By June Mathews
Benjamin Franklin once said nothing was certain except death and taxes. Now I don’t claim to be smarter than one of our country’s founding fathers, but I beg to differ. My list is longer.
For instance, if I wear a white shirt while eating barbecue ribs, I’m certain to be wearing some of the sauce before my meal is over.
If I’m pushing a deadline and rushing to email an article to an editor, the anti-virus program on my computer is certain to kick in with one of those whole-system scans, slowing my ancient PC to a crawl.
And after this past weekend, I can add another certainty: If I had no other choice than to make my living as a furniture mover, I would certainly starve.
It all began with a purchase we made several months ago. Jimmie and I found a screaming deal on a roomful of den furniture, including a sofa, loveseat, two chairs, an ottoman and matching throw pillows. And while perfectly matching furniture isn’t my style – my taste in décor runs more to the eclectic – the price was right, and we were in need. Since we’re in the den more than anywhere else in the house, every scrap of upholstery fabric in the room had suffered either a spill or a tear or signs of living with two rotten dogs that believe the world is their toilet.
But we decided that placing new furniture on the ratty old room-size carpet just wouldn’t do. So we stored everything in the basement until we could find a new rug.
Between a mutual aversion to shopping and the busy pace we maintained during the spring and early summer, the delay between purchasing the furniture and finding a rug turned into months. Oh, we’d talk about it every few days and agree that we needed to get it done. But there was no rush, we figured. Then in late July, we finally ordered a rug. It came in last week.
So early Saturday morning, Jimmie hauled off the old rug then stopped on his way home to pick up the new one. Meanwhile, I cleaned the floor then shifted and dusted all the wood furniture in the room, including a piano, a tall (and chocked full) bookcase and a honking big entertainment center.
By the time the rug was rolled out, I was dog-tired but determined to finish the job – even if it meant helping move the new furniture myself. So with two rather small dollies, we lifted and pushed and tugged and rolled, and finally got the sofa onto the porch.
As we prepared to make the final heave-ho effort to pull our cumbersome load through the front door, I drew breath to tell Jimmie I was ready to lift. But as I opened my mouth, a tiny creature flew down my throat.
“Dadgum it, I just swallowed a bug,” I sputtered, “and it’s probably poisonous.” I hoped Jimmie would feel sorry for me and tell my poor self to sit down and rest while he finished shoving the sofa into place. Anybody knows a lot of movement makes poison work faster.
But he just crossed his arms and with an aggravated scowl said, “It was a moth, and you’re going to live. Now grab that end, and let’s get this thing moved. I’m tired.”
“Tired? I’m going to die of bug poisoning, and YOU’RE TIRED?” I grumbled.
But I helped drag the sofa across the room. I then arranged the cushions and throw pillows just so and lay down. Should the bug prove fatal, I intended to go in style. Besides, every muscle in my body was begging for relief.
Jimmie, however, refused to let me rest until the two chairs were in place, which entailed a good bit of movement, during which I could have dropped dead of bug poisoning on the spot. It would have served him right.
After that, I retired from furniture moving for good, and nothing he could say would change my mind. So the loveseat is still in the basement, and I’m CERTAIN it’s going to stay there until somebody besides me helps Jimmie move it.
Yeah, ol’ Ben may have been smart but really, the only certainties in life are death and taxes? I don’t think so.
Email June Mathews at email@example.com.