Geoff’s dad used to play piano in the hotel foyer. He’d always expected his son would follow in his footsteps but the manager got one of those pianolas instead. Two hundred songs it could play; no soul, but at least the pianola didn’t get drunk and proposition the chambermaids.
Geoff got a job as a pastry chef but his heart was never in it. Every day, he’d have to pass that pianola and pretend he couldn’t hear the chintzy music. He tried ear plugs but the other chefs looked at him like he was going mad. In the end, he started drinking and the manager let him go. He was on the scrap heap at 39, the sound of Muzak playing in his head as he filled out application forms.
One day, he lost it, set about that pianola with his pastry knife. He was humming Edelweiss to himself when the police picked him up.