Posted: November 9, 2010 in Chawn

It is a Wednesday night and I am tucking into an interim dinner. I woke up late and my brunch turned into a meal only half the size of two meals, forcing me into an emergency snack. However, tonight I have been offered dinner! My housemate-to-be has asked me to help him shift some sofas, and in return?

The Roger Special.

A shiny bag of chips.

I can’t wait! Only here I am, 80 minutes to go and I’m sitting watching Flight of the Conchords with two jacket potatoes, a large stir fry and plenty of pitta bread.

80 minutes have gone by and I stand up with a groan.

The Roger Special is going to disembowel me.

I eventually waddle-stagger my way to Roger’s place. 7:58. I pull my mobile out to see where he is but the phone in a bizarre self-induced coma. Roger pulls into his car park with precise timing two minutes later. His reputation for secret agent-ness is as precise. He leads me upstairs and presents me with my challenge. “The prize,” he reminds me, waggling his fingers and smiling with a hint of glee, “is a shiny bag of chips.”

I’m actually quite full.

“I’m actually quite full.”

“Oh, so am I. Well, see how we feel after moving the sofa.”

It’s quite a nice sofa. Still, the council are coming to pick it up from the pavement in the morning, and the dealbreaker… Roger’s paid £15.

We jimmy the sofa around all the angles with unexpected ease and finally set the beast down on the nice kerbside grass. “Move quickly, dear boy…” Roger instructs. “If the police catch us we’ll get done for flytipping.”

Now he tells me.

We move quickly, hoisting the matching armchair down the stairs. I excitedly juxtaposition it to make it look like a street urchin chat show set. “Have you got a camera?” I ask; waggling my fingers and smiling with a hint of glee. “Definitely a profile picture!” I think to myself as Roger runs to find the camera. I stretch out in our outdoor lounge and in the mild twilight air feel quite at my leisure. Roger returns. “No camera Dan. Sorry. We should probably get inside though before the police turn up.” I agree, and reluctantly leave my new holiday home and begin to walk up the steps to the front door. I hear the deep purring of a car zooming by. My head swivels.

It’s the Rozzers.

“Cheese it!”

We pelt it upstairs to Roger’s delightful and spacious top-floor apartment where he quickly whips up some nonchalant-looking apple juices and I switch on the telly. I see that Star Trek: Voyager is about to come on and decide to stick. Roger comes back and we peer out of the windows.

The Fuzz have gone.

And so has the armchair.

Would they have arrested the chair? Why not the sofa? Would it need backup? Maybe the sofa flirted with them?

A group of people walk past. We hope they’ll lie on the sofa. They don’t. If the sofa was flirting, it certainly isn’t now.

Captain Janeway’s voice-you’d-hate-to-be-stuck-in-the-delta-quadrant-for-the-rest-of-your-life-with spills out of the telly like a child bursting into a room and accidentally drop-kicking a dog.

This is why I don’t watch Voyager any more.

I decide to twist.

Friends is on.


This is why I don’t watch Friends any more.

I am about to press the ‘twist’ button when Rachel appears. This is why I miss Friends.

Roger and I enjoy a garlic bread pizza and discuss moving arrangements. Roger is distracted, like a child waiting for Father Christmas with traps set. “Shall we check on the sofa?” Classic. He will be a superb housemate.

There is nobody lying on the sofa.

A few minutes later, we are checking again. There is still nobody lying on the sofa. Nor the third time. I begin to see a hint of sadness in Roger’s eyes as his faith begins to get skinned alive. The Waterboy is on FilmFour. I decide it makes a fitting transition into the comedy of our new house together.

Adam Sandler finally rides off into the sunset with his bride who I can’t figure out if she’s hot or ugly and Roger and I have thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company.

He yawns. I yawn.

“Time for bed, dear boy. Just me. You go home to yours.” I’m not sure I needed the clarification, but it’s always good to be clear.

“Let’s just have one last look, shall we?”

Waggling fingers.

Roger pulls back the curtain. The curtain waggles slightly.

There is nobody lying on the sofa. Gutted, Roger goes to bed, and I quietly leave.

I get outside and turn to walk home when I see 50 metres ahead of me, at the top of the road, sitting outside a random pub, an armchair… Crazy! On the same night we lose an armchair, this pub decides to decorate it’s fascias with one.

It must be trying to compete with these snazzy town-centre bars with cool sofas and interesting drinks, but has middle-aged-man-ly decided that a comfy armchair out the front is sufficiently stylish.

I can’t decide if I think the idea is good or not.

Hang on.

Could this be our armchair?

My brain has been doing too much thinking and has started to complain.

I inspect the chair, and curiously, it matches the sofa outside Roger’s.

Maybe this wasn’t deliberate artful feng shui? Maybe this was nothing more than a teenage prank?

I can’t decide. So i do what I always do in these situations. I gamble, and awkwardly carry the armchair back down the road ready for chat-show position. A gang of yobs are behind me. They brashly ask if they can sit down on my sofa.


All of a sudden their confidence is napalmed. They decline the sofa, and carry on walking.

Gutted, I start to walk home.

I hear from behind a yobbish voice that may or may not be aimed at me, and instinctively begin planning how I’ll avoid eye contact.

“Definitely a profile picture!”

There is a yob lying on the sofa having his picture taken.

I smile, and walk home; waggling my fingers with a hint of glee.


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