The Couch Adventure
Or, How I spent 4 hours with a dead pickup truck

no comply has this friend, and she has a loveseat sitting in her basement that she wants to get rid of. Her family is fabulously well-to-do, so this is a pretty nice loveseat. I have just moved into a house with 3 other friends who have never had a place of their own, and hence our decor has sort of a minimalist Salvation Army feel to it. Another couch would be A Good Thing.

So (technically) earlier this morning (12:10 or so), we're sitting and watching yet another rented movie because we don't have cable yet, when no comply calls me. The girl with the couch is leaving for college Real Soon Now, so if we want the couch, we should come over and get it soon. Like, right now.

"Do we know anyone that has a truck," I ask, knowing full well that none of us do, "because if we want that couch, we have to go get it Right Now."

To my surprise, my sister's boyfriend Liam answers. "Yeah, my dad has one. We can probably borrow it. Let me call him."

So he calls his dad, and his dad says that there's a few hundred pounds of bricks in the back, but he can empty them out for us. Right now. At 12 o'clock at night. Obviously Fate wants us to have this couch.

We get in my friend's car, and a couple of us drive over to the girl's house. My sister and her boyfriend meet us there in the truck. We make smalltalk, load the couch into the truck, say farewells, and get in our cars. We're about to drive off, when...

The truck won't start. Liam turns the key, the truck goes "VrrrRrr...rrr...rrrr." The lights dim. Nothing. Try again. "Vrrrr....r." Less than nothing. Great. It's too dark to see the batteries, so we call the girl from her driveway and ask her to come outside and bring us a flashlight. She does, and we hook up jumper cables. Still nothing. Liam calls his dad again. He directs us to spray some starter fluid into the carburator. We eventually locate what we think is the carburator and spray it liberally with the fluid that we find in the back of the truck. Not even a sickly "vrrr..." escapes the engine now, just a sad little click.

So we wait half an hour, and Liam's dad comes over. He's a short Irish guy who my sister refers to as "The Leprechaun". He climbs halfway into the engine of the truck, fiddling with wires and hoses and whatnot, and eventually gets the beast to spring to life. Finally, The Couch was ours!

We begin to drive off, when we notice the truck is not following. We drive a quarter-mile in reverse to where the truck sits, silent, with rapidly dimming headlights. The truck had died again, just around the corner from the girl's house. Liam tried to honk to let us know what was going on, but when he pressed the horn, the lights dimmed and the truck made a noise like a dying muppet - a sad, rattly honk that faded and lowered in pitch as the old truck breathed its last, in the darkness, beneath an old apple tree.

Dan calls Triple A to get the truck towed to my house, so I can get at least get THE COUCH. In my head, I hear it in capital letters. It's no longer just any ordinary couch, but some mythical cursed object, that heroes had quested for and died in its pursuit for eons. Its curse had claimed the life of the poor truck, but I'd be damned if I was going to give up on it now.

Triple-A sends out a tow truck, which is supposed to be there in 45 minutes. We pass the time sitting in the truck, sitting in the back of the truck on the couch, throwing crabapples at houses and trees and each other, laughing ourselves silly about out predicament. We start talking about the Blair Witch Project and get really spooked. Dan goes out for Dunkin' Donuts coffee.

An hour later, around 2:30, the tow truck arrives. Huzzah! We have defeated THE COUCH! We will finally get to go home and go to sleep!

"FUCK!" yells the tow truck guy. "I can't tow this, it's four wheel drive. I'll have to call a flatbed. It'll take an hour or so, he'll be coming outta Tewksbury."

At this point, I hate my life.

The tow truck guy is nice enough to wait by our truck for the flatbed. So I finally get to go home, but I have to stay awake another hour or two while the flatbed gets to the truck, picks it up, and brings it to my house. Luckily the coffee is doing its work, so I am up to the task.

Around 4:15, the flatbed and the tow truck arrive at my house amidst much beeping and flashing of lights and great consternation for all of my neighbors. Fuck 'em. They can answer to THE COUCH. The flatbed dumps the truck on the street in front of my house, and the two nice towing guys bid me good night. Somehow, through sheer force of will and blockheaded determination, I singlehandedly carry THE COUCH up my driveway, up some stone steps, across the walkway, up the stairs to my front door, and into my living room, where I place it amongst the other free furniture, and give the motherfucker a nice solid kick.

THE COUCH is beautiful. I hate it. It's 5 in the morning. I'm going to bed.