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Sofa Surfing

caesar novus


I recently came the closest ever to being hit by a car when crossing the street, with the walklight. I remember calculating whether I should jump on the hood or try to bounce off the side. I was too exhausted from a gym session to jump, but was saved by their last minute screech to a stop. Lucky, because the driver was accelerating fast to turn into a gap in traffic.


Now I know why pedestrians so often leave their shoes behind when being hit and smash in the windshield. If you don't jump way up, the impact at knee level should shoot your feet out faster than the car in a levered sort of a crack-the-whip fashion; your center of gravity above the impact level should tend to stay still until it is smacked by the windshield which then tosses you in the air.


The strange thing was I felt no road rage; even though the drivers behind voiced support for me and anger at the offender, I ambled on with an uplifted feeling. It seemed like an overdue wakeup call in making the consequences of collision concrete in my mind and clearing out laziness in defensive walking or driving.


Actually I probably had in mind some concern about a drive I planned to pick up a sofabed from a warehouse. I rarely drive, yet could not bear the delivery fee for a sofabed I scored for half price on a holiday sale. Why does that concern me... well it may be the second time I arrive at a warehouse in a compact hatchback where they won't want to release the oversize furniture, and then I have the trouble dragging it precariously thru traffic. I have to, because it is prepaid with no refunds.


My previous upscale sofabed was bought for a song in a store being closed and no longer offered delivery. I was lucky at the warehouse with someone undaunted by my small vehicle and my delusions of being able to disassemble the sofa first. He knew the internal frame would fit in the hatchback even if the foamy parts were way oversize, and picked it up in a forklift and jammed the square peg in a round hole.


Well, maybe that damaged the foam, because over the years it broke up into lumps and the fake leather shed. Finally I put it outside the evening before trash pickup, and was pleased to see that someone snatched it overnight... they get a temporary thrill until seeing it in daylight. I next went on a long drive for the replacement, proud of the fact I used no map or gps and even outsmarted the word directions (turn at second light? no way, that looks like a newly added one).


The warehouse didn't want to release the box which wouldn't fit in the hatchback. I had them remove the box and it still resisted, but now I am committed. In the tension of the moment, or day, or couple of days I got brain freeze and didn't think of the likely solution of flexing the backrest. We were handling it flat and I just shoved with all my might, which somewhat scuffed the thing but got it in kind of diagonally and tied it down


On the drive home with the hatch open and sofa sticking way out, I got stuck in traffic that took maybe an hour to cover a few blocks... nine million degrees of swelter. I noticed being tailgated by an inattentive driver, and realized I had rigged the high side of the sofa against my headrest instead of the empty passenger seat. The slightest tap from behind would lever me into steering column and crush my ribcage, and the stuck sofa would not release pressure afterwards. Oh great, my near death experience served to impress me with dangers when I was already committed, rather than inspiring precautions.