Tangled Up In Screws January 22, 2012Posted by Mark Folse in New Orleans, Toulouse Street.
Tags: furnitue assembly
I spent yesterday assembling a second desk for myself (my son’s room holds the other one) the capping moment of another adventure in hex wrenches, twist locks and don’t you dare use a power diver warnings, finishing just in time for a call to tell me the cube unit my daughter and her mother had set out to buy was waiting on the porch of the house for me. Not my daughter’s apartment, but the house.
Apparently, they sent a text over an hour earlier but the phone was in the next room and I was in that contortionist hell that comes with ignoring the pages clearly marked This Step Requires Two Persons. I still haven’t quite recovered from moving week before last and every part of my body hurts (moderately) and that is of course why I am on the floor of the front room at 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning picking up bits of plastic and foam off the front room floor. Why? Because I spent another hour yesterday with a wire hanger trying to get exactly that sort of stuff out (and all the dust it had trapped) of the elbow joint between the suction hose and carpet beater (carpet beater? what is this, 1912?) of my Big Lots vacuum cleaner (basically a Dirt Devil dust buster deluxe). It was then that the damn vacuum decided to shut down from overheating (even though I had just run it a few times to try to help dislodge the nasty blockage).
Did I mention standing on my tiptoes on the stoop while holding the iron grate for leverage while trying to mount a cheap flagpole bracket well over my head, using an undercharged toy six-volt power driver? I didn’t? That was entirely more fun than the This Step Requires Two Persons exercise in anti-yoga, but I won’t feel at home without a New Orleans flag flying out front.
If I was cross with my daughter for a bit on the phone (sorry sweetie, even though you don’t read this) it was because it took them four hours to pick out and return with the bit of furniture for her apartment, and she promptly collapsed onto the couch for a nap and no one called for over an hour. I had to run uptown and assemble yet another piece of the crap that gives our Chinese financial masters something to laugh about over lunch. And because I knew the lateness was going to turn my relaxing cook out with my son turned into a race against time to get us fed before we went to a concert at NOCCA. It was not just that but the idea that someone, somewhere got a nap and I did not, turning me briefly into the Cranky Child Who Has Not Napped. Lunch might have helped. Likewise breakfast, but I got up too early once again, got busy to quickly (once again) and forgot to eat. Once again. Coffee and a Jetson’s breakfast of a handful of supplements clearly do not supply the sort of energy required to assemble cheap particleboard furniture carefully and cheerfully.
I managed to get both things assembled with a minimal amount of redo, and running the wrong screw through the thin veneer in only a few mostly inconspicuous places. (Yes, I was following the instructions, but you reach a point at which you have measured so many screws against the scale illustrations that you are certain you can tell them apart. If this thought ever enters your head, you are wrong.) At least I have a desk now where I can spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon trying to master Middle English pronunciation. Supposedly no one knows the precise cause of the Great Vowel Shift and that’s probably a good thing or I would waste the afternoon Googling “time travel” so I could go back and strangle the person responsible. I just hope that the extra screws and other parts don’t result in the desk collapsing on top of me, because I’m not sure my body could take the extra abuse.