Sunday, December 4, 2011


     “I don’t know,” said Eddie, wiping the sweat off his brow. “I don’t think it’ll fit.”
     “It will fit,” said Fred. “We’re just not trying hard enough.”
     The two men evaluated the situation once again. Fred’s new queen-size bed foundation wouldn’t squeeze through his narrow winding staircase. They tried turning it every way possible, but the passageway was just too narrow.
     Eddie was hot and tired and his muscles ached. “You know, you could always return it to the store and trade it in for a split box spring. They’ll sell you two of them that are half this size for almost the same price.”
     “Almost,” said Fred, walking around the box spring as if he’d see something new. “It’s about fifteen dollars more, but we’re not about to give in so easily now, are we?”
     “I guess not.” Eddie was happy to help his neighbor, but he also really wanted to go home and watch the game.
     Fred snapped his fingers. “I’ve got it!”
     He ran out of the room and toward his garage. Moments later, he returned with safety goggles and a chainsaw.
     “All we need to do is make the passageway a little bigger.” He pulled the goggles over his head.
     “Um, Fred…” Eddie quickly climbed over the box spring and got out of the stairwell. “I really think you’re going about this the wrong way.”
     “Nonsense,” Fred said. “It’s just like my dad used to say: don’t raise the bridge when you can lower the river.”
     He pulled the chainsaw starter cord and it roared to life.
     In the end, Fred spent about $500 in repair bills, mostly to fix the electrical problems he caused by cutting through a conduit in the wall. That doesn’t include his $800 hospital bill. He did, however, manage to fit the bed up the stairs, and he was always proud he didn’t have to pay the furniture store their lousy fifteen bucks.
     He was also proud that his total expense was less than his father had to pay when he taught Fred how to install an antenna on the roof using a trampoline.

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