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music box

L+H IN The Music Box


Mrs. von Schwarzenhoffen has bought a player piano as a surprise birthday present for her husband Professor Theodore von Schwarzenhoffen. Stan and Ollie have started a "transfer co." and must deliver it. As they near the address in their horse and cart they ask a postman for directions. He tells them that it is at the top of the 'stoop', up a preposterously tall flight of stairs.

Stan and Ollie start to carry the piano up the stairs and split their trowsers. Half way up a nursemaid asks to pass by. They let go of the piano and it careens to the bottom of the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs the nursemaid begins to laugh at the duo and says "of all the dumb things". Stan kicks her backside so she punches him. Ollie laughs so she breaks a bottle on his head. The woman goes off to complain to a police officer. The police officer arrives as they are half way up the stairs with the piano once again. He wants to speak to Ollie and the piano ends up at the bottom of the stairs once again. The police officer kicks Ollie up the backside and hits Stan on the head with his truncheon to teach them a lesson.
Half way up the stairs they meet Professor von Schwarzenhoffen who asks to pass. When told to go around he becomes outraged: "What, walk AROUND?! ME, Professor Theodore Von Schwarzenhoffen, M.D., A.D., D.D.S., F.L.D., F-F-F- AND F, SHOULD WALK AROUND?!!" He tries to shove the piano out of his path by force, and Stan retaliates by knocking off his hat, which bounds all the way down the stairs into the street, and a truck rolls right over it. Then Professor von Schwarzenhoffen angrily vows to have them thrown off. They arrive at the delivery address with the piano, only to let it go once again. Ollie hangs on and is dragged to the bottom of the stairs. They carry the piano back up the stairs. The postman tells them that they could have driven the piano around to the house and needn't have carried it up the stairs at all. Realizing this, the two protagonists take the piano back downstairs one last time, so that they can take the route the postman suggested.

They ring the doorbell but nobody is home. They decide to lift the piano into the house through an upstairs window. They unpack the piano and the professor arrives home. He says he hates pianos and takes an axe to it. The piano starts to play the Star Spangled Banner and they all stand to attention. The professor turns the piano off and takes the axe to it once more. The professor's wife arrives home and he tells her that "these idiots delivered this piano by mistake". She tells him it's his birthday present, so he decides he likes pianos and in fact he's "nuts" about them. He asks Stan and Ollie what he can do for them. They ask him to sign the delivery note and hand him the note and a fountain pen. The pen squirts ink into his face. He chases Stan and Ollie out of the house.

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