The Piano Tuner

November 4, 2001

This is a combination of two jokes I heard a long time ago. I have embellished it a little and sort of made it my own. Enjoy!

Tom was a music lover. He enjoyed all kinds of music but especially loved piano music. He had learned to play the piano when he was younger but didn’t play much any more. He often wished that he could have a piano of his own.

One day his dream came true: he found a baby grand piano at a flea market. It was in pretty sad condition, but Tom could tell that it was a fine piano indeed. He paid the owner the money and bought the piano. After that, he had it restored so that it looked like new.

Now he needed to have the thing tuned, for what good is a splendid looking but out-of-tune piano? He looked in the phone book and found a piano tuner with an interesting name. “Hans Appernachadi,” the ad read, “Piano Tuner Extraordinaire. Your piano will never have to be tuned again.” Tom decided to give the guy a call.

An elderly gentleman answered the phone. A moment later, Tom was told that Mr. Appernachadi (pronounced ah-per-NOCK-a-dee) would be there first thing in the morning to tune his piano.

Sure enough, Appernachadi was there first thing in the morning, just like he had promised. He meticulously tuned every string on the piano and replaced any broken or damaged ones he could find (and there were quite a few). Finally he told Tom he was finished.

“What are the damages?” Tom asked. The old man replied with an exorbitant figure that made Tom’s head spin. “Why so much?” Tom blurted out after a minute. “The ad said,” the old man replied, “that your piano will never have to be tuned again. That’s why I have to charge so much for my work.”

Tom got out his checkbook and wrote the man a check. All the while, he was thinking to himself, “I’m gonna have to take an advance on my credit card to avoid bouncing this check.”

Well, the old guy must have really known his stuff. That baby grand sounded AWESOME! Tom played to his heart’s content, overjoyed with his new musical treasure.

A few weeks later, he invited several of his old friends over and threw a party. Some of the friends came from far away, out of state, so they had to spend the night.

They enjoyed Tom’s piano, and those who could play took turns at the instrument. As the party wore on, they took to drinking, and by nightfall, a few of them were quite drunk. They became rowdy, and finally one of them, a big burly man, said to the others, “Hey, I bet you a hundred dollars I can tell time with this piano!”

“You’re on!” the others replied. So the big guy sat down at the piano and pounded on it wildly and furiously. The racket woke up the next-door neighbor, who came across the yard and banged on the door. “What’s the big idea?!?” he shouted. “Don’t you know it’s one-thirty in the morning?”

Finally the party broke up, and everyone went to bed. Tom’s guests slept off their hangovers and returned to their homes, leaving Tom to survey the damage. To his chagrin, the piano was now horribly out of tune! He decided that he had better call that piano tuner back for an encore. He dialed the number, and the old man answered on the second ring…

“Ah yes… I have Caller ID… I see it’s you, Tom. What can I do for you this morning?”

“Uh… I had some friends over last night, and they were pretty rough… I’m afraid my piano is all out of tune again.”

“Sorry,” the old gentleman replied coldly, “but Appernachadi only tunes once.”

Don’t get it? Opportunity only knocks once. Ah, they’re no good when you have to explain them! (sigh)