Excerpts From The Diary Of Sir Percival
My manservant Hudson woke me today with a platter of eggs and toast corners. He affected a Scottish brogue and proclaimed that he was captain of a loch vessel. Every day he is full of such nonsense! I never know what he will claim to be on any given day. But I know that one thing shall always remain constant. Hudson is loyal to fault, even when he is nowhere to be found.
It has arrived! Hudson, who today claims to be a French ballooning magnate, informed me that the new piano arrived! Ah! I look forward to playing it night after night alone in the very front of my manor! What a delight this shall be!
Someone has bough Lord Bunkley’s property. I saw them from a distance today. It seemed like a lovely family. I shall have Hudson invite them over for a proper tea. Perhaps I will play piano for them!
The new lord of the Bunkley manor visited today. He is a gentleman named David Bowie, and is apparently a musician of some sort. I told him I had a distant less than affluent relative by the name of in the Americas who apparently sang. He thanked me for the invitation, which Hudson delivered in the guise of a prawn merchant from Brussels. Following a cup of tea and a discussion of our business interests, I showed Mr. Bowie my piano and played for him. He thanked me and asked if he could come back and “borrow” the piano sometime. I asked him if he could not afford his own piano, and he just silently gazed at his feet dejectedly. I felt bad for the gentleman and advised him he was welcome to play it. He seemed to feel better.
Mr. Bowie showed up at my door unannounced and demanded to play my piano. I informed him that I was planning on using it, and he reminded me that I told him he could play. As a gentleman, I was obliged to let him play. Which he did for six hours. It was appalling. Hudson pretended to be a big game hunter named Mountechuck the entire time.
Bowie returned! He once again requested to play my piano. I advised him I had looked him up, and saw no reason why he could not purchase his own piano, as he appears to have had enormous sales with some song about the cartoon character Ziggy, and was himself a Duke of some sort. Mr. Bowie just shook is head and gazed into space, saying “I can’t afford a piano. I…I just can’t.” I felt sorry for the lad and informed him that he could use the piano from time to time, but only if I am not present. I informed him that if I am around and he tries to use the piano, I will never let him play it again. He thanked me profusely, on the verge of tears, telling me I would never regret my decision.
I have returned for a 4 day business trip to France. Hudson (who now calls himself Ursula Wishbone) informed me that Mr. Bowie came around every night during my absence, sheepishly asking if I was around and playing piano until the early dawn hours. He is an oddity, this Bowie. I would buy him a piano myself, but that feels inappropriate. He has, thus far, stuck to our agreement, and he does no harm in my absence. I can think of no reason to end the arrangement.
I received correspondence from my third cousin twice removed from America. His name, unlikely though it may be, is Bing. He is apparently a singer of some sort. For reasons that elude me, he has requested to spend the holidays at my home. I told him I would be in Zurich during that time, yet he insisted that I allow him to come nonetheless. I asked if he planned to bring his family, and he told me that he preferred to spend the holidays along, and he informed me that he preferred to spend the holidays alone wandering around a giant empty house. I do not know why musicians are drawn to my home, but they are. Hudson will have to keep an eye on the situation. Cousin Bing said he would arrive shortly.
Bing’s cab arrived at the house shortly after 6. I walked out to greet him, and saw Mr. Bowie lurking behind a bush. He caught sight of me and he immediately ran away like a frightened ocelot. I am heading off to Switzerland tomorrow, so I spent a brief dinner with Bing and wished him a Merry Christmas and so on. I warned him about Mr. Bowie.
Hudson has informed me that Mr. Bowie has visited nightly since my departure. He and cousin Bing have been awkwardly singing Christmas carols at night. Hudson informed met that it is oddly charming.
I have spoken to Hudson, who is now pretending to be a geisha named Doris. He informed me that Cousin Bing and Mr. Bowie have started to quarrel. It seems Mr. Bowie insists on coming by and singing the Little Drummer Boy every night. Cousin Bing has stated that he would like to be left alone for a bit. Mr. Bowie loudly reminded Cousin Bing that he is allowed to use the piano anytime that I am not around, and that Cousin Bing has no say in the matter. Bing relented, but would only half-heartedly pa-rump-pa-pa-pum before the awkward night ended.
News is grim. Hudson informs me that Cousin Bing has become enraged to the point of swinging a golf club at Mr. Bowie, who loudly and repeatedly screams “Peace on Earth! Can it be!” after each swing. Following two full hours of this, Bing began to swing wildly at my precious piano! According to Hudson, who was hiding behind a settee, with each blow, Bowie became more and more despondent. Finally, after Bing grew tired of swinging the club, the piano lay in ruins! Mr. Bowie reportedly sat amongst the debris wailing, “Where shall I ever find a piano I can use again!” and “Do you know what pianos cost? I cannot afford one, can you Bing? Can you?” Apparently Bowie sat crying all night. In the morning, Bing left the house in a huff, saying nary a word to either Hudson or Bowie, who remained prostrate on the ruined piano until the following evening.
I return home tomorrow.
I have written correspondence to Cousin Bing and Mr. Bowie. Neither of them is allowed on my property again. The piano is beyond repair, and I had Hudson haul the ruins away. He did so while pretending to be an imp. I shall not replace the piano with another piano. Perhaps I will fill the space with statues or a series of uncomfortable seating. In any event, there shall never be another musician in my home.
Mr. Bowie has sold the Bunkley Estate. I saw him gazing longingly towards my home as he was driven away. I still do not know why the man can't simply buy a piano to call his own.
Hudson has started singing pa-rump-pa-pa-pum at me as I sleep. I fear this nightmare shall never end.