July 09 2012
The gff and I are sitting on the stoop of our new place. It’s now 96 degrees outside. We’re not talking. Much.
Down the street mocking me is a ‘Movers Not Shakers’ professional van offloading. The very company the gff originally suggested. And to boot, up the street is a U-Haul being unpacked with factory efficiency by three giant men. Our junky van pulls up 20 minutes later (8 block drive) because ‘they had to drop off the other guy at his other job…’ (on my time btw)
We’re left with big Irishman and Spiky hair. The gff presents them with their Gatorades and they’re appreciative. They sproing open the back of the van and start with the mattress. I grab a box to help out as does the gff and she heads upstairs.
My mattress is weird. It’s like a blob of material. Like it’s stuffed with rubbery intestines or something. No handles on the sides because that would be convenient. This mattress is the peace offering compromise after I went to war (and lost badly) with Sleepy’s years ago. The movers yank my terrible mattress from the van and it plunks down into the street. The material is slick too and it weighs a ton. It’s probably easier to carry a friggin dead walrus.
Irishman bites the bullet and lifts his end but Spiky, weighing probably 120lbs, struggles to keep up his end. I watch him sweat and struggle with the blob and think, ‘Why did you choose this profession?!?!’ He tries and fails to keep up his end. Each time the naked mattress plops in the gutter. Finally, he gives up and says, ‘I can’t do it… I just can’t do it…’ (You can’t do it?) This is the first thing they’re trying to get inside. I realized I needed to be the third mover. I grab the middle blob of my mattress and we all lift.
I found myself distracting myself of the anguish of carrying my mattress up stairs after I hired movers by looking at the tattoos that cover these guys. I look at the irishman’s calf tattoo. It’s either a panther or a cougar ready to scratch my face. I consider asking them if they’re in a band. I decide not to open the door to their other career for a variety of reasons.
The mattress makes it inside and it flops down. The guts of the thing have now shifted and I notice it now has like a large blobby blooby blister on one side. As if the stomach of the inside padding got twisted. I tried to feel it out like a surgeon to see how it happened and soon realized it would only be cured by actual surgery. I’d have to take a knife and cut the thing open at the bottom to re-adjust the guts.
I head back down stairs and stare into the van chock full of all my stuff. Boxes and bed frames and a couch and a chest and everything else we own. I couldn’t believe we were just getting started.
Up the street I notice the U-Haul truck is finishing up. The bay is empty. Clean. Three very large guys climb into the front and start to drive away. I finally get a good idea and run up the street and chasing the U-Haul like it’s an ice cream truck. I knock on the window before it has a chance to pick up speed. The three hulkish men are stuffed together in the front seat.
The driver rolls down the window and I ask them if they’re movers. They say they are. I ask if they’re available right now. They are. I tell them I’ll pay them fifty thousand million billion dollars if they come help me. We agree on $40 each per person.
They park the truck and I lead the three of them back to my stoop. I feel like a conquering hero. The gff holds puts down a box she was carrying and looks at me like I created a miracle. Three huge movers had basically materialized. I nod proudly at the gff in slow motion like Ben Stiller returning with Gypsy.
The lead guy of my new crew looks into the back of the truck. He’s appalled. He tells me (in front of spiky) that this is the most unprofessional job he’s ever seen. He says nothing is ‘wrapped’ or packed correctly. In the moving world, he looked like he could have thrown up bile at it.
Spiky is not happy to see that I’ve hired new people. He claims they could take care of the job themselves. (I’m like, You just gave up on a mattress!) He said he didn’t like being called unprofessional either. The new movers started arguing with the old movers. It got a little heated. One of the new crew guys asked him, ‘What smells like bleach?’ He said, “I do!”
I took charge. I calmed them down. I let them all know we’re all doing this together.
The leader of the new crew grabbed a huge box filled with books. Spiky offered to grab an end but my new guy turned the box away from him and gave him a look like, ‘I’m a mover, Junior. I don’t know what the hell you are…’
I watched my new guy in awe as he marched up the stairs carrying a box that must have weighed four or five thousand pounds. The gff looked relieved.
My cellphone was ringing. It was the boss. I picked up and told him I just hired new movers because one and half wasn’t going to cut it…