Disclaimer: This blog post gets a little silly. You may find your brain melting from the sheer silliness of it all. You have been warned.
My coffee table broke, you know the one from ikea where I spent my time fighting crowds and running around like a beheaded fowl? Someone broke it due to someone’s inability to keep someone’s feet off the table when someone was visiting…. So I needed a new coffee table.
Now, you would think this would be an easy task. You would be wrong. There was no way I was going back to ikea to replace the flubbing thing, and it turns out that it was doomed to fail anyways. Apparently brackets are a horrible way to keep up a bottom shelf for a long period of time, no matter how wide or how many there are. Not that we could add any, since the legs felt like they were hollow. We needed a different coffee table, then, but where to look?
We checked Walmart and found a cheap one, but I don’t like Walmart and cheap usually means, well, cheap. There was another one at another store that looked okay. Ultimately, after maybe a week of searching, we settled on one from Pier 1.
Now I work about 5 minutes away from a Pier 1, so my wife thought it would be a good idea for me to go on lunch, give up my knitting time. I don’t think she understands that I’d only give up my knitting time for a true emergency. Regardless, she was insistent and I was insistent so I ended up going after work.
I got there and saw the coffee table, and it was a good coffee table, I’m not going to lie to you. There was a better one sitting next to it, though, but it was guarded by a nasty, fire breathing price tag that I simply could not defeat. So, like a thief in the night I went for the unguarded treasure. Only it wasn’t a treasure, it was an illusion!
The table was there, yes, but apparently it was a floor model. This meant it couldn’t be sold (why, I don’t know), and the store didn’t have any others in stock. Woe was me as I would have to give up my quest and live a horrible, table-less life! But wait, there in the corner, it was a coffee table just like the really expensive one I wanted, only this one had a chink in its armor! Apparently there was a teeny, tiny chip in the lacquer that was barely noticeable, but this gave me a way to bypass its defenses in the form of a price reduction.
It was 75% off! I know, right? Quickly, I inquired about it and found that it was, in fact 75% off and was also for sale. I bought it then and there, assured in my victory at last, but my quest was far from over.
You see, my car is tiny, the table was not. It’s big and heavy and bulky and made of wood that’s probably just a covering for its lead core. The first hurdle was loading it into the car, which was not an easy feat. Fortunately I had help in the form of a brave Pier 1 employee who was willing to face the dangers of this task with me.
After a lot of maneuvering and manipulating we finally managed to get it in through the front door of the car so it sat diagonally across the front passenger seat and the back. This was great and all, but it meant one very dangerous thing: I basically couldn’t see out my right side or back windows. Mind you, there were some small areas out of which I could see, so I wasn’t driving completely blind. It sure did make me nervous, though.
Then the journey home, it wasn’t too bad. I stayed in the right lane the entire time so as not to merge into anyone, and it was mostly uneventful except for the police officer in the unmarked vehicle pointing the radar gun at my direction. Fortunately, I used my giant coffee table as a shield and somehow escaped his notice.
Arriving home is when the real work began. First I had to get it out of the car by myself. It was easier than I expected, but then began the long journey to my apartment. It what must’ve been some herculean reserves of strength I did not know I had, I picked up the table and started to it. Slowly, shuffling, step by step, I made it up the world’s longest ramp out of the garage. It was during that part of the journey that I suddenly realized how Sisyphus must feel. Of course, the table never actually slid back down to the bottom of the ramp, which is probably good because it would have damaged the lacquer for real if it had.
Outside of the garage began my second leg of the journey: the long trek across the sidewalk to the ramp down to the basement. As I was making my way there, though, I was suddenly jumped by a gang of thugs and murderers! Fifty of them there must have been, weapons drawn and coming at me! I couldn’t see their faces behind their masks, but I knew they must’ve been twisted in a visage of evil. I closed my eyes and waited for the inevitable, only it didn’t come. No, they passed right by me, no doubt on their way to some deadly rumble (please note, this wasn’t actually a gang, just a bunch of school children; school had just let out. Still, it was pretty wild carrying this giant wooden thing while maneuvering through them).
Life intact, I managed to dodge the gate troll that was standing nearby and make my way into the building. Relieved, I rested, knowing the worst was finally over. Except I was wrong, again, for now I had to face The Corridor of Wet Paint (doooom). Yes, someone somewhere had decided for some reason that today was the day to paint every wall in the basement. Now, the halls are pretty narrow, and the coffee table is pretty wide, so I knew I had to be extra careful lest I suddenly find it covered in red splotches. How would I explain that to my wife? I should mention at this point that the coffee table was non-refundable because of its condition.
Carefully, quietly I made my way through, fearful that at any moment I would awaken the paint monster and my journey would be all for naught. Many a close call was had as I turned corner after corner, until, finally, I made it to the elevator. Now the worst really was over. It was just a straight shot to my apartment. Other than being attacked by cats when I arrived (they did not like being greeted by a giant table), which I’ve survived many, many times in my life, the journey after the elevator was uneventful.
I put the new coffee table triumphantly where it belonged and slumped onto the couch, exhausted but victorious. No longer would I have to endure the mockery slung forth by the old coffee table, no more would the humiliation of an inadequate coffee table haunt me. I had faced the gauntlet of a thousand deaths and survived, and now it was time to celebrate.