The Pianola (Friday Fictioneers submission)

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.

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32 Comments

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32 responses to “The Pianola (Friday Fictioneers submission)

  1. Just one of the many lives ruined by muzak : )

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  3. There was somebody who did the thing we’ve all be wanting to do. Get him to send me his CV. Nice writing.

  4. Oh goodness – that pianola upset at least two lives, then! 😉 Nicely done.

  5. An understandable, if extreme reaction. Nice one.

  6. I like the way you slipped in the reason his father was replaced by a pianola. I’ve felt that way at gas stations that have small TV screens above the pumps and they alternately play ads and things I don’t want to know about celebrities. Love to have at them with a knife of some sort!

    janet

  7. I loved the voice and humor of this piece, Etienne. Very appealing.

  8. ly

    Elevator music lives on driving the rest of us crazy.

  9. Driven mad by Muzak, poor fellow. We’ve all been there!

  10. Dear Etienne,

    Still laughing here. I loved this story for several reasons, not the least of which is that I am soon going to be replaced by a series of automatons at my place of work. Sharpening my pastry knife as we speak.

    Welcome aboard. I hope to see more stories of this quality from you in the coming weeks.

    Aloha,

    Doug

  11. Dear Etienne,

    Welcome to Friday Fictioneers.

    I can understand how someone can be driven mad by Muzak. As cake decorator in a grocery store I can think of times I want to wield my pastry knife, but we won’t go there.

    Good story. I look forward to reading more of you.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

  12. I like this: the pianola didn’t get drunk and proposition the chambermaids. Great and tragi-comical story with a moral. Don’t try to persuade your kids to be ‘sensible’ just to have them avoid your own faults! I’m impressed you achieved so much in 100 words. Ann

  13. Tremendous little tale.
    Love it.

  14. In the end it’s clear, the apple does not fall far from the tree.

  15. Well this is just a neat, little story. I used to work in a restaurant and this actually sounds very much like what happened to one of our managers. Only he was wearing a Cher wig and there was no pianola, but I’m sure the Muzak drove him to it.

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