An Impolitic Story About a Piano Player

I have been recording some off-color and impolitic posts here over the years, even recently. It has always bothered me that there are folks who read my stuff who might be offended. There are also a bunch of folks like me who find these things funny with no intent to insult or offend anyone.

So this afternoon, it struck me there could be a way to warn the more sensitive (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with being sensitive) such an impolitic or offensive post would follow.

You see, when i was growing up, i was in awe, worshipped girls. i thought they were pure, beautiful, chaste, without guile, innocent, sweet, and incapable of doing or thinking what all of those crazy boys, like me, could do and could think. i would have never, ever told them an off-color joke, never cussed in front of them, never made a crude or vulgar statement to them. They were on a pedestal.

Well, i have since discovered that is not always the way it is. My wife loves to hear ribald jokes. i’ve found out there are others as well. But i don’t know women enough to tell which is which…or is it whom is whom?

But for my purposes here, if you are a woman (or man for that matter) who believes she (or he) fits my description of my youngster perception of women, i will precede the off-color, impolitic, or sexist jokes with the warning “Not for the young ladies of my youth.”


i am pretty sure JD Waits told me this joke. Thinking it was a great joke, i told it to Maureen, who lost it completely, laughing her famed laugh so hard, i thought the entire neighborhood might be laughing at her laughing.

This guy comes into a bar, carrying a very large briefcase. He sits at the bar and orders a martini. As the bartender is working on the martini, the guy opens the briefcase pulls out a very small piano and bench. Then he pulls out a foot tall man, and the little guy sits at the piano and begins to play incredible music as the bartender serves the guy his martini.

“Wow, that’s incredible,” the bartender marvels, “How did you get this guy?”

“Well,” the guy explains, “I was walking along a beach and i found this funny looking bottle,” pulling the bottle out of the briefcase and setting it on the bar, before continuing, “i picked it up and rubbed it and this voice told me i would be granted one wish.

“This is what I got,” pointing to the the tiny piano player.”

“Incredible!” the bartender exclaimed and then asked, “Could i try that with the bottle?”

“Sure,” the guy agreed, handing the bartender the bottle.

The bartender took the bottle, went over into a corner, rubbed the bottled and responded to the voice.

Nothing happened. The bartender was perplexed but cleaned the bar while the guy was drinking his martini and the little guy was playing another beautiful piano etude. The bartender went outside to take out some trash and came back in muttering to the guy, “This is incredible, i wished for a million bucks. Then i go outside and the sky is filled with ducks, an incredible number of ducks. There must have been a million ducks.”

And the guy at the bar says, “You think i wished for a 12-inch pianist?”

Now that’s the joke. Maureen loved it and wanted to share. A few days later, we met our friends Jim and Sharon Hileman for dinner. After we finished the main course and ordered dessert, Maureen asked me if she could tell the joke to Sharon and Jim and i said of course.

Although excited, Maureen set up the punch line perfectly, pretty much telling the story as described above.

Then she got to the punchline and said:

“Do you think I wished for a foot tall piano player.”

Sharon and Jim looked puzzled, very puzzled, and i tried to explain, but i was laughing so hard i had fallen on the floor.

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