Posted on



Oh, the stories my old blue chair could tell

If the old blue recliner that I retired last week could speak, it would surely tell many stories of nights at home with its respected owner, in front of the television, passing quality quiet time. Well, yeah, it might digress to a few tales of enduring weekend mornings after I'd swilled beer and gobbled pickled pork hocks the night before, but, well, that's sort of a good chair's function, to absorb it's human's flatulent perfume.

OK, so maybe 'perfume' wasn't the best word choice there. I just hated to have to burn 'fart' so early in the narrative.

I don't actually know how old the blue chair was. I obtained it eight years ago when I bought my house, and the previous owner decided she would not take it with her. 'Huh? Free furniture?' I recall saying at the time. 'How about appliances? I'll take them, too.'

The old chair was all she had, though, and a coffee table, and some green dinner plates, all of which I still have and use today. The chair, well, let's just say it held up my 240-pound lardbutt a few hundred times too many, and its undercarriage busted a few months ago. I suppose it might have been repairable, but the chair's upholstery was bald in spots, the cushion material was lumpy, and I just figured my kids would be happier if I spent some of their inheritance on my physical comfort.

No, I didn't ask them.

It didn't take me long to pick out a new model from the local chair store, since all I require of something on which I sit is for it to not make any comments about how many full cakes I must've eaten since I last parked my posterior. I went with a brown model, with a higher back to support my neck, and enough cushy padding to make me feel like I'm sittin' on a cloud. Or the cat. Look, if he can't learn to move his kitty carcass when my butt's comin' in for a hard landing, I don't feel sorry for him.

I did test out a power recliner, you know, one with a remote-control mechanism that raises the footrest for you to save you the physical exertion of reaching down to work the manual wooden side lever. The way I see it, though, most days my greatest exertion at work is getting my top left-hand desk drawer (it's the one where I keep the candy bars) unstuck, so it probably wouldn't hurt me any to at least have to work a lever once before I plop down for the night with enough snacks in my lap to fill a convenience store aisle.

Yeah, that's right. There's no room there for the cat. Let him get his own new chair.

Although I'm kind of a sentimental dude when it comes to getting rid of old personal items -- I still have the old softball bat that I used in my 20s even though I haven't swung it at anything since I couldn't find a hammer and needed something to pound in a nail -- but it wasn't a tough call to move out the old blue chair. As I said, it has seen its best days --well, yeah, I know, so have I -- and I figured, you know what, I work modestly hard once every three or four months, I deserve this. Besides, I'm getting older and my lower back and knees are screamin' at me, so this is actually good for my health. Sure, so would nightly walks and some push-ups, but, yeah, right.

Before the guys from the furniture store arrived with my new recliner, I slid the old one from its spot to clean up a bit. The area underneath hadn't seen the light of day for some time, and it turned out to tell quite a story of the many hours I had sat there. There were at least three flavors of Doritos (judging by the varying mold textures), numerous macaroni shells (daddy likes his buttered noodles), two ink pens, three plastic water bottle caps, a little cluster of mouse poop (the cat did earn his keep and take care of that issue a few months back), an empty envelope, a sheet of paper with numbers on it that I think may have something to do with either a computer password or my checkbook balance, one lone Tater Tot (remarkably well preserved), and a few spare coins. I was hoping my good set of toenail clippers would turn up, but no luck. Maybe when I sell the couch.

So it turns out my new chair is quite a bit larger than the old one, so I had to rearrange a little bit to accommodate it. First, the footrest hit the coffee table when I swung it up, and then the back of the chair struck the vertical blinds behind me when I kicked back into full-on doze-and-drool position. I suppose I should have measured for such things before selecting a new model, but I tend to shop more by the just-bring-it-homeand- see-how-it-goes philosophy. Could explain why my ex-wives never seemed to fit so well, I s'pose. I'm quite pleased with the new chair, though. It fits all my requirements -- it's soft yet firm, I can fall asleep in it faster than it takes the evening news broadcast to go to its first commercial break, and it looks swell in the man cave (defined as: at least one deer head or fish mount per 22 square feet). I'm especially happy with the fabric shade choice, which I found in the first weekend already is both the color of gravy stains and garden soil. And you thought I chose it 'cuz it matches the baseboards.

Since I tend to use things until they are more worn out than Dr. Anthony Fauci's patience at a presidential COVID briefing, it's quite likely that this will be the last new recliner I ever purchase. I'm 57 now, and this chair should be able to give me 25 good years, I figure, and by then, I ought to be either ready for a home where the nurses will say, 'Please, it can't be my turn again already to change Mr. Lesar's bedding,' or I'll long since have been turned to ashes and spread in my favorite forest. Of course, I could pay it forward, and give the chair to whomever I one day sell my house, with the advice that they take the main seat cushion to the nearest industrial upholstery cleaner.

You know, the beer and pickled pork hocks. You just knew I was gonna use 'fart' again somewhere, didn't you?