Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Beware the Sleeper Sofa

Sometimes life reminds me that I'm an adult and I need to start acting like one.

Two casualties from my September moving hell were my sofa and my bed. I gave them away on Craig's List because I didn't need them anymore. Of course, the Great Roommate Experiment lasted only a couple of months and suddenly I was back on my own again, with my only remaining furniture a computer chair and air mattress.

This lasted for a few months, because my top priority was my thesis and so I was fine lounging around in a chair and mattress. Then I went to my graduation residency, began to appreciate the creature comfort of a real bed (albeit without working plumbing). Sure enough, when I got back home I needed a real bed. Some people asked how my back survived for so long without a real bed, but to be honest it was my neck that ached and creaked, not my back.

So last week I went to The Furniture Store [not its real name] to purchase a sleeper sofa. (This way, I can be frugal and combine the need for a sofa and bed. The sleeper part was surprisingly comfortable. I can always address the need for a real bed at a later date.) I was careful and, unusual for me, adult-like. I measured my front doorway and stairwell so that I could make sure whatever sleeper I purchased would fit through the door. I purchased one (six months, zero interest).

Delivery was scheduled for Wednesday morning, between 7 and 10. At 7:30 sharp the truck arrived.

And then the crisis began.

Two guys were assigned to bring my sleeper sofa up the two Victorian flight of stairs to my third-floor apartment. It's not a heavy piece of furniture; again, I tried to be adult-ish and pick something that would be, by sleeper standards, light.

I heard them bring the sofa up the first flight and then the second flight.

Then I heard nothing.

Then I heard this:

"Fucking A, Skippy [not his real name], pick the fucking sofa up."

The sofa is sitting on the stairs. Skippy is manning the back of the sofa and Zeke [the other guy, also not his real name] is screaming at him because he can't seem to lift up the sofa anymore. Zeke's profanity-laced tirade continues. More f-bombs. More swearing. "I'm sick of this shit, Skippy" Zeke shouts. "I'm asking for a new partner from now on. You're hopeless."

Skippy barks back. I get my first look at him. Skippy looks like he's about to puke. He's not a big guy. It dawns on me that Skippy either needs to hit the weight room more or not be a furniture deliverer.

It also dawns on me that I am trapped in my apartment. Someday I will need to use the stairs to leave the house and run an errand and the sofa is blocking access to them.

Through the back and forth of profanity, I learn that Skippy is a friend of Zeke's and just got laid off and Zeke's trying to help out Skippy by hooking him up with a job.

I'm uncomfortable. I understand Zeke's pissed at Skippy. I'm pissed at Skippy too. Skippy clearly needs to not be a mover, because as Zeke says he clearly doesn't have what it takes. Seriously. I'm far from a bodybuilder but I can lift one end of this sofa by myself.

But I don't want the verbal abuse to continue. I also don't want a fistfight to break out between two friends-turned-adversaries/coworkers. It's unprofessional. Also, I live above two other apartments and its still early and I have to think this is waking up my downstairs neighbors.

After more shouting, f-bombing and finally a violent thrust, the sofa makes it halfway through my door. I've never given birth but this sort of seems what it might look like. It's stuck. More violent thrusting, pulling out, pushing in, and suddenly, two WHACKS.

The sofa bed is in, but not without two large plaster holes, one in the stairwell just outside my house, the other along my door.

I'm pissed. The first order of business is to drop a note with my landlord and explain what happened and express my frustration and apologize. He was at work Wednesday morning. He's been home since then but as of yet he hasn't contacted me, so I'm not sure if he'll be laid back about this or pissed. Zeke and Skippy offer to replaster the damaged area next week and give me their phone number. They continue to curse each other out as they leave. I want to call The Furniture Store and complain. That's tomorrow's order of business.

Like I said, sometimes life reminds me that I'm an adult and I need to start acting like one. And sometimes life reminds me that I'm much more mature than other adults.

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