Father’s Day 2005
As some of you know, a couple weekends ago we had to move some heavy furniture. One of these pieces of furniture was a sleeper couch that is extremely heavy. I can only lift about half of it.
Fortunately, the truck we rented came with a dolly – which was basically a short shelf with two wheels and a handle. You stand the couch on end on the little shelf and then tilt the whole thing back towards yourself so the weight of the couch is on the wheels. You hold on to the handle and push it where you want it to go.
We stood the couch up on the dolly and strapped it on. Then I tilted it towards me and pushed it forward. The couch towered above me as I pushed, but at least I could maneuver it around.
The only danger to this arrangement was the dolly’s tilt. If it tilted too far, the wheels would shoot forward and the couch would land on top of me. To prevent this, I tilted the couch as little as possible – just enough to keep the weight on the wheels. Whenever I felt the weight coming too much towards me, I lifted up on the handle and pulled the wheels back towards me to get them under the couch.
It was scary but effective.
I maneuvered the dolly (with the couch on it) from the truck and into the house. My wife walked backwards in front of me, calling out directions (”go left! No, my left!”). Together, we carefully worked our way through the living room and to the bedroom.
That’s when the couch hit the top of the doorway.
Remember I said that I can only lift about half the couch?
When the top edge of the couch hit the doorway, it tilted backwards towards me. The force caused the wheels of the dolly to shoot forward – sending the enitre weight of the couch straight towards my head.
There was nothing I could do. I wasn’t strong enough to catch the couch and there was no room to dive out of the way. The thing was going crush me like a bug.
I shouted and pulled with everything I had, hoping that I could somehow stop the dolly wheels from moving, maybe even drag it backwards far enough to stand back up again.
Actually, my thoughts weren’t that coherent. They were more like “I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die!”.
The couch came down. I pulled and shouted. The shock of the weight run through my arms, almost pulling the dolly from my hands. Then the couch stopped.
Relieved (and surprised at how strong I was), I opened my eyes and looked up at the couch. Yes, I had closed my eyes. For some reason, imminent death is easier to face with your eyes closed.
When I looked up, I saw my dad’s hands holding fast to the edge of the sleeper couch. He had stepped up behind me – directly under the couch – and put both hands on the falling edge. He stood there now, leaning forward with his elbows locked. That couch wasn’t going anywhere unless it went through him.
Now that’s a dad.
Happy Father’s Day, daddeo – and thanks!