ever brought me!)
Now, there’s an overused meme on social media that says “Where words fail, music speaks”, but as Michelle says: Some things become cliché because they are true. Michelle began composing music as early as the fifth grade and fell in love with what music can express, even without lyrics.
She has great things in store… in the world of music, and maybe even in stand up comedy, doing my routines better than me!
Finally, my good friend Jeff Allen joins the show. Now, I study Jeff’s ability to craft comedy very closely. I even study his apparel and body movement – every single thing he does and doesn’t do is like a textbook for me!
But that may need to stop.
Jeff figures that since he’s approaching 60-years-old, it may be time to start working in a Speedo! If nothing else, he may receive some sympathy laughs when he performs.
Now, when he first began telling jokes from a stage, his dress and persona were very different that today. First off, he was drunk, so wiping the spilled drinks off his trousers was a primary concern.
Today, Jeff figures it’s about time he starts dressing like an adult, so he wears khakis on stage… but that’s just a stop-gap before his Speedo era of comedy begins!
Jeff and his wife Tami were in St. Johns a few years back, and wound up on the “wrong side” of a nude beach. They couldn’t help but walk through “Nakedville” en route to the beach they were heading toward. Jeff was amazed at the age of people who were so eager to take their clothes off in public!
And the same seems to be true in the locker room of Jeff’s local gym – several seniors standing around with nothing but a towel wrapped around their neck, just chatting away.
Jeff prefers to keep his clothes on, if for no other reason but to keep a good example for his grandkids.
As Jeff puts it, “Everything they say about grandchildren is true. First of all, they’re your reward for not stabbing your rebellious 16-year-old son – so fight the urge and let the little ingrate live, and several years later, you’ll be rewarded with a nice little package!” Jeff gets to care for his little granddaughters two-to-three days each week, and they bring an all-new joy to Jeff and Tami’s life!
But the best part about grand parenting is that if the girls begin to act up, Grandma and Grandpa can just get rid of them and take them back like a defective auto part!
Disciplining grandchildren is easy.
But, what really drives Jeff nuts are parents who prescribe to the type of thinking found in an article by a University of Houston professor: Teaching your kids to say “please” and “thank you” is abusive because it goes against their nature.
Well, so does crapping in a toilet!