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Piano on Sandbar: The Family That Plays Together Stays Together

A lot of hard work goes into a legendary prank.

Have you heard about the mysterious piano that somehow found its way onto a Miami sandbar? The visual oddity has been unofficially dubbed the “Piano Bar,” giving new meaning to the phrase “Play it again, Sand.” (Oh my.) Horrendous puns notwithstanding, it’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen.

Many theories abounded, as any and everyone seemed eager to put in their two cents. Even the Miami New Times got into the spirit when it offered ten possible explanations, my personal favorite being “A Calvin Klein perfume commercial ran out of money mid-shoot.”

While I think it’s fair to say that most people assumed it was a prank pulled off by a few likeminded and fun-loving hooligans, it’s also fair to say that few people expected the partners in crime to be so closely related. For the the “Piano Bar,” my friends, was a family affair.

Let me make a couple of things abundantly clear. I love a good prank. And, what’s more, I think a little tomfoolery is good for the soul. I hope to pass this notion on to my children. And I hope that we can even team up to pull off light-hearted pranks with one another, and, certainly, against one another.

But I would never think to go to the same lengths that the father-son tandem responsible for the “Piano Bar” went. The prank was the brainchild of 16-year-old Nicholas Harrington. The piano was originally a prop for a movie, but at a New Year’s Eve party at the Harrington’s house, it suddenly turned into something else when 100 partygoers decided to set it on fire in a canal next to the residence.

The next day, Nicholas and father J. Mark Harrington, who the production designer for the show USA cable show “Burn Notice,” enlisted the help of several friends and loaded the charred instrument onto their 22-foot fishing boat and delivered it to the sand bar.

Where they…set it on fire again, of course. Hmm. I suppose the family that plays together really does stay together, right? Would you team up with your child to pull off such a stunt? Because if I were clever enough to come up with something that elaborate, I think I just might.

But one thing I don’t think I’d do is burn a $4,000 musical instrument. Twice.

Check out the video of Ann Curry’s interview with the 16-year-old prankster. My favorite part is his answer to the question “Why would you do this to an old piano?”

“We did it just for, uh, just ‘cuz it was cool.” If you listen carefully enough, you can almost hear Beavis laughing in the background.

Sources: New York Times the Today Show via NBC

Image: Still pulled from Today Show interview.

John Cave Osborne’s personal blog.
John Cave Osborne’s book website.

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