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Harpsichord Parts

My harpsichord repair business is in the tank. I share a building with a blacksmith, and we split the expenses fifty-fifty. We're already halfway through the month, and we don't have enough to cover the rent.

What's the matter with that guy? Doesn't he know horses are obsolete? This is really hurting my spinet and lute referrals. He (Buck ... the blacksmith) might be right about one thing, though: we need to advertise. We tried one of those free Shingle Exchange programs a while back, where store-owners get together and swap animated signs. But all my signs wound up with Cash 'n Chip's funeral home, while I was advertising three different stores: Molly's Ferrets, The Boil And Pustule Support Group, and Hot 'n Heavy (I don't know what they sell; all their signs just said Free Stuff).

Meantime, I'm getting beaten to death by the harpsichord manufacturers' lobby group. They came out with a disposable harpsichord last month that's good for twelve sonatas. When you're done, you just pull out the plenum, and chuck the rest. Then when you buy another one, they give you a 30% rebate for the plenum. That's killing me worse than the horses.

And get this ... they're using Delrin/Celcon amalgam quilling! Spare me. Quality is a forgotten word.

Sometimes I'd just like to pack it in. But I've got a warehouse full of ivory naturals and rosewood jacks. Maybe I should just dump them on the Sri Lanka black market, where they're cranking out Sorli and Herz knock-offs by the hundreds, and selling them out of the backs of VW vans. Man, how am I so unlucky to be stuck in North America, when everybody and his dog owns a harpsichord in Sri Lanka?

If things don't pick up soon, I'm going to sell off my Pianosoft stock and get into typewriter repairs. A friend of mine has an absolute goldmine of platens and carriage return bells. I'm pretty sure he would cut me a deal.

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  Posted October 21, 1999

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