On Wednesday (31 January 2018) a nice young couple collected the sofa bed. The previous day I had managed to move the 3 seater blue leather sofa (still on Gumtree) up from the garage. As it was still in its wrapping (courtesy of Grace Removals) from a previous move it was quite easy to slide along the garage floor to the lift, but the wrapping was filthy. Fortunately, for the past week there hasn’t been a car parked in the space just by the lifts so it has been great for loading the big items as people buying all our stuff can park there.
Not long ago we changed our bed. We kept to the King size, but this time wanted to get a storage version to save some space. It was the kind that lifted from the front and secured in place by a gas lift mechanism in the metal frame. It needed a good hard push to close. We paid for the delivery guys to put the bed together, so it was all quite easy for us. We hadn’t had it that long before it became one of the many items that went up on Gumtree as part of the moving sale!
I had a little interest. One keen guy, but I think he must have been drinking when he called because he said he had to confer with his partner and I never heard from him again.
Then last Monday I had an enquiry and after a bit of “toing and froing” I struck a deal with James.
We agreed collection on Thursday and I said (because he asked) that I could help load it into his van, but warned him that we may have to dismantle some of it. The main reason being the size of the bed and the fact that it was put up in the bedroom and not delivered as a one piece.
All seemed simple enough.
James turned up with a Go Get van and his housemate in tow. Good I thought, less hassle for me.
That morning Sarah had dismantled the headboard, placed the bolts in a plastic bag and sellotaped it to the headboard for safe keeping. I had also paced out the length of the bed in my attempt to see if it would fit sideways into the lift without taking it apart. I paced the lift and it was marginal, like … I really wasn’t too sure if it would just quite fit, but prayed that it would!
I explained this to the boys and suggested that I thought the best thing to do would be to put the bed on its side and push it along the carpet, perhaps using towels on the bottom to protect the material covering. Seemed easy enough.
Well, it would have been if the gas loaded hinge behaved itself. Every time we attempted to move the bed on its side the gas arm sprung, nearly dislocating jaws. The problem was that as easy as it sprung out, it was as difficult or more to push back in. Consider that the head board had been removed and the frame was now not quite as solid. The wooden frame became misaligned making it even harder to secure the metal mechanism.
It became one of those “Mens Moments’ when we just look at something, trying to look intelligent and think what the f**king hell do we do now. Although silent I was thinking we needed a womans simple intuition, but failing that the 3 men just looked embarrassedly and pretended that we were on the cusp of some great idea.
So we had another go with the same result. It was at this point that James lost his first chance to say “sorry, but no deal”. I was so surprised when he wanted to labour on. I left the bedroom to search out something to tie the spring loaded bed base to the frame. I hunted high and low and just like a policeman when you want one they are never around. Several pictures of rope and industrial ties burst into my head, memories of things I had used long ago and now discarded. I thought of Sarahs sowing box and quickly discounted attempting to tie the beast down with a thread of cotton.
I phoned Sarah to ask where she had hidden all my rope .. “No idea”, “What rope”. Bugger. Then I hit on the supreme idea of using an electrical cord. A master stroke of male ingenuity. So, the boys now sweating profusely they wrapped the long cord around and around the metal frame securely attaching it to the wooden base.
The “Thing”, that now has a life of its own was tamed .. all be it temporarily.
It was edged on its side as if we were manoeuvring a sleeping alligator. James pushed from one end and nearly knocked himself out on the wooden frame. The beast didn’t move. It seemed its claws were dug into the carpet. Clearly sliding the bed along the floor was not going to be that easy. By now my heart was racing and I was wondering at what point they would just do a runner. But James persisted. Slightly lifting the beast and pushing while his mate (probably ex-mate by now) pulled. With what seemed like an eternity, the beast eventually reached the lift. I called the lift and the doors opened.
Then … James obviously had a thought and realised that they may have a problem the other end, when they got the beast home.
It was at this point that James lost his second chance to say “sorry, but no deal”.
Instead he suggested that they dismantle the metal belly of the beast from its wooden skin to make life easier. Or so he thought. Having come to collect a King size bed with no tools and totally unprepared apart from his mate and the Go Get van, James then asked if I had a toolkit? Me? Well actually no, but Sarah does have a little pink Barbie toolset that I purchased as a loving joke a few years ago. In fact, it has been quite useful even though it does look a bit girlie.
So out came the little spanner with the pink handle and James set to work. The only problem was that as one side of the metal frame loosened, the frame twisted and as it twisted it tried as hard as it could to spring open. By doing this the cord was getting tighter and tighter throttling the very bones of the beast as it struggled to escape. Red faced and sweating James and mate seized control as I hid in the apartment pretending to do something important. From the distance I heard serious instructions being given, then laughter followed by some sort of mumbled warning. I think that was when the beast took one last attempt to strike them down as metal base and frame were separated.
I heard talking and then silence so I peered around the apartment door and there was no sight of them or the beast. They must have taken it down to the basement in the lift, but someone else must have been going that way as you need a security key to get there.
So I went on down to find them looking at each other in dismay. The frame was too big for their Go Get van and clearly refused to get in the vehicle. I think that it must have been a Go Get F**cked van!
It was at this point that James lost his third and final chance to say “sorry, but no deal”. I suppose having taken the beast to bits he was already committed, perhaps felt some connection to the bed?
Sooo … James explained that they would source another van, a bigger one and return for the frame. Meanwhile, they would come back upstairs collect the headboard, wooden frame and bits. As the lift filled and they both stood in it sweating … I asked James for my money. Without hesitancy he gave me the cash, but I sensed a feeling of unresolved regret in his now blurry eyes. He would text when they were coming back.
Released from its struggle the metal frame rested in a parking space near the lift. Its gas filled arms reaching out with a tooth like edge that just looked as though it wanted to gouge out an eye. So for safety reasons I left a note on the beast near the sharp tooth as a warning and placed one of those white and orange cones that I found in the garage near its foot as a warning to any unsuspecting passer-by. I then retreated to the safety of the apartment and slumped onto the sofa.
The boys did return later with a bigger van and collected the now tame beast along with bedside cabinets that I was giving as a bonus with the bed (so generous of me).
About an hour later I received the text message below from James.
“Thanks again for the help today David. I don’t think I can get the frame up the stairs so I’m going to have to sell it 😂 you don’t have the original photos from the ad by any chance do you?”
I asked if it was a joke. James replied “Unfortunately not!”
I feel so sorry for him, but can’t help but chuckle every time I think about it.
Until next time … 🌏