Player Piano


My wife and I were blessed all right.  We had everything.  Really, we did.  Good jobs and a great home, a loving family, plus all the creature comforts and material possessions a person could want.  My wife, she still looked as pretty as the day I met her, and even at my age I was healthy with a full head of hair.  On top of all her other fine qualities, my wife was a virtuoso musician.  One day, she regretfully reported that our vintage piano needed tuning.  In fact, she claimed it had always been the slightest bit out of tune and now she was finally tired of just living with it.
      The helpful guy I am, I immediately called the repair man, who sensed my urgency and came right over.  I complimented him on his speed, to which he replied quite honestly, "I'm having trouble getting started in this business, so I was hoping you'd give me some referrals if you're happy with my service."  I nodded and said I would, then showed him to the piano.  He opened it up and looked inside, poking around with his fingers and his tools.  Finally he sat down on the bench and wiped his brow, then handed me a rolled-up piece of yellowed old paper.
      "What's this?" I asked.
      "I've seen this before," he said.  "Someone who owned this piano before you stuck a powerful, secret prayer in there."
      "A prayer?  That's why the piano was out of tune?"
      The repair man nodded.  "It was hidden inside.  That's why you've been so happy your whole life.  You've been blessed with all sorts of good things because of that one prayer."
      "We really have been.  We always say that."  I shook my head and laughed.  "That's just wonderful.
      "Not really," replied the repair man.  "It's all over now.  Prayers only work if they're secret.  Now that you know, you're finally on your own.  No more easy help from above."
      The repair man handed me a very reasonable bill then showed himself out, and although he had indeed fixed our piano I knew I'd never give him a referral.  As for us, we've lived in terror ever since that day.  My wife doesn't play anymore, but she does agree that the piano is now perfectly in tune with the way things really are.  
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