Khufu’s Piano

We left our heroes (Jim & Kate) scratching their heads and wondering how to transport the piano (approximately the same weight as an Abrams tank) into the musically-lacking domicile.  Jim had discovered that within the innards of the beast was a rather hefty piece of cast iron, to which the strings had been fastened, hence the great weight.  It would be nice to be able to have Scotty beam it up, but no such luck.  The creature lurked  in the garage, lashed to the faithful utility trailer, awaiting a solution.  So, time to refer to the wisdom of the ancients.

Many scholars theorize that the huge blocks of stone (approximately 2.5 million of them) used in the Great Pyramid of Khufu were moved into place by making use of a ramp (and *lots* of pullers and pushers).  As the structure increased in height, the ramp was extended.  Hmmm, I like the sound of that – now, where can I get 30,000 willing volunteers?  Well, failing that, could I construct my own ramp?  And would Kate the Gullible be willing to help push it up the ramp? I would hope that it would not be like the story of Sisyphus, who was condemned to push a large stone up a mountain only to have it roll back down again, then having to do it over and over again.

It was going to take two ramps, actually.  I needed one to get Pianous Maximus from the trailer up to the deck, then another to make it into the house.  So, I backed the  utility trailer into position and left it attached to the car so it wouldn’t roll away in the middle of the operation.  I got a sheet of heavy plywood and a couple of 2 x 8’s, 8 feet long and fastened the whole thing together with decking screws.  Voila! Ramp #1!  Kate had found a good deal on a ‘come-along’ for me and I managed to rig it up for the Big Pull, but no luck – it was not to be.  The tool kept binding up and I had to abandon that idea.  Dang!  Where are those Egyptians when you need them?  So, with much grunting and groaning (all the noises were made by ME), we got the devilish contraption scooted up the 8-foot ramp and onto the deck.  After that things went pretty smoothly – I built a smaller ramp and fastened it in place in the doorway and we wrestled it into the house without destroying the floor or tearing the door from its hinges.  Whew!  We were both whipped after getting that done!

I’m glad my ramp designs worked out – I was reminded of a story that was told in engineering circles about a great ruler in ages past named Abibarshim, who had to deal with a team of designers who just couldn’t get things done.  If you want to read a really good story (humorously done, and with a good message for people who design things), go to

Mission accomplished, no major injuries, and we have a piano tuner scheduled to come visit us in a couple of weeks.  Then, come on over, we’ll have a sing!

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