Monday, November 24, 2008

Piano in the woods

A police officer examines an oddly placed piano in the woods of Harwich, Massachusetts.

Discovered by a woman who was walking a trail, the Baldwin Acrosonic piano, model number 987, is intact — and, apparently, in tune.

Sgt. Adam Hutton of the Harwich Police Department said information has been broadcast to all the other police departments in the Cape Cod area in hopes of drumming up a clue, however minor it may be.

But so far, the investigation is flat.

Also of note: Near the mystery piano — serial number 733746 — was a bench, positioned as though someone was about to play.

The piano was at the end of a dirt road, near a walking path to a footbridge in the middle of conservation land near the Cape.

It took a handful of police to move the piano into a vehicle to transport it to storage, so it would appear that putting it into the woods took more than one person.

Thanks to NL for the link.

This reminded me of a story (перевод) by Andrszei Sapkowski (no translation in English; the story is called “Golden Afternoon” — it’s a version of “Alice in the Wonderland”).

A number of questions come to mind. Why are police investigating this? Why did they move it? What if someone comes claiming it — should they pay for the police’s costs of moving it? Will they be charged with literring? If you find a piano in the woods, what should you do according to Halacha? Why did the news give away the serial number (a potential major identifying mark for anyone trying to redeem the piano)? Well, the last question is rather rhetorical — would you expect the news to bypass a potential opportunity to do a little harm?

A commentary in NL’s blog suggests the piano may have been left by this guy:
[A] man, also known as “Mr X”, was discovered wandering aimlessly along a beachfront road on April 7. He was smartly dressed in a dark suit and tie, but was soaked to the skin. The police officers who found him and took him to the Medway Maritime Hospital decided that he might even have been in the sea.

He has not spoken a word since. When he was given a piece of paper to communicate with, he drew an intricate picture of a grand piano and a Swedish flag. No Swedish connection has been found, but he was immediately taken to the hospital piano, where he played for four hours non-stop.

Why would you call an unidentified man “Mr X”? American “John Doe” is at least a little more imaginative.

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