July 12, 2002

"A Very Moving Experience" c.

"A Very Moving Experience" c. Ryan Rhodes, June 2, 2002

There is an old joke that says, "good friends help you move, but great friends help you move bodies." I would add to this that "really great friends help you move hide-a-beds down three flights of stairs."

A couple of weeks ago, a good friend and former roommate of mine, Mark, who was recently married, asked me if I would be willing to help him move his and his wife's stuff out of their old apartment. Of course, good friend that I am, I said yes.

I said yes to Mark's request because I had lived with him for three years, and I knew that his worldly possessions were few, so moving him would not be a chore. I did not, however, take into account his wife's possesions.

LeAnne, it turned out, owns just about everything. Upon entering the apartment, I was greeted by so many boxes, I thought I had mistakenly entered a warehouse.

Among the movers present were myself, Mark, our friend Chad, LeAnne, Chrissy (LeAnne's sister), and LeAnne's parents (who primarily specialized in critiquing our lousy moving expertise).

After assessing the insane box situation, I began moving items down three flights of stairs to the waiting moving truck below. It was during my fourth laden trip down the stairs that I realized it was about 88 degrees outside. And it was humid. And it was getting dark. And I had better things to do.

In an attempt to speed up the moving process, I started carrying more and heavier things. Eventually, my eyes set on a large empty trunk that I was relatively certain I could manage. So, I firmly grasped the handle and gave it a pull, only to have the leather straps rip off loudly into my hand. With a shrug, I threw the handle into the trash and began carrrying the trunk clumsily down the stairs.

"Oh, you have to be really careful with that," said LeAnne as I came to the bottom step and banged the trunk against the door frame. "This trunk came from overseas with my family a long time ago. It's an antique."

With that, I raced back up the stairs and fished the handle out of the trash, stuck it my pocket, and pondered the next best course of action. Although I have no idea what it means for a trunk to come from overseas, I knew that I didn't like the ominous word "antique."

I eventually presented the torn handle to Mark, and he said he would take care of it. For Mark, taking care of it meant telling LeAnne that he found the handle lying near the trash. The most astounding aspect of this lie is that LeAnne bought it, and I breathed a heavy sigh of relief.

As the number of boxes diminished, we set our attention on moving furniture, with our first target being the large hide-a-bed that sat there just daring us to move it. Of all the torturous furniture contrived, hide-a-beds have to be the most demonic. How so much steel and wire can be packed into such a small area, yet look so comfortable, is beyond comprehension. Still, it fell to Mark, Chad and me to move the mammoth beast down three stories in 88 degree heat. I was not pleased.

Rather than carry the impossibly heavy device down the 100 ft. hallway, we opted to slide it on its backside, a decision that saved us roughly three weeks of lower back pain. Because we were dealing with something that cost $150 two years ago, we didn't feel too much obligation to be careful. Still, we eventually had to navigate the hide-a-bed down the stairs, at which point there was much cussing and swearing.

Thankfully, we had LeAnne's dad standing behind us telling us we were doing everything wrong. Strangely, as my legs quavered, my arms shook, and sweat poured down my face, his words offered very little in the way of encouragement.

"Guys, hey guys, you're really not doing that right," he chided. "Guys, you're probably ripping the skirt off the couch. Be more careful."

It was at this point that I dropped the couch, turned around, and explained in a calm tone that I would gladly move the couch back upstairs if LeAnne's father wanted to carry it down himself. He declined.

All told, it took three hours, countless trips up and down the stairs, and 10 glasses of water to move everything into the truck.

I'd almost rather move a body.

Posted by Ryan at July 12, 2002 12:07 PM
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