After six long years of service, my computer chair finally gave up the ghost and suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure. Unfortunately for me I was sitting in it at the time.
It was late last night, maybe just past midnight, and I had just finished putting the finishing touches on some work for one of my clients. At the same time, the wife had come downstairs in order to use the restroom. Now I don’t know if you’re personally or tangentially familiar with the kinds of bizarre tests they make pregnant women take nowadays, but the wife had a battery of blood tests in the morning and she’d been instructed to collect urine samples for 24 hours prior, so here’s the scene: she comes out of the bathroom, sample jug in hand, and I swivel in the chair – a big, black, high-backed executive chair – to face her and lean back. The chair creaks and I open my mouth to say something to her, but the next thing I know the chair keeps going backwards and I tumble out of it as the back of the chair comes to lay at rest on the hardwood floor.
I of course immediately burst out laughing. The wife is both astounded and dismayed, and goes to help me up, but her hands are full. “Hold on,” she says, as my laughter begins to peter out, “let me go put my pee in the fridge,” which is a sentence no one should ever have to utter, ever, and only set me off laughing even harder. We’re just lucky that the walls of the cottage are thick stone and our closest neighbor is something like 200 feet away.
I finally extricated myself from the ruined chair – struggling like a turtle on its back – and surveyed the damage. Apparently the single post that connects the bottom of the seat to the rolling casters failed, as a wide crack had developed across the front, allowing the back to act like a hinge and dump me to the ground. I don’t know what it’s made out of – I suppose it’s maybe tubular steel or something – but I was pretty damn impressed with both myself and the chair.
Truth be told it wasn’t ever designed to last as long as it had. I bought it back in very early 2007 for my tiny little one-room apartment I lived in just before moving in with the wife, and it’s gone from that little apartment in New Paltz village to one just south of town on Route 32, right across from the Modena post office, to the next apartment down on Long Island, and finally to southeastern Pennsylvania. I think it was a $125 special from Staples or something like that, and while it wasn’t really comfortable to sit on any more because all the stuffing was flat, it listed to starboard heavily, and the cats had destroyed the fake leather back by climbing up and down it constantly, it never occurred to me that I might have to replace it one day!
Guess we’re going back to Staples later. Right after the wife drops her jug of pee off at the lab.