Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Moving Man

I descended the steep ramp to the lower level of the parking garage of our apartment building. The hotel cart I was pushing held a relatively large piece of furniture, its intended destination our storage unit in the bowels of this edifice.

Suddenly, terrifyingly, I could feel my grasp slipping, my fingers clawing to regain control of what I feared would soon be a runaway locomotive. Below, in my direct line, was an expensive looking automobile, parked and blissfully unaware of the possibilities that lay ahead.  In that moment I thought to myself, "this may not end well."

My career as a moving man has been marked only by its failure. A half century ago, I was asked by an aunt to remove an air conditioning unit from a second floor bedroom window. When gravity finished its business, the wreckage on the ground included both the dismembered unit and the heating system below that had cushioned its fall.

A decade later, a cousin and I were tasked with carrying a large urn of coffee down a flight of stairs to an outside family barbecue. For years after, I am certain there was a residual smell of incompetency on those steps. For unknown reason, that was the last time we gathered at this particular residence.

And thus,  given my well known proclivity for demolition, I blame my sister for putting me in a situation fraught with such peril. She and my brother in law were moving into the same apartment building as my wife and I, and had dropped off this piece for temporary storage before ultimately finding a home elsewhere. My wife suggested to me that I undertake the task, despite knowing chapter and verse of the magnitude of my inadequacy.

To be fair to my sister, I don't think she ever perceived that I would be the one assigned this duty. And my wife had instructed that I seek assistance from those whose​ job at the building was to make certain that people like me were never handling responsibilities like this.

In that split second I contemplated whether my homeowner's insurance would cover the resulting calamity. And how the true level of my ineptitude would now become folk lore.

But, by pure serendipity, or because I was now informed that God really does exist, my lunging effort to corral the cart was an unqualified success, and after a few steps of running in tandem with this beast, I was able to bring it under my command once more. A cowboy taming a bucking bronco.

My sister will never have to know how close her simple request came to creating a disaster for the ages. And my wife will never have to add this episode to the far too long list of things at which to shake her head.

I am now contemplating advertising myself as a mover, no job too small and no steep prices. Well maybe steep is a word I should avoid at all costs.


Anonymous said...

So sorry to have a good laugh on Sunday morning at your expense­čśÉ


Anonymous said...

You just gave me a great idea. I was going to ask you to help us move but now let me know if JOANNE is available. That was brilliant.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for not mentioning me by name!!


Harvey F Leeds said...


Anonymous said...

Why does none of this surprise me?


Anonymous said...

the bldg needs a new porter. care to qualify lois

Anonymous said...

Great piece of story telling Mr Santini. Images of Ralph Cramden and Clem Kadiddlehopper kept running through my mind.


Anonymous said...

Only only you could create a story-with such graphic detail and hilarious references and reflections - out of a single moment and episode!

Congrats on the save and your new sideline career!!


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Whenever called on to help move things I always asked, "so you want to hire 'Mangle Movers'?"