Last Friday morning, I called Nigel, the man in Perth who will rent you a piano and deliver it to your house the same day. We had a piano by 2:30 that afternoon. It is difficult for me to say this, and probably even more difficult for Dave to hear it, but here it goes. I am in love with Nigel the Piano Man. Ok, not “in smootchie love,” as Simone would say. But all I’m saying is that at 10:30am I called Nigel to talk pianos, and four hours later, a beautifully tuned, upright Kawai was in my livingroom. BAM. That’s how you get it done, Port of Oakland.
Apparently, when you move pianos for a living, you care a lot about stairs. How many stairs, how high are the stairs, do the stairs curve around, is there sand on the stairs, any gravel or bumpy bits of concrete on the stairs? Doorways? No problem. Long hallway? Breezy. But tell me more about the stairs, said Nigel over the phone Friday morning. Please go outside and count them again.
Once we established that there are exactly four stairs, and that they are concrete, a bit bumpy, straight up, and not curved, Nigel said he’d be there that afternoon. He arrived in the 102-degree heat with a trailer hooked up to the back of his sedan. The trailer held some rope, a collapsible metal ramp, a dolly, and the piano wrapped in a blue moving blanket. Nigel looked like Gerard Depardieu in Green Card, if Gerard Depardieu had grown up on an Australian farm (as Nigel had) and could kick Green Card Gerard Depardieu’s ass. I showed him the corner of the living room where we’d like the piano, and, of course, the four stairs. He asked if I had a broom because he’d like to sweep the stairs even though I told him I had just swept them. “Just to be sure,” he said. Then he unfolded the ramp and laid it across the stairs. It was at this point I realized I was expected to help, and felt like a doofus in my dorky and impractical denim sundress. Nigel moved the piano to the base of the ramp and told me to stand at the top of the stairs. “How were you at Tug of War in school?” he asked, as he tied a rope around the length of the piano. I quickly responded, “Not bad,” even though I don’t recall ever playing Tug of War but I was already an asshole for being in a sundress so I’m not going to be the double-asshole-loser who’s never played Tug of War. Once the piano was secure, he tossed me the end of the rope. “When I say pull, pull. Got it?” At this point, I was all fired up thinking, “For the rest of his life, Nigel is going to be sitting at the pub with his mates and they’re gonna be like, ‘Nigel, tell us again about the American lady in the denim sundress who turned out to be the strongest person you’ll ever meet!’ And he’ll be like, ‘Guys, I swear, she looked like a weak sun-damaged peanut but MAN, could she pull?!’” Well, it didn’t really go down like that, but nothing horrible happened either. The piano did not tip over as I feared it might, and together, the Dream Team of Nigel and Bek got the piano up the stairs and into place (you and I both know that Nigel could have done it on his own but this is my dream and I am living it). Dave returned from picking up the girls at school to see Nigel at our dining table writing up our invoice and telling me if I want the freshest green grapes, go to the Swan Valley and pick them directly off the vines. Every time Nigel went back to his invoice pad, I kept mouthing to Dave, “I love this man” and Dave was smiling at me like, there she goes again.