In all of my zeal to be vigilant over our bulldog to be sure he does not destroy our new furniture within the first week of its delivery, I forgot to watch over my husband, Cap’n Firepants.
The Cap’n has been quite calm about the gradual demolition of our home by Wonderbutt, the Dog Who Ate the World. Periodically, the Cap’n even contributes to the demolition by doing such things as knocking down walls and tearing out flooring. He claims he is trying to improve our home, but I’m sure that is what Wonderbutt would say, too, if only he could talk.
We were all so energized by the delivery of new furniture to our household on Friday, that the Cap’n decided it was time for him to do some more home improving which involved removing some planks of cedar off of the wall so he could replace it with drywall and paint.
I could hear him tearing it down, and, instead of being concerned, I felt comforted by the fact that he was in the same vicinity as Wonderbutt, meaning any assaults on the couch would be unlikely to occur in my absence.
After the noise died down, I wandered out to the living room to survey the damage. To the wall. The intended damage that was in our Grand Plan of Creating a Designer Home.
The Cap’n looked at me apologetically.
“It turns out our floor isn’t so indestructible, after all,” he stated.
“What are you talking about?” I asked. He pointed down. Because, like an idiot, I was still looking at the wall even though he’d said the word “floor”.
There, on our newish concrete floor, in the middle of the Cap’n’s very own design for our entryway, was a long, deep white scratch – presumably from a vengeful piece of cedar desperate to mark its territory one last time.
I am the Wife Who Backed My Car into His Truck, the Wife Who Brought the Dog Who Ate the World into Our Household, the Wife Who Sets off Smoke Alarms When She Cooks.
I cannot fault him for a white scratch on our floor.
But it will be a good weapon in my arsenal when Wonderbutt finally makes his mark on the new sofas.
My husband, Cap’n Firepants, is a big proponent of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. However, in reality, he often just Rearranges… the Garage to Fit One More Thing. In his mind, he can imagine many other uses for each piece, but these uses do not usually get implemented within the century of their retirement.
With the addition of new furniture to the house, I was afraid that the old furniture would join the other odds and ends piling up in the garage. And donating it to Goodwill would have resulted in quite a bit of Ill Will toward the Firepants Family, I was certain. Considering that it looked like this
and smelled much worse than it looked, there was only one possible destination for these pieces.
“But Wonderbutt looks sad,” Dimples, our nine year old, protested. Wonderbutt is the one responsible for the sorry state of the old furniture. He is our insatiable bulldog with an affinity for foam – particularly the foam in carpet padding and furniture.
“Wonderbutt is a bulldog. He always looks sad.”
She was right, however, because, at the moment, Wonderbutt was sitting on our old couch, cushion removed, leaning heavily against the corner, with eyes glazed over, and his wrinkly face staring down as though he were mourning the death of the only one he truly cares about – Wonderbutt.
I hardened my heart.
“It doesn’t matter. Tomorrow is the Dial-a-Trailer across the street. And that is pretty much the only way are going to be able to get rid of these things – legally, at least.”
I did not tell Dimples, or Wonderbutt, that Dial-a-Trailer is a big ole truck that consumes tree limbs and furniture as easily as a giant masticating bran cereal.
So, this morning, Cap’n Firepants and I loaded the old pieces into Cap’n Firepants’ truck, and delivered them to the Jaws of Death. And I only sniffled a bit as I watched the spines get snapped on our first set of furniture bought as a married couple at a store that went out of business eighteen months ago. (That’s when they went out of business, not when we purchased the sofa and love seat. Although, that is roughly around when Wonderbutt came into our lives, so I would not put it past him to be responsible in some way, shape, or form for the entire collapse of the furniture industry.)
Then we came back to the house, and I realized that 2 of the sofa cushions had not made the trip. And that the Jaws of Death could help us free up another 10,000 square feet in our garage if we made a couple more trips.
After I used some gentle persuasion (“I’m sick of this mess!”) to convince him that the Jaws of Death were still hungry, Cap’n Firepants loaded our old wall into the truck – and then our old entertainment center.
That had been one of my first pieces of furniture. During my last year of college, I had purchased the unfinished piece, and sanded and stained it on my own. For years now, it has stood in our garage with a bunch of other junk piled on top.
I was ready to say good-bye.
Cap’n Firepants was not.
“I just wish we could at least try to sell it or something.”
“We did!” I pointed to the orange sticker that said 25 cents on it, a remnant of our one and only Garage
Sale Fail. I expected him to say, “Well, that didn’t really count. It poured sheets of rain the entire day, and we only had two customers the whole 8 hours.”
But he didn’t. He loaded it up.
“You don’t have to go this time,” he said. I thought he might be trying to be gentle of my feelings, maybe concerned that it would break my heart to see the old entertainment center instantly mashed into a thousand pieces. But then, I realized his true motive.
“You just don’t want me to embarrass you by taking pictures!” I accused him. I had taken out the camera to document the cushions, destroyed by Wonderbutt, that now crowned the pile in the back of the truck. And, yes, I had kind of considered taking a picture of them being eaten by the Trailer.
“You’re right,” he said.
And he left. And he returned 15 minutes later without the cushions or the wall or the entertainment center.
Unfortunately, neither one of us thought of the true solution to all of our problems – which would have been to feed Wonderbutt to the Trailer.
We got a new sofa and love seat today. Not a moment too soon. Here is what the old loveseat looked like:
And the sofa was in similar disrepair.
We have our 18 month old bulldog, Wonderbutt, to thank for this fine furniture handiwork.
What you can’t fully comprehend from these pictures is the discomfort of sitting on decidedly lumpy cushions, the animal fur that clung to the fabric, and the decidedly musky smell of dog that permeated the upholstery.
A month ago, in a rare moment of family unity, my husband, daughter, and I all agreed that we needed new couches.
We even agreed on the criteria. They needed to be leather and/or vinyl, and they were not allowed to have removable cushions. Oh, and they needed to be cheap. Because it would be hard to explain to the authorities why we abandoned our bulldog in the middle of a busy highway after he chewed through our antique, expensive leather davenport. If it’s cheap, we can just leave the ruined furniture on the side of the road instead.
Our new rear end receptacles are not completely Wonderbutt-proof, I have a feeling. This is why I have decided that we will host our daughter’s graduation party and wedding reception here in the next couple of months – even though Dimples is only nine years old. This is probably the only furniture we will be buying in the next 15 years, and everyone is already taking bets on how long it will be worthy of visitation. Unlike JP Morgan, I’ve decided I should try to play it safe.
So, if you happen to receive an invitation in the mail for our Summer Recept-uation Party, you should not hesitate to accept. This could be your last opportunity to enjoy our hospitality for at least another decade.
Oh, and just try to ignore the plastic wrap on the couch.