Hardware’s gone soft

Important note in bold font: In honor of the birth of our nation and the more recent birth of two very time-consuming children, I took last week off from the column.  Here’s a column from 2005 that ran in the papers instead.  I have no idea what I wrote three weeks ago, so hopefully this will seem new to you, too.

My wife Kara recently tricked me into thinking we were going tool shopping. I know, I know, I should have smelled a trap. I’m like Wiley Coyote – she paints the tunnel on the rock face, and I run smack into it every time.

She fooled me by taking me to a store called Restoration Hardware, and I, for reasons that seemed obvious at the time, expected to find myself in a hardware store. Once we got there, though, I realized it was really a Pottery Barn in disguise. Talk about your dirty tricks. Someday, I’m going to open up a sports bar called “Pillows n’ Scented Candles.”

I actually can’t complain too much about getting tricked into furniture shopping with my wife — furniture stores always have a place to sit. Shopping with Kara is much more fun for both of us when I can just sit and space out until it’s time to go home.

If it was socially acceptable for a grown man to play GameBoy in public, I’d be a regular furniture shop-a-holic. Nintendo needs to come out with a GameMan for the more mature nerd. It could double as an electric shaver.  (Note from 2012: In this paragraph from 2005, I’m pretty sure I invented the iPhone.  I need to see if there’s an app for suing them over that.)

Anyway, that fake hardware store sure did have a nice place to sit. I found a couch there that was so comfy, it was obviously the result of celestial intervention.

In Greek mythology, Hephaestus, the god of fire and metalworking, crafted a golden throne inside his volcano forge. He gave this throne to the goddess Hera, and when she sat upon it, invisible chains entrapped her. Many years later, that throne was re-upholstered, outfitted with a hide-a-bed, and set upon display at Restoration Hardware (which, by the way, does not sell hardware).

Hephaestus eventually returned to Mount Olympus and set Hera free. If I was trapped on that couch, and Hephaestus came to set me free, I’d say, “Thanks but no thanks, Heph. But hey, before you leave, would you mind using that volcano of yours to fire me up some Cheetos?”

Seriously, if this couch were in my living room, all I’d need to survive would be a remote control, an IV drip, a catheter, and some sort of water-wheel-and-pulley contraption to roll me over every couple of days.
I hung out on that couch until Kara finished looking at all the satiny, aromatic delights of the hardware store. When she came back to retrieve me, I rolled over and checked the price tag, which read $4,000.

“You like that couch?” Kara asked.

“Heck no!” I said. “It’s lumpy. No, no — don’t sit down. Let’s get out of here.”

“It looks like a nice couch,” she said, eyeing it up.

“Depends on what kind of highway mileage it gets,” I replied. Clearly, nothing costs that much money that can’t be driven home.

Apparently, that couch is so expensive because it is upholstered with the woven chest hair of virgin leprechauns, and the pillows are all stuffed with $20 bills. At least that’s what I assume. We hustled out of there so quickly, I didn’t have time to find out anything else about it.

I didn’t need the temptation. The Couch of the Gods got trumped by the specter of the Unholy Credit Card Bill.

You can munch on celestial Cheetos with Mike Todd at mikectodd@gmail.com.

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