If you ever doubted that ours is a nutty world, here's the story to convert you. It stars Eileen Guenther, the minister of music at Foundry United Methodist Church.
This gorgeous old house of worship on 16th Street NW, near P, is about as well-endowed musically as a church can be. According to Eileen, four grand pianos and half a dozen less grand others are on the premises, not to mention a new organ.
Someone has to tune all these instruments, of course, and Eileen thought she had that someone -- a man who has had the contract since the Year One. So the church staff was a little surprised when a stranger knocked on the front door and announced, "I'm here to tune the pianos."
A couple of staffers sent for Eileen, thinking that she might have changed tuners without their knowledge. She came to the front door and started questioning the man. Suddenly, as Eileen put it, "he put his tail between his legs and ran."
Your basic weirdo? Probably your basic thief, Eileen thinks.
"If I'd let him in, the action (inner workings) of one of the pianos probably would have walked right out the door," Eileen thinks. Or maybe money would have. The man might have been an armed robber with a clever story.
Eileen describes him as 5-feet-10, medium build, in his 40s, with dark hair "on the longish side."
And this detail makes the man unmistakable: He carried a black doctor's satchel, ostensibly full of tuning tools. Other churches, be alert.