3.16.2009

Chair razing

Let's say you have some rickety patio furniture, and you'd really like to get rid of it and get something nicer, but you can't bring yourself to throw it out.

Here's what you should do: Invite me over for a barbecue.

For a modest fee of bratwurst and beer, I will gladly sit in your patio chairs and render them into kindling. Then we'll have a good laugh, clean up the mess and you can go shopping with a clean conscience.

How can I offer such a service? I am Brewer, Slayer of Chairs, Destroyer of Sitting Places, and Grand High Master of Splintery.

I achieved this lofty position by building my reputation over a lifelong career in chair smashing. I hate to brag, but it's well-known among my friends and acquaintances that you save the sturdiest chair for me. I'm six-foot-five and weigh over 250 pounds, many of them concentrated in the sitting region, and standard chairs don't stand a chance.

As with so many professional chair demolishers, I got my start in college. Horsing around, rocking back on two legs, buying the cheapest aluminum lawn chairs, all those things your mother warned you against.

The day I saw that I real potential to become an All-World Annihilator of Chairs came 30 years ago. I leaned a bentwood back onto two legs, only to have it crack and nearly pitch me out a second-story window. I barely caught myself in time. How's that for degree of difficulty?

As I grew older and ever heavier, more and more chairs fell beneath my destructive powers. Flimsy lawn chairs folded sideways. Pool lounges collapsed. Picnic benches splintered. Kitchen chairs splayed.

We owned a couple of antique armchairs with ornately carved front legs. They lived more than a century before they got to our house, where they were soon reduced to wreckage. Sometimes, while looking at family photo albums, I'll run across those chairs, and I'll feel a twinge of regret. But I swiftly push such feelings aside. No time for sentimentality; there's a whole world full of chairs to destroy.

I even broke a sofa once. Years ago, we bought a Duncan Phyfe-style sofa from a friend and had it refurbished by a roving Italian upholsterer who might've been lacking something in the green card area. The finished product was a beautiful, mustache-shaped sofa with graceful carved legs.

The very next Christmas, my family gathered around the tree in our bathrobes, passing out gifts and laughing. Full of joy. I had my gluteus maximus planted on one end of the redone sofa, and -- crack! -- a graceful leg snapped off. How's that for a Christmas surprise? Ho, ho, ho, pick yourself up off the floor and fix the couch.

My crowning achievement as Devastator of All Seating came a few summers ago, when I managed to kill not one, but two, heavy-duty lawn chairs at the same three-hour outdoor concert.

Granted, they were aged chairs, and they'd stood up to a lot of weighty abuse over the years. Their plastic arms were riddled with tiny stress fractures that were bound to give way eventually. But both chairs the same day? Some combination of sodden lawn and enormous man and beer worked its magic that day. Snap! Crack! Two chairs, straight to the dumper.

So, if you want to get rid of some chairs, stoke up the grill and give me a call. I'm in the Yellow Pages under "Chairs, Demolition." Ask for Destructor.

2 comments:

Life without Clots said...

I will add you to my Rolodex. While I am no slouch in the destruction biz, these days I limit myself to chocolate cakes and other desserts.

poodleland said...

Do you do roofs? I'd like a new roof on the shop...