Living Room Problem Solving

Assembled any furniture recently? Like programming a remote control, grooming a beagle or performing hip-replacement surgery, it's one of those activities that makes you sit back when it's all finished and say, "Well, that was certainly a pain in the ass, but I can't see how it could have been any simpler."

My sister and her boyfriend got this new condo, and poor Matt has spent the first week putting together the random cabinets and tables that will ultimately populate all this sparkling carpeted acreage. I helped with the entertainment center.

42 fasteners. Forty-two. And that's just the main ones - the special little posts that thread into one panel, then get snugged down by the little cam-discs you install in the adjoining panel. There were also at least a dozen more conventional screws, plus tiny screws to secure the rollers on the drawers and the hinges on the glass doors, not to mention the plastic bag full of needle-sized nails... yeesh.

But we got it done. Even though it took two tries, and much squinting at the instruction book, and a moonlit hunt through A DUMPSTER (the package didn't include those 42 fasteners, but we thought maybe it did and we'd just thrown them away with the box), Matt and I eventually stood triumphant before a hulking wooden structure that outweighed either of us. All that was left to do was center it against the wall and put in the television.

The television didn't fit.

This particular model of entertainment center is supposed to accommodate TVs up to 36" in screen diameter, and it probably would, except that Matt and Katie's TV has built-in speakers on the side, which add approximately four inches to the width of the set, or about a quarter of an inch too much for the space allotted.

Matt and I stood before our creation, scratching our heads like monkeys watching a chess game. "You could take back the TV," I offered, pointing out that a 32" model would still probably be big enough for the room. Matt nodded silently, staring at the behemoth Toshiba almost wedged into the intended area. It was precariously leaning forward, held in place mainly by friction.

"Why can't you just take the whole thing apart, move one of the panels and put it back together?" Penny piped up from the couch. Matt and I grimaced in unison. "Forty ... two ... fasteners..." we mumbled softly.

At this moment Matt did something I will never forget, an action for which he will always be honored in my mind as a resourceful and results-oriented individual.

He rammed it.

Shoulder down, he bashed the television back several inches, forcing that sucker into its home with the fiery glint of determination in his eye.

Sure, the wood bowed a little, but not too much. And the TV does fill the space very nicely. It was a bold maneuver, one I never would or could have done, partly because it wasn't my furniture.

Let's hear it for Matt.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yay Matt for ramming televisions! Much less of a hassle than my suggestion.