When you mention chainsaws and massacres in the same sentence, people tend to think of the Lone Star State of Texas. But we had our own chainsaw massacre right here in the Centennial State of Colorado. I know because I was there.
It all started off innocently enough. In fact, it began with a good deed. Friends of ours had inherited a beautiful, large, white fabric sleeper sofa in pristine condition from a relative. This particular relative was never concerned about what things cost. He was only interesting in value and style and as such never purchased inferior products. What they inherited was what Cousin Eddy would call a “quality item.”
Our friends, however, no longer had a place for it in their home. It was way too nice to donate, and they simply aren’t the type to try to sell items on Craigslist. Instead they offered it to us. We had a second family room in the basement that the kids used to entertain their friends (and often had sleepovers) so it was a sort of a slam-dunk decision. We accepted their gracious offer.
Ah, but as is so often the case with good deeds, we ran into a bit of a snag. Did I mention that this beautiful white sleeper-sofa was large? That may have been a bit of an understatement. It may have fit through the door of our friends’ house—which is considerably larger than ours, but there was no way on God’s green earth that it was going to pass through the portal that led into our humble house.
We have never been those who retreat from a challenge—especially where quality items and bargains are involved—so after determining that a 38”-wide sofa really wouldn’t fit through a 36” door, we examined other options. Inspiration struck like a bolt of lightning. We could the sofa through the basement windows that were at ground level behind our house.
With much forethought, we measured the sofa again and then carefully measure the window in the basement. Fortunately, we had windows that allowed us to remove both panes and the resulting space provided enough room to maneuver the sofa into the basement family room.
There, it provided years of faithful and comfortable service. Our kids could watch movies and play video games with their friends. Many a sleepover took advantage of that particular piece of furniture. We became the “go-to” place for that kind of event.
Life marched on and our son eventually moved into the basement (after our daughter departed for college). Like most teenaged boys, he wanted to distance himself from his parental units—without actually having to leave and pay for his own living space. That meant the large, white sofa saw increasing action from increasingly larger (and messier) young men.
On the somewhat infrequent visits we made into our son’s lair, the status of the sofa became increasingly difficult to ignore. Gatorade (unlike my day, it also came in reds and blues) and Coke stains had taken their toll. Candy that hadn’t been made for years was stuck to various parts of the couch. And while Nirvana may have had a good idea about what teen spirit smelled like, I don’t think they had a full appreciation of what the rest of teen boys smelled like.
There was no doubt about it—when our son moved out of the house, the sofa had to go, too. But there was one small problem.
During the time that our son occupied the lower level of our home, we had replaced the windows—including the ones in the basement. These new window, while much nicer and more energy-efficient, didn’t allow us to remove both panes of glass. As we looked forward to removing the once-beautiful-but-now-beyond-ugly sofa from the room, we realized that there was no route of egress. We couldn’t get the dang thing out!
The immovable object had met the irresistible force and we had ourselves a first class dilemma. Either the couch had to go or I did—and the couch wasn’t paying any rent, so the inevitable outcome was clear. Ah, but how to arrive at that conclusion was the question of the hour.
I gave myself a day or two to think it over. I stared at the stupid sofa from every angle conceivable, and even tipped it on its back (much to my back’s dismay). Not only could I not find a way to make the thing smaller, I also couldn’t find a way to disassemble it in order to take it our piece-by-piece. It was a stalemate.
Now, I’m not an extraordinarily gifted individual when it comes to handiwork. Sure, I can replace a faucet or a doorknob without too much trouble. And sometimes they even work when I’m finished. But this piece of furniture had me totally flummoxed. And while I may not be amazingly adept at solving mechanical problems, I do have something else going for me: I’m not particularly patient.
So when logic and finesse failed to function as I had hoped, I knew I would have to resort to brute force. The only thing left to consider was what kind of brute force would deliver the best (and by that, I mean the fastest) result. Taking a sledgehammer to the sofa seemed somehow unsatisfying. So after a bit of deliberation, I settled on my trusty chain saw to deliver me from evil.
In a matter of minutes there was foam and filler and fabric flying in every direction. I’m pretty sure it’s one reason we don’t have mice in our house to this day. I attacked again and again with a fury that would have made Jack Nicholson grab his Shining axe and run. Thankfully, there were no mirrors in the room, or the look on my face might have scared me half to death.
Within a half an hour of sweating, screaming, grunting, and an occasional spark or two when the chainsaw blade bit into the metallic parts of the sofa. There it lay, on my basement floor, looking like some giant chew toy that had been torn and shredded by some dinosaur-like dog.
The Colorado Couch Chainsaw Massacre was over—well, except for the clean up. That was kind of like the reverse of the Johnny Cash song, One Piece at a Time, in which he chronicled how he took home car parts a piece at a time and built his own car in his garage. Instead, I took the pieces of the couch—one at a time—to my garage and fed them bit-by-bit to the garbage truck that came by every Monday morning.
That extra family room in the basement is now my music room. Guitars and pictures of some of my favorite guitarists line the walls. And if I want to sit down, I grab a chair. I was going to hang a “No Sofas Allowed” sign on the door leading to the room, but I was pretty sure that wasn’t necessary.
I do still have a rather large TV down there that never gets watched. It’s too large and heavy for me to carry out by myself. I want to get rid of it, but I think my wife has hidden my chain saw. I can’t find that sucker anywhere!