It's not about the house.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Decent Docent Doesn't Doze

See this?

No, no, not the pineapple. Not the stick, the bottles of wine-in-progress, or the hookah. Or the juicer. Or the bar. All that crap is just the detritus of life in the AssVac, and you should feel free to ignore it just like I do every day.

(Although if I'm being honest, the only things on that list I actually ignore are the stick and juicer -- and, now that I think about it, why is there a stick in my dining room, anyway?)

(I also ignore, but didn't mention, the bottle of omega-3. I didn't mention it because I don't even like to think about it, because the one time I took one I wound up burping fish oil all day. Bleah. No, thank you. My radicals can keep on being free for all I care (or being all chained up; whichever is the bad way for tiny radicals to be). No, the omega-3 is Johnny's gig. His mother made him take spoonfuls of cod liver oil every morning, so fish-burps taste to him like a reprieve.)

Anyway, the point of this post was supposed to be the piece of furniture. I got it from my friend Benzojo when he moved back home to Vegas years ago. That link actually goes to his wife's business page, but she's my friend too, and he works for her, and he abandoned his blog, and he did the picture for me on the top of this blog -- the one with the fancy letters and the vavavoom -- so I didn't think it would be wrong of me to send all twelve of you to their professional website, just in case you might foresee any web-design needs in your future.

Oh crap, I've done it again. Where was I?


So Ben gave us this ... bureau? ... when he left in 199...7? I suppose it is a bureau -- I'm pretty sure that's what Ben used it for. Although I really can't be certain, because my memories of the place Ben had back then are pretty much a solid mass of furniture, plus ravioli. There was nowhere to walk, that apartment was so small and stuffed you had to climb over the bed just to get in the bedroom! Not that I was ever in Ben's bedroom, mind, but with the furniture like that there was no way to shut the door, so you couldn't help but see. And anyway, I shouldn't talk. I was, at the time, sleeping on a twin mattress on the floor in the corner of a one-room basement studio. But at least I could shut my bedroom door.


We've never actually used it as a bureau or had it in a bedroom, though. It's always been, for us, a sort of dining-room buffet (in three different dining rooms by now) and we've always just put assorted junk-crap in the drawers. You might think good things to put in buffet-drawers would be, like, dishes and linens and silverware, but these aren't the most stable drawers I've ever seen. Pull them out more than an inch or two and they tend to flop around, so breakables are out of the question. And linens? Please. I think I own a total of three cloth napkins (there used to be four but I don't know what happened) and they're printed with a pattern of red and white checks with little picnic-ants crawling all over them. I like them fine, but they're not exactly service for the Queen.

So the drawers have become a sort of catch-all. Right now, for example, without even looking I can tell you that the contents go like this:

Top left: Mortage papers, insurance agreement, bank statements.
Middle left: Notecards, tape, wrapping paper, and (for some reason) new checks (why aren't they in with the bank statements? Because that drawer is a mess and I would never find them, silly!).
Bottom left: Those felt things you put on chair legs so they don't scratch up the floor. Plus a few of the plastic kind. And, um, binoculars.
Top Right: Lighters, matches, candles, incense, rolling papers and etcetera, old lottery tickets (which Johnny insists on saving, and which live in this drawer till it's too full and then I throw them out), a length of old cotton strapping or something (I've no idea what it's for or where it came from) and a lint brush. Because it's important to present a put-together look.
Middle right: Phone books and porn.
Bottom right: Tobacco and charcoal and other assorted accoutrements for hookah-smoking, plus The (remarkable unyellowed) Boston Globe from the first day of the new millenium (by which I mean January 1, 2000, and I don't care what you say).

The reason I'm telling you all this now is that the middle drawer is broken. The middle left, that is. Don't worry, we can still get at our phone books. But two weeks ago I was wrapping a present, and when I went to put the tape away the drawer was locked.

I mean, it wasn't locked, it doesn't lock, but it won't open. It wouldn't, and it didn't, and it doesn't, and it won't. Poof. Just like that.

I don't mind about the wrapping paper -- it's just the Sunday funny pages, anyway. And I don't mind so much about the notecards -- they mostly were given to me by my Lady, and they all have pictures of cats. But for some reason my checks are in there, and I've only got six left in my book.

I've been ignoring it for this long, hoping to come up with a solution. I tried jimmying it and glaring at it and kicking it and swearing. All in vain. I tried taking out all the other drawers around it, but this is the one bureau-type-thing in the whole wide world that actually has dividing-shelves between the drawers. I even tried squeezing my hand in under the shelf from the right side, but my hand's just not that little anymore and besides, even if I could get in, how would I ever get the damn checks out?

We're going to have to break it.

And the thing is, as much as it's a hand-me-down -- as much as it's not really a buffet and as much as it has inappropriate contents in its drawers -- I've grown to like it. We aren't really the furniture-buying kind of people, anyway. Not really deciding-what-to-put-where decorator types. Things tend to tumble in our direction, and we just gently nudge them in the direction of a convenient empty space. If we have to break that drawer, and we can't fix it, then we can't very well leave the bureau-cum-buffet in the DR for the Queen, and who knows when another one's going to spin our way?

(Am I the only one picturing the tornado scene from Wizard of Oz right now? I didn't think so.)

In honor, then, of our dear, nearly-departed buffet-thingy, I've decided to embark on something I've been thinking about doing for a while. In between regular ranty postings about lifey stuff and poop (although, now that I think about it, I really haven't talked about poop in a while) I'm going to go through the AssVac stem to stern, and tell the stories behind every piece of furniture we own. Well, almost every. You don't really need to hear about how the toilet seat was a housewarming gift for Johnny, because somehow he always manages to bring the conversation round to bums.

Do you?


Charlie said...

maybe you should try breaking in from the back? that way it is easier to repair the damage and not worry about cosmetics?

Sashimi said...

....humidity!! there must hv been too much of that around that drawer..though it beats me why it had to be so localized. So neway, that made the wood expand and now the drawer is too big for its slot! Eureka!
..erm...u cud try heating it up a bit..for the reverse effect

atlanticmo said...

Can't you just take out the drawer above it and get the stuff out of the lower drawer? Then the middle drawer can become the secret drawer.

DonnaStaf said...

From the back. But then most of my furniture has cardboard back there so no big deal...

Anonymous said...

rather than stuff up the back you could always break the barrier that is inside between the drawers.
A toilet seat house warming gift? Tell us more!

ege said...

Charlie -- hmmm... Good thinkin!

Sashimi -- Good theory, but alas, it's not that simple. The drawer isn't wedged that tight, it just won't open. It's weird, I tell you what.

Atlanticmo -- I know who you are! Hi! But I guess I didn't explain myself that well: when you take the top drawer out there's like a sort of floor under it, so you can't get at the drawer beneath it. It's weird, I tell you what.

Donna -- Aha! I just checked and yes indeed there is cardboard back there! But wait... With that shelf/floor, I'd still have to smoosh my hand in all the way to the front. Grr.

12 -- EUREKA!

Anonymous said...

LOL thinking about the Queen (of England, darlin, not the one from the South End pub!!), coming over for tea and using the ant napkins!! I imagine her looking like she did in "The Naked Gun" where she had to pass the money and hot dog back and forth with the commoners. Ha, and she's a dog person. You could serve the attic (or was it basement?) pudding with her tea. Oh, you could try tipping the burea upside down to get the drawer to open.