Monday, November 5, 2007

Only the Big Stuff

On Saturday, I helped my brother and his wife move from his tiny one-bedroom apartment to their new 2-bedroom condominium. The apartment is on the first floor, and the condominium is a ground-floor unit. Had either one been up a flight of stairs, I would have found a way to be in Bolivia on Saturday. I’m getting too old for this crap.

We picked up the truck in the morning, and my brother reassured me that we would only have to move “the big stuff.” He and his wife would move all the small stuff. “The big stuff,” according to him, was two sofas, a mattress and a box spring. He was lying, of course.

We got the two sofas on the truck easily, but for some reason, he didn’t want to take anything else on the first trip. The two dwellings are only about a mile and a half apart, but I couldn’t convince him that it was easier to load the truck completely than it would be to make multiple trips. I did convince him to throw a few light but bulky pieces of furniture into the truck, and then we drove over to the new condo.

The first unload went well, then he told me that we would be making two stops on the way back to the apartment. The first stop was Wal-Mart, where he ran in to exchange something he had purchased the previous day. Before going in, he asked me if I would walk across the parking lot to McDonald’s and pick up a sandwich for his wife.

On the way back across the gently sloping Wal-Mart parking lot from McDonald’s, I saw a marble and stone delivery truck pulling out of a parking space, so I walked out of my way to give the driver lots of room to maneuver. The truck picked up speed backing up, heading for the median that separated the McDonald’s parking lot from the Wal-Mart parking lot. I expected the driver to hit the brakes, but instead, the truck smashed into the bushes, and a wheel ran up on the curb. I wondered what idiot was driving, and looked into the cab. There was nobody in the truck.

Suddenly, a guy ran out of McDonalds, vaulted over the median, and ran up to me apologizing. “I’m so sorry, sir! I’m so sorry! The parking brake didn’t work! I’m so sorry!” I tried to calm him down, assuring him that nobody was hurt, just a few squashed bushes. But he was freaking out, because there were little kids in that parking lot. Somebody could have been killed. You could see it in his eyes.

The second stop we had to make was at a furniture store, where my brother and his wife had purchased a Five Piece Bedroom/Dinette Set. We pulled up to the loading area, and the workers there brought out ten boxes containing the Five Piece Bedroom/Dinette Set. Each box contained parts of the furniture that were apparently made from depleted uranium, judging from the weight. Moving those boxes, I managed to pull a muscle in my chest that burned like I had been branded.

We decided to unpack the six-drawer bedroom bureau (the largest box) in the truck, so that we could remove the drawers first. But the bureau had been made in some country that has not signed the Standard Drawer Hardware Treaty of 1972, so removing the drawers took half an hour puzzling over the mechanism. When we finally removed them, we moved it all in, only to discover that the tolerances were so tight, some of the drawers would only fit in the slot from which they had been removed. All the drawers are identical. There are 720 possible combinations. I left my brother to solve that puzzle on his own.

No comments: