From solid to junk in thirty blocks

Today I went to pick up a kitchen island we’d found on Craig’s List. The kitchen desperately needed a workstation next to the stove, and this was the perfect size. Since it was on wheels, I figured it’d be easy to get back to our place–even though I was picking it up at 71st and we live at 107th.

Of course, today was rainy. The folks I was getting it from were moving and today was the only day I could pick it up. But hey, I just moved from Oregon; I’ve got a rain coat. How bad can it be?

First, let me introduce you to the discovery of wind and how wind can push rain through a coat that is merely water-resistant instead of water-repellent.

Next, allow me to demonstrate what happens to screws which are vibrated for thirty blocks. They loosen and then, they come out. Taking with them, at 90th street, one of the wheels of the kitchen island. At this point, I suggest calling your husband and asking him to come meet you with the handtruck–yes, I should have taken it in the first place. Leave a message for your husband. After waiting, discover that it is possible to balance the cart on three wheels and still continue on your journey.

Call your husband again at 92nd, 94th and 97th by which point he will have returned from his outing. Wait under the awning of a restaurant until he arrives.

By the time the cart arrives in your home, the draw will have fallen in, the sides will be collapsing and the top will no longer be attached to the frame.

Fortunately, we did pass a hardware store on the way home and I purchased replacement bolts and screws. The cart reassembled very quickly at home and is once more the solid piece of furniture I purchased.

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12 Responses

  1. -e-

    not owning a handtruck in NY, I once moved a dresser 15 blocks to my apartment balanced on a borrowed skateboard…

  2. strugglingwriter

    Oh, what a debacle. I’m glad you were able to re-assemble the island. It probably took a lot of will to not just push the thing into traffic and duck into a coffee shop.

  3. Mary Robinette Kowal

    -e-: Ha! I didn’t think anything could make my cart sound more stable.

    Strugglingwriter: Yes. Especially as it looked more and more like something I’d found on the street and I got more bedraggled from the rain. If I hadn’t paid money…

    Aimee: I could do with a few less, some days. And truly, this one could have been avoided if I had just taken the handtruck with me in the first place. I just didn’t want to deal with it on the subway ride down there. Next time.

    Speaking of next time–who wants to help me move a bookcase on Friday? Anyone? Hey–where’d you all go?

  4. Chang O.C., the Original Changsta

    I’m sorry, but you were thinking you would roll a kitchen island 36 blocks???

    Yeah, in some kind of bizarre road race, perhaps. 🙂

    Woman, I believe they have cabs in NYC. Would that have cost more than the extra hardware?

  5. Mary Robinette Kowal

    Chang: Well, yes. I rolled it 20 before it imploded. And it was too large for a cab–believe me, I thought about it. The extra hardware was less than $4, so, yes, a cab would have cost more.

  6. Mary Robinette Kowal

    Apologize not for being a smartass. You were amusing and it was said with love.

    Truly, part of the rationale is that Rob had come from 80th with a desk the day before. Nine additional blocks didn’t seem like a big deal.

  7. momk

    We thought you wrote sci/fi and fantasy fiction, not humour essays. That was Funeeeeey to read! Still laughing.

  8. -d-

    My daughter is a good fantasy writer because she has never let reality interfere with her thought process.