Scott Anthony: The Big Chair
My office chair had failed me, the back support had become wobbly and finally just broke off one day, falling to the floor with a ‘thwump’ loud enough to scare the dog.
Frugal sort that I am, though I could not fix it, I just used the seat without the back hoping that anyone who saw it would figure that it was supposed to be that way. Eventually the springs under the foam began to make themselves known and I had to make a move. A friend of mine stopped by, we’ll call him Dirt. Dirt said “Hey…that’s not much of chair you’ve got there, pal. I know somebody who has a storage unit full of ‘em…you can take your pick…twenty bucks.”
Dirt had my attention, so I made arrangements to meet Dirt’s friend. We’ll call her Mud. Mud rolled up the door of the storage unit and instead of a unit full of office chairs, there was a unit full of regular old household items. Mud said, “It’s in there somewhere…maybe under the persian rugs.”
I thought about begging off and driving away, but I didn’t, and I helped Mud drag the coffee tables and dinette set and tv stand and bookcases and old paintings out into the drive until we spotted what looked like a moldy leather office chair, wedged into the corner. Mud wheeled it out into the driveway area and made a vain attempt at dusting it off, saying, “It’s an oldy, but a goody!”
The chair looked like it was in one piece, sort of, not moldy, but made of light moss green leather, the cushions stacked one on top of the other, michelin-man style, with a backrest that came nearly to my throat. But overall, the chair looked solid, and before I could offer the girl a twenty, she returned with “I’ll take ten bucks for it…zat ok?”
How could I refuse. The trouble began when I tried to stuff the chair into the back of my Explorer. It was heavy. Mud saw me struggling with it, and came up to lend a shoulder, but no matter what angle we tried, it was just a tad too big. Mud offered, “ I think some of these cushions are removeable.” Sure enough, a velcro patch held them in place and with a few tugs, we had the chair stripped down to it’s plywood bones. A bit lighter, I was able to squeeze the frame in diagonally, while Mud tossed the cushions into the middle seats.
After the big chair was secured in the back, I asked Mud where she got it.
“Oh…it belonged to my boss. He was a big man…died last month…they told me to take the chair.” I didn’t want to ask, and luckily, Mud supplied the next answer, “NO...he was NOT in the chair when it happened.” Ok, so the chair’s karma was ok.
I drove it home and tugged it out of the truck, reassembled the cushions and stood back and along with my dog Zeke, I looked it over again. It was a handsome sort of thing once you got past the bulk of it. It reminded me a bit of the chair the Captain sat in on Star Trek. I sat in it and promptly assumed my James T. Kirk voice. “SULU, WARP SPEED, and Spock…bring me a cool drink!” The dog slinked away, as I had forgotten that he didn’t like to be called Spock.
I got out my Simple Green and a scrubbing pad and cleaned off the dust and grime and then buffed on some leather conditioner I found under the sink. Now downright spiffy, I pushed the big chair towards the door into the laundry room and tried to shove it through. No go. But on an angle, with my hands jammed under the headrest so it wouldn’t catch on the doorknob, I got it into the vestibule. A similar maneuver got it into the hall and finally here, into my home office. That’s when I noticed the trouble. It was enormous. You might think I would have noticed before, but in a big storage unit parking lot, everything looks smaller. Now, in my office, the big green monster dwarfed my work station, the large wheel base drifting onto Mrs. Anthony’s territory next door to mine.
I called out to no one in particular in an unkind tone, the names of Dirt and Mud, but I knew it was my own fault. I came up with a plan just as Mrs. Anthony came home from the store.
“What’s this?” she said just as I was pushing the lumpish thing next to her desk. “OH…look what I got for you, honey!…it’s ah…it’s LEATHER, and..” Mrs. A would have none of it and promptly took her own chair back. “Nice try…so where were you planning to put that… couch, anyway.”
As I type this, the Big Chair is underneath me, in the basement, next to the other old couch. I’m back to the broken seat, the seat springs jutting their mockery at me. Thanks Dirt…thank you Mud…but next week, I think I’ll just go to Office Depot.