So, for those of you unfamiliar with my furniture, I own a Chair of Destiny. Let me tell you the story …
The year was 1994: Friends premiered on NBC; the Channel Tunnel opened; and Netscape Navigator 1.0 was released. Big Cracker was in Saskamatoon, living with a roommate (Yateser) while attending university. Cracker and Yateser needed a second couch, so that each of us had somewhere to nap. The university had a bulletin board system running on the VAX/VMS server, and, lo and behold, someone was advertising a couch and chair set for $50. I bought the couch and chair and Yateser and I loaded them into the back of his truck and brought them home.
For three very comfortable years, I napped on that couch and dozed in that chair (on and off, of course; what’d you think, I’m some kind of lazy-ass?). And then school was over and I moved to Banff. So all the furniture went into storage in Saskatoon. After about a year and a half, I decided to do some clean-up work in the storage locker and moved the couch and chair to Banff to sell them to the chumps with crappy furniture. Done; I made my $50 back.
Now I need to explain something about staff housing in Banff. If you have something you don’t need, you put it in the hall. If you’re looking for something, take some time to wander the halls every now and again. Or you can try to sell or buy the item, if you have cash to spare, or need cash. In my experience, stuff in the hall is up for grabs and lasts for about an hour, depending on quality. In the time it took me to vacuum a 20′-by-20′ room, the furniture I’d moved into the hall was gone; the toaster oven I put outside my door, intending to move it somewhere more central on my way out was gone within 30 minutes. So, sometimes there’s good stuff in the hallway.
I was getting ready to go home around Christmastime in 2000 and was bringing something downstairs to my truck. I happened to look down the hall on one of the lower floors and saw my chair. Yes, my chair. Perhaps whoever had the couch didn’t have room for the chair, or the couch had been severely damaged while the chair was still in decent shape, I don’t know; I don’t care! There was my chair, no worse for wear, free for the taking. “If you love something, set it free; if it comes back it’s yours, if it doesn’t, it never was.” That chair, friends, is mine, now and forever.
So, I’ve had my chair reupholstered. The padding that was turning to a sandy powder, the loose back leg and the sharp edges poking through the fabric are no more. For infinitely more money than the chair cost me, it now looks brand new. Throughout the process, as they provided me updates on the work being done, they praised the condition and the construction of the chair and assured me that it would last me another 25 years. I certainly hope so. For the price I paid, I can’t afford to buy another chair for the next 25 years!
Update: I’ve linked ‘Chair of Destiny‘ to the ‘after’ picture of the chair. Unfortunately, it never occurred to me to get a ‘before’ picture. You’ll have to take my word for it that it was a run-down, green-and-gold floral pattern chair that needed some work.