Yea! Weekend! Multiple posts to the blog!
Our apartment was inspected by the management the other day. It's a yearly occurrence (pronounced "in-con-ven-i-ence"), so we're used to it by now. Getting your apartment inspected actually has a funny side to it. One is that your apartment is not the only one that gets inspected. We can expect to hear our neighbor, Marie, run her vacuum cleaner once every year--very late the night before inspection.
One inspection story that was not particularly funny at the time has mellowed and finally achieved that "you'll laugh about this later" quality that merits its place in today's post.
Several years ago, I found myself searching for the right gift to give my wife. The quickening approach of our anniversary and the need to mollify her somewhat after the purchase of my first laptop weighed down on me until I felt that first little trickle of inspiration.
Yes, that's inspiration, folks.
A couch! Better yet--a living room set. Ah, here was the gift that would do the trick. As luck would have it, Tamara was even out of town, so I had an opportunity to dump the old, third-time-hand-me-down couch and love-seat that we had parked our booties on for so long before picking up and positioning the new set.
My elation was abated somewhat by one small detail--couches eat things. I wasn't worried about about the new sofas, I just knew I still had some work to do before I could defenestrate the old ones. We'd had these couches since we were married, and I was sure that I had lost at least one item of moderate importance into the cracks and crevices of the couch. I think it was a small pen from a pocketknife my in-laws gave me.
Whatever the item was, I was determined not to simply let it go into the trash along with the 70's style furniture. (The 1970's may, in fact, be too contemporary a time period for the sofas--the set was decorated with beknobbed wood armrests--not comfortable--and had a texture that was corduroy and a color scheme that was calico.) I decided to take them apart.
Disassembly was no mean task. These couches were likely constructed to withstand all possible outcomes of another Cuban missile crisis. I don't think that particle board had been discovered at the advent of these brown brocade behemoths--they were solid wood! It's no wonder they lasted through so many owners.
After liberal use of my crowbar and jigsaw--I didn't acquire a circular saw until much later, the divan began to divulge the detritus that had accumulated after thousands of family home evenings, movie nights, story times, dinner parties, and the various other less decorous events that "go down" in the average home with children, including, but not limited to that which I will mention here only as Ralph, Chuck, or Chemish.
There was really nothing surprising to be found. It was actually quite disappointing for me. The kids were rewarded later with the return of various blocks or game pieces, but the biggest return for me was the spare change, and there was not as much as I had expected--less than a dollar as I recall.
Cheerios. Froot Loops. Some foam disks. A few writing implements, but not the one I had been looking for. Paper. Unidentifiable crumbs. My least favorite: goo. Oh, and on that note, I was reminded why we had the cushions laying that way. Paper clips and staples. Nail clippings, not surprisingly. Popcorn that had gotten away from either my wife or me. (Okay--from me.) An entire warren of dust bunnies, which scattered as soon as I tore into the panel stapled to the underside of the couch. Oh, raisins. The raisins were squished and hard. Ewwww.
Just as the tide of lost items was beginning to ebb, I got a call from the furniture store. The new living room set was ready. Leaving the contents from the couches strewn across the floor, I hopped into the minivan and left to make my pick-up.
Okay, how does this tie in with the beginning of my post. Oh, yeah--inspection. Tamara had reminded me that we were up for apartment inspection, but I had completely forgotten. You can imagine my mortification when I arrived home and found the inspection form laying on the kitchen counter and signed by the head of the maintenance staff.
I quickly snatched up the paper and checked the various sections of the inspection report. Everything was checked off. We had passed--no thanks to my fiasco with the couch.