To Break a Piano

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.


2 thoughts on “To Break a Piano

  1. Wow, everyone on our street are related (except us) and every Mother’s Day weekend they skee shoot the entire weekend; wall to wall parking in their yard. Right across the street from our house. I thought their guns were loud all day. I bet even the birds wouldn’t be heard chirping while ya’ll were ‘cutting’ that piano in half.

    Funny story: Last year when they had their annual shootout it was Saturday. My family was sitting outside having a Sabbath read on the back patio and listening to the gunshots. We don’t mind the gunshots, they are having fun. One of the neighbors say a lot of those guys are drunk over there while they do their crazy shootings. Anyways, a state trooper pulls into our long driveway. Grabbing all the dogs my Dad and a brother and I walk up to him to see what’s up. He said one of the neighbors called them cause they were worried about what’s going on across the street. He asked us if we knew what’s up. That doofus was afraid to drive over there and ask them what they were doing so he came to us. What for, I don’t know. We told him we don’t care they do it. I blurbed my mouth and said we didn’t call, the neighbor down the road probably called cause he said they are always drunk as heck with all them guns. So scared state trooper man nods his head and says goodbye. He leaves our driveway, goes across the street and into their driveway. Everyone to this day still believes the officer went to our house first because we called the Police on them. Sheesh, we barely were able to get accepted by all those relatives to begin with.


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