This happened last night, and made me chuckle. I had been in contact all week with a woman concerning a couch I advertised on Freecycle. She was well warned that the couch was big, and the doorway narrow. I gave her measurements, instructions on how to get to my house, and how many people she’d need to lift it.
When I answered the door, her ‘hubby’ was hovering nervously on the doorstep. After we established that he was not at my door to rob or menace me, I managed to coax him indoors. I explained that we’d have to unzip all the cushions to manoeuvre the couch through the doorway, which caused a little alarm and confusion. He fretted for a while, as I wrestled with one of the zippers.
At the gate, his Italian father-in-law hallooed me from the street. “Hey, lady!” he shouted. I signalled for him to come in as well.
“We have to take all the cushions off,” fussed Hubby. “And I think one of the zippers is broken.”
“Hm,” said Italian Dad. “My son is upholsterer. I move things all the time – it’ll fit, no problem.”
I pointed out again that if we took all the other cushions off, then it would still fit through the door. Hubby tutted a while longer, and fiddled with the zip. Then he stood at one end of the couch, wringing his hands. With clicking motions, Italian Dad got him into position and they started to lift it through. Hubby staggered a while, slipped on the end, and thought of at least 1000 reasons why it wasn’t going to work. Italian Dad shouted over his shoulder to me: “Is no problem!”
I wondered if I should take Hubby’s end, when he stopped again.
“No no no, we’re going to have to stop. We’re going to bump into the bookshelf!”
“Is okay,” shrugged Italian Dad. “We go diagonal – is fine.”
“Watch the door frame!”
“Hang on – hang on. Stop! It’s not going to work!!” Hubby was struggling.
“Ok ok, take it easy, we put it down,” placated Italian Dad. Hubby shook his hands vigorously.
They picked it up again. This slapstick continued all the way down the hallway. I could feel Hubby’s anxiety crackling through the air and pinging off the lights. Then there was another doorway! Then a step! And another step!!
Biting my cheeks, I scurried for the cushions to take out to their van. I heard Italian Dad shout: “Get the cushions for the lady – it’s raining!”
Hubby came back in to help, but found them a little slippery.
“Just tuck them under your armpits – they’re leather,” I instructed, feeling not a little like his wife.
He thanked me profusely and off they went. As he disappeared I heard Italian Dad say, “close the gate – close the gate! Don’t let her go in the rain!!”
Afterwards, I sat down on the remaining couch and burst out laughing. It was the most unmanly display I had seen in a long time. Between an Aussie bloke with no bum, no chin and a soft, kind face and an elderly Italian Dad in his old flat cap, pockets full of bus tickets and small, wiry physique, I know who my vote is on.