The best thing about being a baby boomer, aside from believing that 60 is the new 40, which explains why I can’t balance my checkbook, is that you can still do everything you have always done. But if there is something you don’t want to do anymore, you can pull the age card.
Lugging furniture falls into this category. If you are the lugger, you will fall, too, wrenching your back in the process.
That is why the Zezima Moving, Storage and Hernia Co. is going out of business. I will say for legal purposes that the corporation is liquidating. The liquid, I hasten to add, is beer, which is what I have needed after each of the many moves I have made for family and friends over a painful period dating back to the Carter administration.
The last one occurred recently when I was assigned to remove a couch from my mother-in-law’s house in Stamford, load it into a rented truck and drive it to Long Island, where it had to be unloaded and replaced by another couch that then had to be driven to the landfill, where I also would have ended up if I could afford the dumping fee.
There were three main problems:
(a) My mother-in-law’s couch weighed approximately as much as the truck.
(b) The house was evidently built around it.
(c) It was raining so hard that I should have rented an ark.
This required brains and brawn. Since I am sorely lacking in both, and have the soreness to prove it, I enlisted the help of my nephew Blair, who has a prodigious quantity of each, plus something I haven’t had in the 40 years since I was his age:
As the rain rained down, I had a brainstorm: I covered the couch with a drop cloth to protect it from the downpour. Unfortunately, the cloth was not waterproof. It was like putting a napkin on your head before walking under Niagara Falls.
To compound matters, the couch was leather. I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t leather kinky? Answer: Yes, which is why I got a massive kink in my back.
Leather is also slippery, which makes it hard to grasp, so I had to bend down and lift one end. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning coursed down my spine and stopped directly above my end.
Then Blair and I had to tilt the couch this way and that to get it through the narrow doorway and were instantly drenched by the monsoon outside.
With the aid of my wife, Sue, and our younger daughter, Lauren, we got the couch down a walkway, over a wall and into the truck. I drove back in the pathetic vehicle, whose original owners must have been the Flintstones, and headed to Lauren’s house.
There, my son-in-law Guillaume and I risked further back trouble (he already had sciatica) by carrying the couch up a flight of stairs. We looked like Laurel and Hardy doing the same thing with a piano in “The Music Box,” for which they won an Oscar.
Guillaume and I deserved a Harry because we were harried by our wives to get the couch into the house, from which we had to remove another couch, which thank God was lighter, and drive it to the dump.
“I’m too old for this,” I told Sue after we had returned the truck and got into my car for the ride home. “The next time furniture needs to be lugged, someone else can do it.”
Later, I settled my sore back onto our couch, which isn’t going anywhere, and had a beer. It was the best move of the day.