Middle C

Believe it or not this is actually a true story!…

MIDDLE C

I had a piano when I was a child,
To say it wasn’t grand would be putting it mild.
It was given to me by a wily neighbour,
To save him the aggravation and labour,
Of having to haul it down to the tip.
So me and my brother lugged it the pot-holed trip,
Up to our house with much clatter and fuss…
We looked like monkeys shoving a bus!
After grunting and groaning we eventually pushed…
It into our house to start gathering dust.

My dad said with more than a hint of ferocity…
“We haven’t got room for that bloody monstrosity…
How the hell you got your mum to agree, to take that claptrap’s beyond me!
It’s far too big for this house by far…
Why couldn’t you have chosen the bloody guitar?
You better learn to play it you dizzy sod,
Or I’ll chop it for fire-wood – I swear to God”
Mum gave me a playful pinch on the cheek,
And said, “I’ve booked him in for lessons next week”.

And so it was on a whim of my mum’s,
I was marched across town for over a mile,
To a meet a stout lady with a mouth full of plums,
Leaded windows and a thick shag-pile.
A flat-shoed, cardigan wearing creature…
The archetypal Piano Teacher.
She said “I’m Leanna – you can call me Leanne”…
And that’s when the whacky saga began.

Mum left us both alone in the house
And I sat as timid and quiet as a mouse.
On a piano stool made up for 2.
She said “First I’ll explain the piano to you”…
“You see these?… These are the keys!”
These are the black ones – these ones are white.”
(I was privy to inside knowledge that night!)
Then she softly warbled… “See this key?…
This is known as the ‘Middle C”.
“Press it a few times – see what you think”…
I did so and it went ‘Plink-Plink-Plink’.

“Well that’s the end of the lesson!” she said
I thought “A fiver for that? – Dad’ll go off his head”
Then she stood and trilled all graces & airs…
“Follow me” and headed upstairs.
It turned out she was going to teach me more,
Than I or my parents had bargained for!
Now don’t get excited – it’s not what you think…
She frog-marched me up to the bathroom sink.
And that is when I picked up the clue,
That my piano teacher was missing a screw!

She proceeded to give me a guided tour,
As if I’d never set foot in ablutions before.
“These are the taps…. and this is the sink”…
She said to me with an erudite wink.
I said “I know”, my mouth agog….
“And that’s the bath… and that’s the bog!”
She looked perplexed and said… “No, you don’t understand”…
And reached down and took my innocent hand….

Then… there was a big puff of smoke and the room turned red…
She did the Birdy Song with her bra on her head.
She swung from the lampshade and dived in the bath…
Actually she didn’t…. I just said that to make you laugh.
What she really did was actually slightly more mental…
She held my hand to her breasts and said…
“Imagine your hand is a budgie’s head…
You have to be very, VERY gentle”.

Then she gave my fingers a clumsy twist,
And shaped my hand into a fist…
“Budgie!” – she chirped and her eyes went dewy…
As she tweeted… “I think we’ll call him Bluey”.
And as I stood with one of my hands;
Stuffed between her mammary glands…
I finally knew right then and there…
She was a bakery short of a chocolate éclair!
“Here’s how you give a Budgie a bath”…
She chirruped as I stifled a laugh…

“You turn on the cold tap… SLOWLY’ she said…
Then you gently rinse the Budgie’s head”,
And as she did this she washed my fist…
(AKA – Bluey’s head if you get the gist!)
Giving my sleeve and my arm one hell of a soak.
“Then when you’ve finished”… I heard her croak…
“Gently dry the Budgie’s head…
Put it back in its cage… and then check it’s not dead!!”

I swear on the bible that’s what she said!
I thought to myself, “Wow thanks Leanna…
But what’s this got to do with the bloody ‘Piana’?
Then she gave me a slobbery peck on the cheek;
And cheeped “Goodnight – I’ll see you next week”.
I flew from her house uncaged… I was free…
When I got home my parents were waiting for me…
Anticipating my first classical piece…
Moonlight Sonata or Für Elise…

But all they got that night from me…
Was ‘Plink-Plink-Plink-Plink’… Middle C.
My dad said “That’s all you’ve learnt tonight?”
I blinked at him and said ”That’s right”.
His disappointment was plain to see…
He yelled… “All he’s learnt’s one flamin’ key!”
“5 feckin’ quid!” I heard him lament…
“And he can play it less than before he went!”

Mum gave me another pinch on the cheek,
And said, “He’ll start picking it up when he goes next week”.
But I didn’t because with Bird-Brained Leanna…
I learnt more about Budgies than I did the ‘piana’.
Each time I went – 5 minutes were spent
Pressing just one sodding key…
Plink-Plink-Plink-Plink- Middle C.

She’d sometimes play other keys and sing out each note…
In a tuneless squawk from the back of her throat.
But mainly she just pressed Middle C…
And never sang – just plinked and smiled at me.
Stared at me and didn’t blink…
Just ‘plink-plink-plink-plink-plink-plink-plink’
Then it was back upstairs – to that bathroom of hers…
My wet hand clutched between her breasts…
She even sat me theory tests!

Then one fateful night as I returned,
I decided to show off the skills I had learned.
“Come upstairs dear parents”, I said…
“I’ll show you how to wash a Budgie’s head!”
My dad was not a happy chap,
As I soaked his shirt sleeve under the tap!
I was marched downstairs and forced to explain…
And I never had another lesson again.
It transpired Leanna, (so we later heard),
Had once sadly drowned her own pet bird.
And although the death was accidental…
It had turned her Chicken Oriental!

So stardust crumbled to ashes for me.
A maestro I would never be,
Mum’s ambitions were Bobby Crushed,
And the limits of dad’s patience were finally pushed.
For the piano disappeared as I remember…
Around-about the 5th of November.
Shoved on a bonfire with an old settee…
And as rockets flew and bangers went bang,
Behind leaded windows a fat lady sang
A melody in the key of G…
Or A, or B… or, possibly D…
She never sang in Middle C!
~
Copyright(c)MacMcFadden2007

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