M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Thursday, December 19, 2002  

Okay, when I started this daily yammer back in March, I figured that as long as I stayed away from insulting my friends and family by name, I’d be okay, karmically. Apply the golden rule, avoid golden showers. Seemed simple enough.

But as it turns out, someone or something is reading this every day and finding ways to twist it against me. Something with a long memory, an alarming affinity for dramatic irony, and a thorough mastery of the source code to the universe.

I’m not just talking about my dire prediction of a shower-door disaster that came so messily and scarily true yesterday. I’m not just talking about all the times I’ve announced my plans to fix something in the house only to have the project go tragically off the rails. I’m also talking about the time I made fun of my wife’s coworker MC because the back of his car seat fell off. Because guess what I’m sitting on right now?

I’ve talked about how attached I am to my chair at work. I really am. I’m more attached to my chair than anyone else here. I’m more attached to my chair than is strictly healthy. In fact, I’m more attached to my chair than the back of my chair is. Therein lies my problem.

I’ve sat in this chair every workday for the past six years. There’s no other chair in this office that I want to sit in all day, and here’s why: they all have lumbar support. Sure, everyone tries to trick me into thinking that lumbar support is a good thing, but I’ve figured out that in most cases, “support” is just another word for “something uncomfortable.” I mean, support hose? Underwire support? Athletic support? Sure, people say they want those things, but none of them are comfortable enough to sleep in. And support groups? When they show support groups in the movies, do those people look like they’re having fun?

What I love about my chair is its complete lack of lumbar support. It supports my ass, and I can lean back, but that’s it. I don’t have some “therapeutic” roll of foam rubber trying to nerve-pinch my lower back like a confused Vulcan, and I don’t need it. So how did I get a chair that’s different from everyone else’s? did I special-order it? Did I bring it from home? Nope. It’s just a little broken. Just broken enough, to be precise. Until recently.

Of course, the problem with relying daily on something that’s just slightly broken is the constant risk that it’ll either get fixed or completely broken. Ask Joe Cocker, who tried to quit smoking a few years ago and then had to start again when his voice began sounding like Bing Crosby’s. In the case of my chair, the back just sort of floats there instead of being rigidly bolted to the frame so it can push my vertebrae out of alignment. Every once in a while the one bolt that barely held it in place would work itself loose and drop to the floor, whereupon I’d have to pull out the Allen wrench and screw it back in. That was so worth not having to hang myself up in gravity boots for an hour every time I got home, though.

But last week, I went too far. While standing with my back against the chair back and the chair’s arms braced against the edge of my desk, I leaned back. The bolt popped out and the chair got just a little bit more broken.

I tried to screw the bolt back in like dozens of times before, but it didn’t work. Eventually I figured out that the end of the bolt had snapped clean off in its socket. The bolthole was completely plugged and I wasn’t getting it clear again without a cutting torch. So now the back of my chair is even more floaty than it was before, having nothing to hold it in place but pure inertia. Once or twice a day, I now have to reach behind myself and push the metal bar back into its socket. It’s still worth it, though.

How do I know this? When I was out of the office yesterday, taking care of my nearly-fragged wife, my boss sat in my chair, leaned back, and just…um…kept going. Rather than suing me, she rolled the chair into the coatroom, the back sitting flat on the seat like the shield of a fallen Viking warrior. I came back this morning to find it replaced with an intact model. I figured I’d give it a try, see how bad it really was.

Ten minutes later, I felt like someone had broken both of my hips, smacked me across the small of the back with a nail-studded railroad tie, and strapped me into an acceleration couch atop a Saturn V rocket. I decided my old chair wasn’t that broken, and retrieved it from the coatroom. I’m such a prima donna sometimes.

So now there are three chairs at my desk. The “guest” chair, the replacement chair, and My chair. It’s only a matter of time before My chair deteriorates beyond the point of usability. I plan to make use of that time by figuring out exactly how to break the replacement chair just enough so that it works the way I want it to.

And don’t tell me that sentence isn’t going to come back and bite me on the ass.

* * *

And now my archives are down. I'm being totally messed with here.

posted by M. Giant 3:24 PM 0 comments


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