Thursday, June 18, 2009

So Very Tired

I had just managed to make it up the steps and out the door of the basement-level fitness club, having finished my twice-weekly "Club Strength" workout, which should properly be called "Club Weakness" because that's the result. Our sadistic, black-clad instructor had goaded me into doing 16 military push-ups in 30 seconds, holding the plank position for a minute right afterward, and doing 53.5 more minutes of equally malicious torture-exercises. It's true that I have "shoulders" now and "guns," and even the faint outline of a six-pack, thanks to him. But even so: that class reduces me to a shaking mess.

Which is how I was feeling when I encountered the most enormous piano truck I've ever seen, parked on Newbury Street. I didn't have my camera — wouldn't have had the strength to push the shutter button anyway — so I went online later on and found their web site. And the truck:


It's an insanely big piano truck, and I've seen plenty because I used to manage concerts for the big local art museum. I often hired Deathwish, because they're professional, reasonably priced, and had style (all-black clothing, morbid-looking trucks). They also told great stories about Piano Moves Gone Wrong. Here they are, from their web site, doing something they should never, ever do:


Anyway, the back of that enormous truck was open and two guys were hanging out, so I slowly walked across the street to talk to them. The truck was packed pretty tightly. All piano movers are really nice people; I don't know why, but it's true. It must have something to do with all that meticulous, risky, and outrageously heavy lifting. Or the potentially catastrophic aspect of what they do. These two had beguiling southern accents, and politely told me that there were 32 pianos in their truck, and 8 of them were destined for the Boston area. Steinways, Yamahas, and every kind of piano you could imagine, they said. I immediately flashed to Busby Berkeley's Gold Diggers of 1935:


There were fewer pianos in the truck than in this photo, but I hope you enjoy the idea.

Then I thought about moving all those pianos. Thirty-two pianos went into the truck, and 32 had to eventually come out and be hauled up steps and down, through windows and winding hallways, into houses, apartments, practice rooms, classrooms, and concert halls. The movers were two wiry, little guys, not much taller than me. I hope there were a couple more getting coffee at Dunkin Donuts, because it's hard to move pianos with two people. On the other hand, the truck may have been huge, but the cab probably didn't hold more than two. My god. In my current state, the thought of the workout they were anticipating was almost enough to make me collapse on the street in my sweaty spandex.

I may have a few new, cool-looking muscles, but I still have a long way to go.

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