Whether it’s purchasing old VHS collections or arranging to robo-trip with a complete stranger, Craigslist is the place to go to get what you need. One of the best sections on the yellow page-like site is the “Free” category. In the past week CU’s Craigslist has offered a free reclining chair, knitting needles, “six brand new floppy discs,” and a copy of Agent Cody Banks 2.
I mean that stuff is all great too, but my roommate Matt was able to track down a free piano. The idea of having an old upright piano in our apartment conjured images of swank parties, black dresses and an abundance of cigarettes. Live renditions of jazz standards and ragtime sing-alongs blinded us from two big problems: 1) We don’t really know how to play piano and 2) We’d have to move the thing from its current location across the city and up three flights of stairs.
To break away from the narrative momentarily, this week’s column is meant to be instructional, to educate the reader on how to bring music into their homes. But, as many sources warned, only attempt to move a piano if you absolutely cannot afford professional movers.
So we begin to plan for the move. A U-Haul of course is necessary, bringing the fee up from $0 to $18.99 + $0.83 per mile. Negligible — would make money back after a couple successful piano parties.
Next, the issue of carrying a piano. Uprights weigh 400 to 800 lbs. This one was an estimated 800. If any of you have seen me, you’d know I’m not able to carry my groceries without a weight belt and a spotter.
Well that’s OK, one can shimmy a piano on a dolly fairly easily. Getting up and down a stair or two (say up or down a front stoop) is also a fairly manageable situation
But then there’s the whole “30 steps from the floor to our apartment” situation. We thought we’d find the strength with a mother-lifts-car-to-save-trapped-infant maneuver, but then we moved a couch up the same path the day before Operation Piano.
We almost exploded. We could barely turn it around corners, we dropped it a couple times up the steps, I smashed my fingers, we broke down in tears. Our dreams unraveled as we realized that “free piano” did not mean a “free piano.” It’d cost us either the price of professional moving or our lives.
But hey, having fine mixed cocktails and gathering around a Casio keyboard is still better than nothing, right? At least we won’t have to rent a U-Haul to pick it up.

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