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Thursday 8th May 2003

So after arranging to pay my not inexpensive council tax, I rang the council to explain my unwanted piano situation. I had to wait a while to get through, of course, but finally I found myself speaking to a woman with a hollow and disinterested voice (and the disinterest was clear just from the words “Good morning”)
I told her about this strange (almost miraculous) appearance of a piano in my front garden. She said, “Sorry we don’t take pianos.”
I said, “But you see, it isn’t my piano.”
“It doesn’t matter. We’d have to send out a special lorry with lifting equipment. It would cost hundreds of pounds. We don’t do it.”
“But it was dumped on my property…”
“If it’s on your property, then it is your problem.”
“What if it was on the street?”
“Then we’d come and collect it.”
“So what if I pushed it off of my property on to the street.”
“You would be dumping it on council property and be liable to a £1000 fine.”
“So essentially what you’re saying is I am being punished for being honest. I could have just pushed it into the road and not informed you and you wouldn’t know where it had come from.”
“If it’s on your property, it is your problem.”
My voice maybe raised a little in frustration, “So what do you suggest I do with this piano?”
“I’m not interested in having an argument about it. That is how it is.”
And she hung up.
No “goodbye”. No “thanks for calling your local council”. No, “I know this is really stupid and unfair, but there’s nothing I can do. I am really sorry.”
She just hung up.
That is just rude.

I wish I had found out her name, because I would loved to have paid a removal man to move the piano into her front garden and then seen what she did with it. I could of course just shift the piano into the street and see what happens, or I could be like the kind person who decided that they would rather this was my problem who put it in my garden in the first place. (and it’s not an easy piano to move, so I’m pretty sure it’s one of my neighbours.)
But I think I will just bide my time and wait and formulate my revenge against the council, the anonymous hollow voiced woman and the anonymous piano dumper.
In the meantime. If anyone wants a broken and rubbish piano (perhaps to perform one of the many Dadaist conceptual arts pieces involving pianos – smashing one to bits or bringing it some hay and seeing if it eats it are two that I’ve heard of) please do get in touch and you can have it for free!

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