I got the impression that they were enjoying themselves a little too much. Maybe it was because of that fiendish look on Luke’s face, or the way he was gleefully putting about three rounds a second into that old piano. Or the way Joe was using the first .22 he ever owned, saying that it was appropriate that he use his first gun to shoot at my first piano. Or maybe it was just the fact that every time I mentioned that the amount of ammo they were using was certainly adding up, and wasn’t that a lot of money, they just grinned and said it was more than worth it, and they couldn’t think of a more worthy cause.
Dad was actually the one who got the whole thing started. My old piano had been sitting up in the barn for nearly two years, ever since I got the newer one, and the winter weather hadn’t been very kind to it. It wasn’t exactly in decent shape, and I guess dad figured it was time to get it out of the barn and take care of it. In our family, “taking care” of something isn’t always a good thing. He dragged it out with the skid steer and hauled it down to the shooting range. The boys were next door shooting on Ben’s range, so me and dad got the first shots in. He was shooting slugs at it, and I was just pumping in .22 rounds. Have you ever shot a piano? OK, stupid question. But if you ever get a chance to, it’s pretty neat. About one out of every five shots or so made it twang. They must have hit it just right and nicked one of the strings, because you would hear the whole piano kind of bong every few shots. As a musician who is constantly riddled with guilt over not practicing enough, it was a great stress relief for me to pump two hundred rounds into a piano. Just watching it suffer made me feel better about all the suffering it and it’s kin had caused me.
Mom called the boys to tell them it was suppertime, and happened to mention that dad was shooting at the piano. In less than three minutes they were over, “armed to the teeth,” as the saying goes. I didn’t know it was possible for four guys to carry that many guns and ammo at one time. They shot at it until it was so dark they couldn’t see the piano, then reluctantly came in for the night.
I think they must have had to re-stock their supplies, because they didn’t get back to the piano until the next weekend.
When they did, though, they did it big. By the next weekend, they had a plan. No more random peppering the piano anywhere with any caliber. No, they had a goal now. Cut the piano (or what was left of it) in half. Those with 30-06’s and .308’s would work on the metal parts, everyone else would work on the wood with their .22’s.
I’ve got to say one thing for my brothers. They’re persistent. They were out there all morning and most of the afternoon. Several hours, and well over 2000 rounds of ammo later, the piano was cut in half (that’s around $100 for that many rounds of cheap ammo. I would know, because I put in nearly $15 myself).
Only my family would be crazy enough to think of cutting a piano in half with sheer firepower. And only my brothers would be crazy enough to spend their weekend actually doing it.