It had been a few months now since John’s elderly mother had died, and John had been busy trying to clean up her house. His father was also gone, having died four years before his mother did.
John wanted to give away some things to charity, and some items needed to be binned.
John was having a particularly hard time trying to move his Father’s old piano on to anywhere at all, though.
The piano was a good one, an upright Beale piano.
Beale Pianos was an Australian company, founded by Octavius Beale in 1893, in Annandale, New South Wales. The company ceased operating in 1975.
They, apparently, are indicated as being still sought after on the Internet, and a restored one, can fetch upwards of $5000, or so it was claimed there, on the internet, as searched out by John.
(John’s Dad’s old piano)
Now John rang around a few piano dealers, and second-hand dealers as well. None, of the half dozen stores, that John contacted where one bit interested in his piano.
One surly guy, told him that he gets offered hundreds of these, and the best place for them was down the tip.
Not a good start then for John.
None the less, John kept going. He rang a few piano moving companies. One quoted him $295 to shift the piano, another $190.
Finally, John rang the opportunity/charity/thrift shops in his state.
None were interested either. Their drivers were banned from transporting heavy objects like that, due to health and safety regulations. Pianos do not sell anyway, he was also told, by these charities.
One such charity, though, gave John the phone number of another charity, a church group, who had a huge warehouse second-hand store, and who did take pianos there, to sell to the public.
John rung them up.
Yes, they would take his piano, but he would have to pay for its transport himself.
John rang the guy where had had the quote from before, for $190.
John booked a time, 10 am for the next week, on a Tuesday.
John, already in his early 70’s himself now, did not want to have to drive across to his mother’s old house during the rush hour, or more, rush 3 hours now, these days, that was from around 6.30 am to 9.30 am, right across his city now.
Like in all big cities, transport, roads, infrastructure were hopelessly designed. Urban sprawls sprawled out into one-hundred-year-old highways, never updated to cater for the extra surges of traffic, from all of these extra housing estates, sprung up around them.
John was just happy to be moving the piano on to hopefully a new buyer of it.
That weekend though, the transporter guy rung up John, and he told him that they had double booked a booking on that day. They wanted to push John’s pickup back to 8.30 am, instead of 10.am.
John was a bit upset by this, but he did agree, as he really wanted to be rid of this piano.
John got up that morning at 6 am. He left soon after that, and he arrived at his mother’s house, at 8.15 am.
It seemed that the previously 40 minutes trip (years and years ago), even took much longer than he had even thought in his earlier calculations now, for, during rush hour. John usually drove there at quieter times of the day.
John waited around in the near empty house. He had had no time for breakfast, but he did bring with him a drink bottle of water, and a few muesli bars, that he nibbled at now.
The new time of 8.30 am came and went. John thought to himself that maybe he was mistaken, it’s probably still 10 am still, after all.
10 am came and went too.
John gave the company a call, he had Rusty’s mobile number with him, as he had written down the details of the piano moving company, and also of the address of the receiving opportunity shop too, and his contact person there, who was Carol.
Rusty came on, and barking at John wildly he said,
“Yeh, yeh, we operate a tight ship here. You are scheduled from between 11 am and 2 pm. The guys will definitely turn up between these hours, and in fact, they will call you about half an hour before they will turn up.”
John, was a little bit perturbed by this cowboy’s way of talking, for one thing, this was a trucking company, not a shipping one, but he let it go again. John was an easy going type of a gent.
2.00 pm, also then came and went. John was feeling light headed, and cold too, as it was freezing, in his old mother’s house. The electricity had been turned off, and it was only 6 degrees Celsius maximum, for that day, in the middle of the cold winter in his area.
John called Rusty again at 2.15 pm.
Rusty growled angrily down the phone:
“What’s the matter now. I told you that you had an afternoon pickup. They guys will come between 3.30 and 4 pm. I have no time for this idle chitchat,” and he hung up abruptly.
John was feeling weak now. He had left home at 6 am that morning. He had not eaten or drank that much since. He was feeling dizzy. He knew that with his diabetic condition, this was not a good place for him to be in.
To cut a long story short then, these inconsiderate drongos turned up at 5 pm that night. They found the door was locked. They couldn’t rouse anyone inside. They left a note on the door, and left.
The neighbour found John’s dead body in the house a few days later. He had a key, as he had been clearing the old lady’s mailbox, and placing the mail inside the door of the house.
John had died of a diabetic coma, brought on by lack of food, cold, and stress.
There are still cowboys in our world shooting the poor innocent Indian types like John, stone dead.
John died then in his old mother’s house. A very sad note to end his life on.
(John’s old mother, who John now joined in some Heavenly choir, up in Heaven)
By way of a moral: Foolishness stretches past the waitingness of a patient heart, because its mind is stronger than its common sense. Still, we can hardly blame John for this terrible event.
The photo of the trucking cowboy, and John’s mother, comes from the free media site, Pixabay.com. whereas the photo of the piano belongs to the author of this article.