“Hey, Mom. We found a chair and it’s a recliner…and it’s really fuzzy. And it was free. And we thought we could use it when we wanted to play Airsoft…or if we need to chill somewhere. It’s a good chair. So, yeah…call me back when you get this.”
That was the voicemail message Noah left on my phone one afternoon when Ron and I were out running errands. “Eww….” I said to Ron after relaying Noah’s message to him.” I wonder where they found that chair. They better not have brought it home.’ I didn’t call Noah back and assumed that if I didn’t give him permission to bring the chair home, it would end up at a friend’s house instead.
A short time later, we pulled into our driveway and to our delight, we found a stunning, green chair (circa 1974) parked in the second stall of our garage. Noah and his friends were nowhere in sight.
We got out of the car to inspect it. “Gross,” Ron said as we both stood gazing at it. The fabric was seasick green-colored synthetic fuzz probably made from a combination of polyester, nylon, and melted plastic. The piping along the front cushion had worn down to its pallid grayish innards, there was a hole in the back where a button used to be, and the handle that operated the reclining mechanism was hanging precariously by a thread. Taped to the front of the chair was a piece of paper with the word “FREE” scrawled across it in bold Sharpie lettering. As I sized the thing up, I could only imagine how many cans of Billy Beer, Cheetos, and episodes of “All in the Family” this chair had seen in its lifetime.
“Great…what are we going to do with it?” I asked my husband. “It’s disgusting.”
“He’s going to bring it back to where he found it,” Ron responded matter-of-factly.
When we went inside of the house, Noah was sitting at the kitchen counter eating a snack. “What are you planning to do with that chair in the garage?” I asked him point blank.
Noah paused long enough to look up from his Ramen and said, “Me and Jake and Eric are going to take it into the woods and shoot it. You know…with our Airsoft guns. It’s cool.”
“You need to take it back where you found it,” Ron told Noah. “We can’t have that thing sitting around here.”
“I don’t even remember what house we got it from, Dad,” Noah said.
Noah explained that they had discovered the discarded recliner at the edge of some yard off the county road and they were so pumped when they saw it, they didn’t pay attention to where they were before they began hauling it home. Now none of Noah’s friends were around to help him lug it anywhere, anyway. And the clincher was that even if Ron did load the chair into our truck to help Noah get rid of it, our observant teenager didn’t have a clue where it needed to go. What if they ended up chucking it in front of the wrong house? Try explaining why you’re dumping a giant pile of green trash on someone’s yard to the cops.
So, while we tried to figure out a cheap way to get rid of it, the chair sat in the garage. For weeks it sat. Then weeks turned into months. We walked around it. We parked next to it. We moved it across the floor a few times. We stored things like toolboxes or huge bags of water softener salt on it. Finally when Ron got tired of constantly maneuvering the thing around the garage, he pulled it out onto the driveway.
“You still need to get rid of that thing, ” he reminded Noah again and again.
Noah’s chair-hauling posse had been gone for months. The chair never made it to the woods, and to my knowledge no one ever shot it. Now outside, the green albatross endured snow, sleet, rain, and acorn showers. And yup…Greenie was displayed front and center outside our house on the driveway. We were quickly turning in the classiest family in the neighborhood but unfortunately, no one was jealous enough to sneak up and steal the chair.
I know you’re wondering. Why didn’t we just throw the thing out? Well, that would mean a painstaking call to our waste management service and a hefty fee to have it hauled away. I wasn’t ready to fork out money to have trash hauled away that wasn’t ours to being with. So, we just left it there, hoping that it would eventually turn to compost and blow away. But since it was made from some super secret 1970’s indelible material, it didn’t. The chair had pretty much become a lawn ornament and sadly, it had gotten to the point where I barely even noticed anymore.
A few weeks before Stella’s graduation party Ron had finally had enough of the nasty recliner and handed Noah a crowbar, saw, and sledgehammer and said, “Go chop the chair up.”
Noah was ecstatic about this idea and quickly ran to the driveway and set to work. After an hour or so of sawing, hammering, and prying, the chair had been broken down into bite-sized pieces that were easily dropped into our trashcan. The next day, Walters Refuse finally hauled ol’ Greenie away. And the best thing about it was that we didn’t have to pay anything extra to have it done.
Have your kids ever brought anything strange home that you had to deal with? Did you ever do it as a kid?
Be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed to stay up-to-date on the latest posts!