As if this past weekend weren't hectic enough, a lovely family (two nice, professional people with three very young boys) has rented the apartment above mine. All weekend, they were moving their stuff into the new place. On Friday, after working a graveyard shift, I was hanging out in front of the house with my old college roommate when the paterfamilias of the family pulled up with a minivan full of stuff. Of course, I asked him if he wanted help (I actually enjoy this sort of thing- the sheer physicality of the work appeals to me from time to time).
Besides some boxes of household goods, he had a bureau which he planned to move with a dolly. The front porch has two sets of stairs which form a right angle. My roommate and I helped him get the dolly up the first set of stairs, and we realized that we couldn't turn the dolly, so the proper thing to do was to bring the bureau up by hand. Dropping one end of the dolly got it through the front door, then we took it in in the upright position. We brought it into the hallway, then closed the front door to purchase a couple of inches of wiggle room. A simple "pivot" maneuver got the bureau in through the apartment door. Who says that playing hours of Tetris is a waste of time?
The whole episode gave me flashbacks to college- hanging out with an old friend on a warm day, moving furniture. I remembered an incident which took place at the start of my senior year. Junior year, eight of us were living in a gigantic suite which had formerly housed the campus police (the vault in which the university stored the silverware used at formal events formed a second living room). We didn't have the option of keeping the suite, so we split up the octumvirate and decided to sell off enough of the furniture to be able to buy a case or two of Labatt's Blue.
One of the chairs we were selling was an ugly armchair which was attached to a heavy, round plywood base by a swivel joint. The joint was broken, so the chair had a tendency to flop backwards. We "nullified" this problem by placing the chair against a wall. We knew that we would probably be unable to sell the chair if it were flopped on the ground, but that we could explain the situation to prospective buyers and unload the thing for five bucks. That being said, I sat down in the chair, and leaned forward so the chair looked sound. Sitting on the edge of my seat, I called out to a couple of freshmen girls who were walking across the quad, "Ladies, would you be interested in purchasing a chair?"
One of the young ladies smiled and said, "Only if you come with it." She then started tousling my hair (yeah, this happened a while ago, when I had a big blond 'fro), and abruptly plopped down on the arm of the chair. Needless to say, the chair flopped over and the girl and I went ass over teakettle. My roommate was doubled over in paroxysms of laughter, and the poor, hapless girl was beet red with embarassment. What an inauspicious way to start off one's college career!