Back in late 2007, I wrote about a column about all the fussy signs at Gillian Clark‘s former restaurant, Colorado Kitchen, and how they sometimes caused diners to rebel, kid-like, against the rules. Well, yesterday when I stopped by Clark’s new joint, the General Store in Silver Spring, the chef and her partner, Robin Smith, told me a story about their antique Nickelodeon player.

On Saturday, the General Store’s first day of business, customers took to the expensive player piano as if it were their own. Some didn’t even know how to play the instrument, plucking the keys at a level somewhere below “Chopsticks.” The general disregard for the equipment forced the partners to put a sign on the piano that asked, quite politely, “Please Do Not Press the Nickelodeon Keys.”

The sign didn’t help much. After hearing the Nickelodeon play “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” Clark said she heard the exact song again—-but this time without the drums, accordion and other instruments buried within the Nickelodeon. That’s when she realized a customer had completely ignored the sign in order to regale everyone with her keyboard wizardry.

Was she any good?, I wondered to Clark. Yeah, said Clark. But the chef still wasn’t impressed.

I have to admit, I’m with Clark on this one. I’d be annoyed about yahoos playing antiques that aren’t their own, too.