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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Moving Buddies

Dear Dad,

               One beautiful Sunday the sky was a cloudless blue. The birds were singing and I’ll bet the fish were biting. There was even a gun show in town I was thinking on looking into. The temperature was a perfect seventy degrees, and I had nothing on the immediate ‘honey-do‘ list. So naturally when my buddy called to tell me he was moving I decided to give up my day and help him out.

               I agreed to meet my friend at his house at one o’clock in the afternoon. I got to spend a good portion of the morning moving all my work gear out of my truck and stacking it up in the driveway. I had my ten year old son meet me at the truck. I thought this would be a good character building experience for him. Boys need to learn to work and it seems to me that sweat is the only character building tool in a fathers repertoire. Every now and then you have to make your kids do stuff they don’t want to do, isn’t that right Dad?

              We got to my friends house right on time. The street was a parking lot of suckered men with pickup trucks. All of us marveling at the fact that this was the first nice weekend day of the year and we were going to work instead of play. After the ceremonious milling about and joke telling it was time to get down to it. There were supposed to be four trucks there, we only had three. Someone was probably attending my gun show, or catching my record winning fish.

               The very first thing we had to move was a couch and loveseat combo. Right away we discovered they didn’t fit through the door. Now I am an expert furniture manipulator so I took charge and we turned and twisted that couch every which way possible. Finally I decided to remove the door. After making that decision My buddy said something like, “Yeah, that’s what we had to do to get it in here.“ I was about to hit him a good one upside the head when I saw him fumbling with a small screwdriver. He had already started working on the first hinge. Quickly I went to my truck and grabbed an 18.8 volt cordless drill. It’s difficult to always have the right tool at home and on the road, but I work hard to be prepared. So in my truck is a drill with 3 batteries and a charger.  I strode onto the front porch, my drill resting in it’s patent leather holster on my hip.  Neighbors and local shopkeepers rushed to get indoors as I lightly fingered the handle. An array of bits dangling from my left hand sparkled in the sunlight.  The high afternoon sun cast my shadow over the door. The wind whistled through the trees and my friend feeling the eclipse of manhood, turned and cowered before Craftsmen engineering and glory. I asked him to put his ‘little tool’ away as I brushed him aside. I removed twelve screws in three seconds flat. The doorway was widened.  Angels sang and church bells tolled. Finally the sofa yielded to us (men and boy) and was carried artfully to the bed of my truck. I AM THE MAN!

               After that it was all down hill. We loaded all three trucks and I dug out my tie down straps. At first I couldn’t find them and the impending embarrassment of asking the others for an extra strap loomed on my horizon. As I searched the same bed box for the third time the straps presented themselves. There was no need for panic, I AM STILL THE MAN. I lashed everything tight, and checked the other two pickups. One of the other guys was lashing down his load and the third truck had a strap on the ground waiting to be utilized. Feeling good about my own load and knowing where the destination was, I left well ahead of the convoy. After three miles on the highway I did my due diligence and pulled over to retighten my straps. It struck me as a little odd that no one passed me as I did this. I mentioned it to my son. I knew he would be paying attention to the traffic. Boys love to be in the leading vehicle of convoys. He confirmed it for me, no one had passed us yet. Good, I thought. That means everyone else is being as careful as I was.

              I arrived at my friends new residence and we were indeed first. Ten minutes later the second truck got there, but no third truck. I got out and threw my hands into the air, as if to say “what the hell fellows!” I was then quickly informed that the driver of the third truck neglected to use straps and he lost a box spring mattress on the Missouri River bridge. The absolute worst place for that to happen. I knew that meant the mattress was gone. If you’ve ever seen furniture hit the highway at high speed you know it turns into splinters and shredded cloth. I lowered my head and nodded it slowly side to side. We have talked about preparedness before. Let the judging begin. The driver with the mattress load decided that the strap wasn’t needed. The owner of the mattress agreed with him. The real owner of the mattress (his wife) was pleased to get the leverage she needed for the incredibly expensive bed she had been bugging her husband for.  I offer this up as a lesson to all men that our little mistakes will always cost more than we can realize at the time.

             Of course the door at the new house had to be removed also and the couch still just barely fit. There was only one trip left to make and that was primarily for the big screen television. Considering the mattress fiasco, I decided to volunteer my services. My friend gladly accepted. A man’s television is an important thing afterall. Priority wise it goes Wife, Children, Other Family members, Television. They should make cradles for TV sets, I believe a lot of men would rock them while they are still new. 

              My son and I avoided the highway taking back roads, we even stopped for a second strap check and a soda. Needless to say the television arrived unscathed, and as I headed home for the evening I lectured my young son on the importance of doing something right. He paid heed and nodded at the right moments. I believed I had finally gotten through to him. He will be a Man. When we pulled up in front of the house, he jumped out of the truck while it was still running, ran across the street without looking and tripped on the stairs, scraping his knee. Normally I would yell at him but today I just smiled. Boys will be boys. Whether they are thirty or ten.

              I could use a new television, I think when it is time to move I will have my son and the driver of that third truck come help me out. Sixty inch L.E.D. Sanyo 3-D gateway to heaven here I come! If you want his number give me a call, after all who couldn’t use the extra leverage to get their spouse to agree to buying something new.
                                Your tool toting, strap packing, truck driving son.