Monday, 20 August 2007

Lovely voluntary musclely quite expensive furniture removers

I recently acquired a little flat by the sea, which needed furnishing so that it could be occupied now and again (which is, after all, the reason I prostrated myself in front of various bank personnel in order to raise the requisite monster bond). I’m not wealthy enough to waltz into Russels and pick out whatever I need and have it delivered, so by necessity it had to be kitted out with old, little-used and largely verlep stuff from my own house.

And then: how to move the old, little-used and largely verlep stuff? Furniture-removal companies charge ruinously expensive prices to shift your secondhand beds and tables.

I was discussing this with my friend R1, an almost-famous artist, who, under the influence of several glasses of Chenin Blanc, agreed to get together a gang of musclely men and their bakkies (utes to you Aussies) to do the deed.

So grateful was I for this neighbourly intervention that I immediately undertook to fund a dinner beforehand and a lunch afterwards.

The dinner, on Saturday night, began very tamely: everyone was feeling somewhat wearied by the hedonistic exertions of Friday night, and was also preternaturally aware of the heavy lifting to be done the next day. ‘We will be gone by 9pm,’ said R2 (an almost-famous hairdresser), ‘so that we can get a good night’s sleep and report back by 9am for the Big Move.’

At 2am I was grooving to Bob Seger’s ‘Roll Away’ with R1, R2, four other muscley men, a wobbly dog and three extremely badly behaved teenagers, and all thoughts of the morrow had been banished in a welter of good weather, great food, excellent company and execrable ’70s/’80s music.

On the Sunday we finally raggle-taggled together at 11am. There was much drinking of coffee, taking of scheduled painkillers (one of our number had them on prescription for a real ailment, fortunately) and a few suggestions of postponement – immediately shot down, because the thought of actually having to get up that early again on a weekend morning was too much to bear.

And bless those musclely men! Fast and furiously, they loaded two bakkies with the saggy double bed, the miff mattress, the scoured-to-buggery table, the astonishingly heavy (and equally astonishingly uncomfortably) 15-year-old family-heirloom sleeper couch, a cabinet, chairs, etc. ‘Let’s go!’ shouted R1, energised by the thought of lunch at the other end.

There are 15 very steep steps up to the holiday-flat-by-the-sea, and those musclely men nailed them. Clutching their heads, occasionally sitting down and looking a little pale, they nonetheless hoisted all that heavy, pokey, raggedy furniture up and up and in and in; and R2 even had the additional energy to exercise his creative flair and supervise the placement of the bits and pieces. So by the time I finished faffing around outside (mainly saying things like, ‘Are you okay? Do you need another painkiller? Here, have a sip of water,’ but not actually doing anything) and mounted those steps myself, not only was the furniture in, but it looked like an entirely habitable space. I have seldom been so grateful in my life.

And then we went out for lunch.

* Hosting 6 x musclely men to dinner on Saturday night: R700 + collateral damage to a potplant, two CDs and several wine glasses (also a lost sweatshirt, a broken pair of sunglasses and a temporarily -- we hope -- mislaid camera, but those expenses not for my account)
* Hosting 6 x musclely men to lunch on Sunday afternoon: R1 000
* Having a mad dinner with 6 x musclely men, then moving a household of furniture with vicious hangovers on a Sunday afternoon and going out for a Chenin Blanc-soaked lunch by the sea afterwards: priceless

* My lowest furniture removal quote for the same job was R1 020.

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3 comments:

meggie said...

Ah but you wouldnt have had all that fun, if you'd paid for the moving men! Sounds like it was a great night all round, even if the penalty of the sore heads was a bit steep! I like Bob seger!

bec said...

I've just done the maths...

But yes. Priceless.

angel said...

aaaaaaaaaaawwww… now i wanna do it too!

word verification: meeshap (^_~)