"I don't appreciate this joke." Secretary confused, disturbed when man tries to sell organ to school.

Mary Duncan

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*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family member who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

Have you ever heard the term, when you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras? It basically means to not assume the worst or most off the wall scenario when something comes up in life. Most of the time it’s best to default to the most simple explanation of things rather than let your imagination run wild - because this can sometimes get you into trouble.

Years and years ago, before I was born, my uncle inherited an old church organ from his grandfather who was a pastor. For most of my life I didn’t even know of this organ’s existence because it sat in a storage facility as my uncle’s house was never big enough to accommodate it.


Eventually, my uncle Sam and his wife moved into a house that happened to have high ceilings in the living room. The first thing he did upon buying that house was move the organ out of storage and into his home, but it was much to his wife’s chagrin.

The sound of an organ is an acquired taste, one that Cheryl, Sam’s wife, did not appreciate. Nor did she like the huge monstrosity of pipes dominating her living room. On top of that, Sam hardly ever played the thing, so she did her best and eventually convinced him to sell the organ as it was worth quite a bit of money.

For some reason, my uncle thought that a high school was the best place to try to peddle is organ onto, and he began calling around to see if any of them were interested.

Well, over Thanksgiving dinner, Uncle Sam told the most hilarious story I’ve heard in a while about trying to sell this organ to one particular woman.

He called up the school and said to the secretary who answered:

“Hi there, I’m trying to sell an organ, and I’m wondering if your school would be interested.”

After a long silence, the woman asked, sounding horrified:

“What would we want with an organ?”

“I thought it was something students in your school would benefit from studying. I’m sure not many schools have good organs on hand.”

“I don’t appreciate this joke,” the woman nearly yelled at my uncle.

“What joke, ma’am? I’m just trying to sell an organ and thought your music department would be interested.”

There was another long silence and then the woman asked:

“A… musical organ?”

“Yes, of course a musical organ, did you think I was trying to sell you a human organ?”

Another silence, and finally the woman revealed she did in fact have a sense of humor when she realized what my uncle was actually trying to sell to the school.

“An organ!” She laughed, and my uncle laughed, and finally she transferred him to the music department to see if its head was interested.

I thought it was a hilarious story. How would you have reacted to that confused secretary?

Hi, I hope you enjoyed this story! I am a freelance writing single mom trying to create a better life for me and my daughter through words. If you enjoyed this, please consider leaving a small donation: https://ko-fi.com/maryduncan

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I write about relationships and parenting, life, society, people, and sometimes also beer.

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