Birthday Cake Shuffle II
I had coordinated the bed and the Man with a Van, both found on Craigslist, to come get the bed. We put the box spring, the mattress, and the frame in his minivan and drove the two and a half blocks to my apartment.
We tried to fit the box spring up the stairs.
It did not fit up the stairs.
It did not even fit up the first flight of stairs. The stairs are steep, they make a right turn, and the ceiling is low. Apparently my building is notorious for this - I don't mind much (I hate all new buildings and believe very strongly that my apartment has character) but I learned that my college friends have been telling each other "Melina lives in an apartment with scary stairs." They don't think that stairs should tilt to one side, and they apparently think that stairs should be more than six inches deep. Whatever. They'll understand once they're impoverished grownups.
So there I was standing in the rain with a guy with a truck, a mattress, a box spring, and a frame.
This guy was very nice, by the way. His name was Eddie, he was from Guatemala, and he was making a living driving people around in his truck and he only had to work 20 hours a week to do it. He was thinking about trying to finish his college degree. He said that people who are moving are usually in vulnerable emotional states, and he often has to act as their therapist. Mostly they're in good moods, he said, but some are breaking up with their significant others and Eddie has to kind of hold their hand while they go through it. Because usually when they see their stuff move is when it starts to sink in.
We shlepped the mattress and the frame up to my room and I left the box spring by the garbage cans, and ran away before anyone could see me abandoning it, and I told them they could go and I started looking on Craig's List again, $100 poorer and with only a mattress to show for it.
...Well, in fact, my first idea was that some handy person might be able to get my box spring up the stairs by cutting it down one side, folding it in half, and then re-assembling it at the top of the stairs, as is apparently possible.
All of which is what led to my posting the following ad on Craigslist:
URGENT: SAW MY BOX SPRING MATTRESS IN HALF and get it upstairs $50
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 2006-08-29, 12:00AM
help this damsel in distress please! tomorrow morning before 8:30 is ideal or after 5:30 PM.
I bought a full-size box spring and it does not fit up my apartment stairs (5th floor walkup). I have heard that you can saw it and fold it and then unfold it again at the top.
The box spring is sitting at the bottom of my stairs. I assume that it will be thrown out by someone soon if I don't get it up SOON.
Thus, this must happen tomorrow (tuesday) early AM or evening.
I will pay $50 to anyone who can get this thing up the stairs and make it work again once it is at the top. Will only pay if it is a workable boxspring at the end of the process. Thanks!!!!
I had no idea how many people actually possessed the ability to do this. I was flooded with replies. Most were from people who were, to put it nicely, optimists (or to put it not so nicely, desperate for the money):
I can definitely help you for $40 dollars and get your box spring up with sawing it or damaging it please feel free to call me at 347-XXX-XXXX
Some were perhaps inspired by the "damsel in distress" reference:
Hi, I can sure lend a pair of strong and enthusiastic hands to do the
job! Feel free to call me at 718 XXX XXXX
Others were skeptical:
I'LL DO IT,, BUT I NEVER HERD OF SAWING A BOX SPRING IN HALF,,,, I CAN COME BEFORE 8;30 AM BUT YOU NEED A BETTER PLAN , IM NOT GOING TO DO IT AND THEN NOT GET PAID,, IN MY OPINION IF YOU SAW IT IT'S NOT GONNA BE THE SAME AS NOT SAWED NO MATTER WHAT,LET ME KNOW ASAP .LOUIS
And one guy just couldn't even believe I would ask such a thing.
DID YOU EVER CONSIDER GETTING IT UP THE STEPS WHEN YOU BOUGHT IT?
This guy was so upset that he wrote me again five minutes later (profanity edited for general audience):
the more i see your post the crazier I think you are for starters we need tools that I have then you need material to put your s*** back together 10 bucks wood and screws 6 dollar toll 8 bucks for gas then the bull s*** of your f***ing hassle 2 hours min for being a moron.... price 13.00 an hour think about it would you do it for that ? I cant believe people on here
Finally, someone responded who sounded like he actually knew what he was talking about, and as I might have anticipated, the cost was far higher than I would have imagined:
The service you require would take two men, a saw, a drill, some screws, wooden splints to secure the boxspring after it has been moved and a little effort. I can provide the service you need for $100 flat. Call me at 1 XXX XXX XXXX if interested. I can do it this evening.
(My economist friends were warning me at this point to ignore my sunk costs; i.e. not to throw good money after bad.)
So I went back on ol' CraigsList and found a frame that didn't require a box spring, being sold two blocks from my office by a very nice young French investment banker who was being recalled to France and who was desperate to unload all his Ikea furniture in the next 24 hours. One of my undergraduate-aged friends was about to come visit so I told her to hail a van taxi and come find me. We loaded the frame in the van cab and drove it to my apartment and hauled it piece by piece up four flights of "scary" stairs (bear in mind that this girl goes skiing in the Alps every winter, and she's afraid of my stairs). The bed was assembled without further ado. But now I have:
1 fully assembled full size bed
1 twin bed frame
1 twin mattress
1 iron frame for a box spring
All in a very small apartment (the roommies are getting antsy).
I'm thinking about quitting my job and just opening a Sleepy's in the apartment since I have so much product on hand already. I have informed my roommate that if he gets on my nerves, I'll just bludgeon him to death with pieces of bed. He responded, snidely, that if I came after him, he would just retreat to a corner of the apartment where a mattress would not fit, and I would not be able to get to him. To which I replied that in that case I would simply barricade him in his room with mattress pieces, a la Cask of Amontillado, until he begged for mercy.
So in the end I don't think I did so badly. I ended up spending $50 (first bed set) + $50 (man with van) + $50 (second bed frame) + $20 (cab fare), and I only spent a few hours on this project overall. I might even recoup some money selling the twin bed. However, it wasn't quite the amazing bargain that I thought I would get when I started this project... Nor does my back, uh, not hurt.