The Red Pants and the Spinning Sofa of Doom


Here’s the story of buttons, jangling, and Ghostbusters.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been hit in the face with a flying sofa, but it is, without doubt, one of the most nauseating experiences of my life. In fact, I’m struggling to think of any occasion where such sickness was summoned. The only thing I can compare it to, was that time I had a nasty sugar crash, a common occurrence in my life, resulting in me turning my school reception room into a pool of vomit. That I was sitting in. Reached my nipples in height before it stopped. The look of vacantness that befell my face that day has stayed with me ever since. Some would argue that this is much worse than a sofa nearly knocking a person out cold. I think the only reason anyone would think that, is because they find the sofa scenario a hard one to actually imagine happening. Not me, though. It’s the kind of thing I prepare for. Because it would definitely happen to me.

It’s like that time I tripped over a Christmas tree, nearly landed in the box it came in, and sprained my wrist. I should’ve been prepared. I should’ve thought ahead. Instead, I was a reckless fool. How far reaching has my preparation come since then? What if I pulled out a washing machine without a door, it fell forward, landed on top of me, causing me to become ensnared inside, and find myself trapped in a parallel world? Hmm? What would I do then? How can one possibly prepare for that sorta thing?

Most people would argue that I should probably let someone else pull out a washing machine without a door, but I’d be damned if I sent an innocent soul to the great unknown. Some would call The Ghostbusters. Sadly, they’re not real. As I found out when I was younger after several hours of frantic searching in The Yellow Pages. What can I say? It was 2003. We all know how crazy 2003 was. Others would argue that such a notion of a parallel world is so ridiculous it isn’t worth worrying about. You’re probably right. But just in case, my advice would be to tie some string around your waist, tie the other end to something solid, and pray the parallel universe residents haven’t yet invented scissors.

This washing machine scenario was actually a real one I debated in my head. I was helping somebody move this week, you see. Hence why there was a flying sofa and why I was worrying about the washing machine. And yes, its lack of a door was also real. That door, incidentally, wasn’t attached after it flew off. I didn’t realize it had shaken loose. I was the only person in the kitchen. When I opened the door, it just flew off. For a brief moment, I contemplated the thought that I was in fact, Superman. Most people would assume faulty doormanship, but not I. No, for a flickering moment, I felt like I was worth something. It was a shame I wasn’t wearing my Superman costume. When I pulled at my shirt I just created a big hole and ruined a perfectly good shirt. You never saw Lois Lane at the sewing machine, did you? “CLARK! I’M GETTING SICK OF SEWING THESE BUTTONS BACK ON!”

I don’t know why anyone would want to be Superman. If you don’t have the looks or the muscles, you’re just some crazy guy wearing bright red pants over your trousers. Women don’t find underwear attractive, especially if you’re not familiar with the point of underwear. In fact, it suggests you’re going commando. And I don’t know about you, but when a normal guy does that, the jangling is most uncomfortable. God only knows what it would be like for Superman.

Of course, one doesn’t need to be a superhero to wrangle a washing machine down five floors, up three feet into the back of a van, transport it on a 20-minute voyage, get it back out of the van, and carry it twenty yards to the kitchen. But it certainly would’ve been helpful. I was the only person who would help with the move. Apparently, I was the muscle. Which is a sentence you’d be laughing at if you could see how thin I am. A twig is stronger than me.

I even managed to get the sofa into the van. On my way to the van, I couldn’t see where I was walking and I ended up walking into the back of the sofa several times. But I was quite proud. I was doing well. Only the mattress to go. Although we didn’t actually manage to get the mattress into the van, there was no room, a problem that was obviously impossible from moment one but, being men, me and my brother spent an hour trying to figure it out. We did get it into the cabin. But that meant that there was no room for me or my brother. Who was the driver. Slight problem there.

I also had a problem with a table whose leg had snapped off and flew into the air, nearly hitting me in the face, but that’s another story altogether.

I am weak and feeble, but at last, we’d managed it. We were there at the new house with a van full of stuff. All was going swimmingly well. I was beaming. We had no problems whatsoever. Nope. None at all. Not a bit of it. Nopey-nope a nope-a-nope. Nothing at all. Except one of the washing machine pipes did fly off, flailed around and sprayed water all over the back of the van, flooding it and soaking all the stuff. But apart from that little niggle, everything was a-okay.

The mess was barbaric. Earlier that day, most of some glass we were transporting had smashed to pieces and now there was water everywhere and an even more broken table. We really should’ve hired somebody. You know, a professional mover. Sorta what they do. Heck, the cost of hiring the van would’ve covered the cost of a mover. Anywho, it was time to unload. The first item of business – get the sofa back out. Everything else was underneath it. Ah, wonderful. What could possibly go wrong?

The sofa was upside down, the thick oak legs pointing up. The back of the sofa was incredibly heavy, and that side was to my left. The light side was to my right. I had hold of the light side only. The heavy side was not supported. On the other end, my brother had hold of the heavy side, whilst the light side was resting on the back edge of the van floor. Three feet in the air. It slipped off. With my brother holding the heavy side and me holding the light side, the sofa leapt diagonally into the sky, out of my brother’s hands, jumped out of my hands, and flew into the air. It started to spin, with the heavy side coming toward me. I knew at that point I was as good as dead. It must have been travelling at a colossal speed. A speed that could easily demolish a three foot thick wall with one hit of a sledgehammer. An insane speed.

I’m still not quite sure how, but the sofa sorta lurched toward me as it continued its death spin. A spin that was abruptly halted by my face. I imagine that’s what it would be like to be hit in the face by Muhammad Ali. I suddenly felt very sick and lightheaded, clear signs of a concussion. I had flashbacks to that awful day in school. In reception. All the kids laughing and making me want to cry. Except nobody was laughing. I had just been hit in the face by a flying sofa. Well, there was a dog that looked slightly amused, but apart from her.

I’d be damned if my amazing feat of strength would come to nothing. I carried on. Like a real man. Yes, like a real man. Who said the outside underwear wearing freak was good for nothing? I thought of those kids laughing at me, and the women who replaced them in laughing at me later in life, and then my brain laughing at me, which replaced the women who laughed at me when I gave up caring what anyone thought of me, and I carried on. I got the job done. I had helped my brother move. A good night’s rest, that’s all I needed.

I awoke the next day.


My arms were tense and sore. My back was aching. My shoulders were shot to pieces. My jaw was sore. But worst of all? Those damn oak sofa legs had hit me full force in the mouth and nearly knocked out one of my teeth. It’s pushed one tooth so far in it’s actually gone behind one of my other teeth. And I’m still in agony. I have only two options, readers. Cry or take vengeance.

Hmm, I wonder where I can get a chainsaw from…

Gujarati nonviolent nationalist, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948), once said: “Nobody can hurt me without my permission”.

Peace Out :|:

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To Contrive & Jive
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  1. Reckless Fool,
    Tilt a doorless washing machine over top of you and let us know how the parallel universe travel goes, but maybe lay off the Kung Fu sofa shenanigans, sofas are generally plush and comfy until pushed into these sort of encounters. Move less, help others move even less.


    • Will do.

      The sofa was hardly my fault. It was an accident. Caused by poor communication. On my part. But hardly my fault. It slipped and we lost control. Can’t be helped. There’s actually a tooth mark on that sofa, now. It’s like a permanent reminder never to try to move it again.

      Move less, help others move even less. Quite a good phrase. I should print it out and frame it…

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