The Flaming Bed

My mother’s home is an older farm house. As with most older farm structures, one of the most annoying features is the very narrow staircase with a very small opening to the second floor. Not only has this staircase been cause for many a near concussion, but it has also caused quite a dilemma when moving furniture up and down the stairs. So, when my mother decided to purchase a beautiful rattan living room set I should have anticipated trouble. The plan was for the new furniture was to furnish my mother’s new, nearly enclosed back porch, but the interim plans included moving the furniture to the vacant bedroom on the second floor of the house.

As soon as we rounded the corner in the kitchen and started up the stairs I knew immediately that we were looking at trouble. The frame of the newly purchased rattan sofa was both too wide and too tall to fit through the small opening of the stairs. After twisting and turning and trying all available angles of getting the sofa to its destination I finally gave up and went home.
After talking with my mother later that evening I discovered that the sofa never did make it upstairs. Somehow, at that instant, I had a flashback to the time that my parents decided that my twin size bed should be traded for a newer, bigger, full size bed.
The mattress of the bed, which of course had a slight bend to it, was easily maneuvered up the narrow staircase, but the box springs were another story.

At the first attempt it looked impossible. The box springs had no give at all due to the wooden frame, and the stairs would not allow for the size of the bed to fit through its confined opening. But my step-father was not going to succumb to apparent defeat. His solution: cut the box springs in half with an electric saw and carry the pieces up the stairs one at a time. At that point the plan was to re-assemble the bed by bolting the frame of the bed back together.

Working off of the impression that the only thing dumber than some of my dad’s harebrained ideas is the fact that we listen to them, do you think it worked? No. It didn’t. In fact, it didn’t work in a very big way. The sparks from the electric saw cutting through the wooden frame caused the padding of the box springs to catch on fire. My step-father, who was panicking at the sight of the flames screamed to my brother to get some water to put the fire out. My brother, who panicked at being screamed at, ran through the yard, past the garden hose, into the house, grabbed a drinking glass out of the cabinet, filled it full of water and hurried it outside.

The look on my dad’s face was priceless. To see my little brother standing there looking as if he were offering him something to drink rather than something to put the blazing fire out. As the story ends, I slept on only a mattress for quite a long time, given the fact that the box springs ended up a charred disaster. Fast forwarding to now – the rattan couch that my mother was unsuccessful in getting up the staircase is safely stored in the garage, in one piece, until the back porch can be finished this spring. The saw is in the shed.

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