Beggars CAN Be Choosers

One of my wife’s friends was nice enough to donate a couch set to us. Hilarity ensues.

Brief Lordleiter Couch History: My wife and I moved in together in the summer of 2000. With that move we inherited a nice couch and love seat (with reclining option) with two bearable flaws. 1) The fabrics were starting to show some serious wear. They were not thinning, but rather starting to look soiled as it was a light fabric and a family of five (three of which were growing teenage boys) had been using it for years. To be expected. 2) The couch stunk of my oldest brother who spent umpteen hours sleeping and drooling on it. We were grateful for the donation and promptly set out to buy some slip covers to remedy the flaw. Since then we have been living with these couches and slip covers that do not quit fit properly and disable the reclining option of the love seat. These covers are always riding up the back or slipping off corners and after three years one can be driven to clinical madness from this.

So this offer comes in and we jump at the chance. Our thinking is that even if these couches are awful (the turned out to be quite nice), it will at least be a different awful and change is good. So now, it is my charge to get rid of the old couches before the new ones come in; and thus we are now at the crux of this story.

First I call the Salvation Army. They will take the couches, but only certain branches can accept such a “large” donation and the nearest one to me is 20+ miles away. Damn and blast. Worse still, that particular branch is closed on Saturdays. (It was Saturday.) So I start racking my mind for alternatives. I had once taken a couch for my office somewhere to donate, but could not remember the name, but I could the location. Thanks to the marvels of the internet and Sherlock, I finally got the name. (Did you think of it already?) The Goodwill! Better still, there is one only three miles from my house, they are open on Saturday AND they take couches.

So I call over a friend to help me load the couches into my truck. Being the damn fine friend that he is he agreed. (I did bribe him with a Las Barcas lunch.) We load up the truck and make our way to the Goodwill in high spirits. When we get there we are directed to the donation area and pull the truck with the couches to said donation area. We get out of the truck and before I even get a chance to say word one to anyone, these weird carnies float over to my truck (much like undead tend to move about) and start man-handling my merchandise. The gentleman I actually had an exchange with was superbly thin and dull-faced. His thinness was accented by the lifting belt that cinched his shirt to his 12 inch waist. Some uncomfortable dialog transpired and then Mr. Goodwill dropped the bomb. He decided the couch was unworthy of the Goodwill.

I couldn’t quite place my reaction. Disbelief? Confusion? Insulted? Something comprising them all, most likely. That the couch was rejected by the Goodwill-powers-that-be isn’t the amazing part. What really scared me was Mr. Goodwill’s follow up comment. “We don’t clean the donations.” I don’t know the exact procedure, but I took this to mean that the garbage that goes into that place goes onto the floor as-is. My immediate question was, “Even clothing?” I didn’t bother asking for the serious want to leave the Twilight Zone. The carnies floated away and we left.

I still have the old couch set and now a nicer new one to boot. I have a brief period where I was convinced that I could destroy the old couch into small enough pieces that I could just includes bits of it in my trash for the next few weeks until it was gone. This is not the case. Currently, there is a half torn up love seat and couch in my garage. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but even my trusty drill and manly hammer could dismantle the metalworks the make up the reclining feature of the love seat that I have been deprived of for three years.

Oh bother.

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