The Sofa Bed and Other Fine Furniture

I took advantage of it. When you have a heavy and awkward sofa bed to haul out the front door, down 12 steps, across a 40-foot patio, and down a steep driveway, then you take the assistance of a 260-lb young man when he’s around. Our destination was the side of the road in front of our house, where we’ve had stellar success at leaving furniture for those who might want it, merely for the cost of hauling it away.

We’ve had great success with this. Last year, unfortunately without any help, I hauled our old treadmill up from the basement and took the same long journey down the driveway. I was still 20 feet from the road when a truck that had just passed the house, jammed on its brakes and backed up to the driveway.

“You getting rid of that?” asked the driver.

“Sure am,” I replied. “I’ll give you a hand loading it in your truck if you want.”

He didn’t even bother to move any of the crap in his truck bed – and it was full of crap… We just tossed it on top of a pile of grass clippings, old food containers, and a cracked kids’ wading pool.

As we loaded it in, he asked, almost as an afterthought, “Does it work?”

“It’s a little slow, slips a little. But if you can work with that, you’ll do fine.” He tipped his cap and headed on his way.

We’ve left other things at the bottom of the driveway for free too, especially all the stuff left over at the end of a yard sale – we bring nothing back up that driveway. Once it’s down there, it either gets sold or left for free afterwards. And people will scoop most of it up. Although, if you try this yourself, keep in mind that some folks are pigs. You may have junk all over your lawn or the street after they rummage through the boxes.

Twelve years ago, we left an old couch down there after an unsuccessful attempt to get ten bucks for it at a yard sale. It was actually a beautiful old piece from the 1930s. We forgot that the $10.00 price tag was still on it. The thing sat there for four days, through a soaking two-day downpour that at least gave it a nice cleaning. On the fifth day, a young couple came up the hill, said they wanted to buy the couch, and gave us ten bucks. They were happy as could be. We put the ten dollars in the collection plate at church. It’s the only time we ever took money for our roadside post-yard sale furniture sale.

So it’s safe to say, we’ve have a good track record at getting rid of old furniture at the bottom of the driveway. As Chris and I lowered the sofa bed to the ground, I had no reason to think this would be any different.

But I was anxious to get rid of this one before the next rain. We kept looking out the window every hour, hoping someone would appreciate that sofa. You can tell we didn’t have much to do that day. But no one took the sofa that day. Or the next two days. It became covered with frost the third night. We were giving up hope.

On Day Four of the Sofa Offering, I was heading down to put the trashcans out. I had almost forgotten about the sofa. To my surprise, it was gone! I ran up to tell my wife. We felt good. Two hours later, we headed out for a movie. When I stopped the car at the end of the driveway, she said to me “I thought you said the sofa was gone?”

“What are you talkin…” The words died on my tongue. Sure enough, the couch was there again; cushions just slightly mussed, the cardboard sign proclaiming “Free” now lying down. “I swear it was gone, dear. …I guess it didn’t meet someone’s high standards for a free sofa bed.” We laughed and headed off, convinced that the thing might stay there all winter now, until the recycle center re-opened next spring.

But, alas, the next day, it was gone for good. Sign and all. I guess, even in difficult economic times, it can be tough to give something away.

Can’t wait till we haul the old refrigerator down in January…

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  1. Vote -1 Vote +1JC

    There’s an old story about a guy who was trying to get rid of his old washing machine. He put it at the end of his driveway with a “Free” sign on it. It sat for days. Finally, he put on a sign that said “$25″. It was gone the next morning.
    There’s a lesson – if not social commentary — there somewhere…..

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