New Couch #2

Most of the furniture in my house is gone. That's a long story in itself, so for simplicity's sake, let's just say I was robbed at gunpoint and move on.

Anyway, my housemate, Dan, and I found ourselves without so much as a place to sit. My temporary solution was going to be to borrow lawn chairs to fill the empty space and have a slightly more comfortable and significantly more hilarious living environment until we had the opportunity to replace the furniture. Dan was a bit more practical about the situation and quickly found a couch on Craigslist that the owner said we could pick up for free. She had promised it to some other Craigslister first, but whoever it was bailed, so we had next dibs. Dan specifically asked about the moving conditions and the lady suggested that he bring someone to assist since the couch needed to be moved down the stairs. Considering how much fun I had picking up a free couch the last time [that's one of my first blog posts ever!], I was game to help.

So we rented a U-Haul which is always a nightmare to drive. They're just a little too big and unwieldy to feel comfortable operating, especially on the freeway. I still think the most impressive high speed chase I ever watched (they're practically a daily televised event in California) is the woman who stole a U-Haul and weaved it through traffic and across medians to evade capture. How did she do it?

After a twenty minute drive, we finally located the street of the couch owner. The house was located on a street that was steep even by Los Angeles standards. At the bottom of the hill (which looked like a full-on mountain) were three signs: one cautioned us to proceed at only 10 mph, another told us the road was windy, and a third warned us that there were no turn-arounds on the street. That sounded like a recipe for disaster to try to bring a U-Haul up, so we just parked at the bottom of the hill and began walking up to the address. It was practically a workout going up that street, treadmills can't even provide you with that kind of incline. We passed a few sporadic houses on the way, but we were still hundreds of numbers away according to the address provided. It would be a nightmare to try and carry a couch down that hill for that long of a distance, so we chose the other nightmarish scenario of returning to the U-Haul and driving it up the hill.

No joke, it was terrifying and the only redeeming element was the idea that it would become a funny story a year later about the time we crashed a U-Haul off of a cliff, or perhaps even sooner when shared at our respective funerals. It might have been nice had the owner warned us that it would be nearly impossible to bring a U-Haul up that hill, but whatever.

Finally we found the house and there was no room to wiggle around. Dan executed what he called a "twenty point turn," which meant inching forward and backward repeatedly until the large vehicle was finally turned around.

The house was huge and fancy; it was apparent that the family we were taking the couch from was quite affluent. This was good because the couch was in great condition, as opposed to most free furniture you'd find on the internet. The family was upgrading to a nicer couch because they could afford to, not out of necessity, and we reaped the benefits.

Well, sort of. First we had to get the couch down the stairs. Never did the owners specify how difficult a task this would be. In this fancy house, it wasn't just a normal case of stairs, it was narrow and wound around with a landing in the middle. Squeezing it through would be no easy feat in itself, but that the owners threw in another obstacle: "Oh, and if you could make sure the couch doesn't touch the walls, we just had them painted last week." There was maybe a few inches of clearance for the couch with the space allowed as it was, how were we amateur movers going to be perfect. There was a point while lifting the couch over the banister where we came close to accidentally dropping it through the hole and watch it crash two stories down to the ground, but fortunately that didn't happen.

On our way out, I made a passive aggressive comment about how difficult the road was to maneuver on, but the couch's previous owner just said "yeah, and there's lots of deers (sic) that jump out, so watch out for that." Great. Driving back down the hill, we did not encounter "deers," but the drive wasn't much easier. We speculate that the first people who came to pick up the couch bailed because they realized it wasn't worth the effort. Suckers! Fifty dollars in U-Haul rental and a couple of near-death experiences later, we now own a "free" couch! It is nice to have a place to sit in your own home. Plus, it's way more comfortable when you've worked so hard for it.

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