News stories are diverse and often strange – the mysterious appearance of a grand piano on a sand bar in Miami’s Biscayne Bay has received global media attention. Reported from Montreal to Pretoria and the Netherlands to Malaysia, the coverage is perhaps a sign that anything that might relieve the gloom of world events is welcome.
A mere 200 yards from the wealthy condos of Miami Shores, the 650 lb piano resides on the highest part of the small sand bar and thus remains emergent even at high tide. Close inspection revealed that it is, however, in sad shape, missing significant bits and distinctly charred; birds nevertheless find it attractive. The Miami Herald inevitably ran a caption competition for a photo of the piano with an impressively large bird perched on it – a quick review of the couple of hundred online comments reveals references to new Florida keys, “play it again sand,” references to Handel’s Water Music, and the key of sea – but the stolen title of this post has emerged, quite justifiably, as the favourite. The mystery stimulated the punning instincts of a number of writers; for example, CNN reports that “The finding has struck a chord with residents and tourists, inspiring some to board their boats and check it out. But if they're planning to perform a concerto, their hopes will likely fall flat.” But amongst the many articles, I have yet to find a comment on the one missing from the name of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman, Jorge Pino….
The mystery only endured for a short time: The Miami Herald today carries the headline “Piano mystery solved: Movie prop burned, put in Biscayne Bay after party,” and begins “Like many grand ideas, this one started out when many were drunk.” It seems that the whole thing originated with teenagers, alcohol, and pyromaniacal tendencies. Enough said, but it’s pleasing that shifting sands can provide a stage for such dramas.