(Damn you blogger for refusing to upload my picture....)
Imagine if you will a winter Friday. Moving furniture on a winter Friday. Moving furniture to a cottage at the top of 40 stairs at the top of several hills on a winter Friday.
That’s exactly what we did last Friday. A friend of ours moved, and had extra furniture to get rid of. We figured that since the 70s couch at the cottage was nearing the end of its useful life (i.e. it was disintegrating at an accelerated rate), taking the friend’s eminently nappable couch and loveseat off his hands was, well, the charitable thing to do. We’re nice like that. Charitable we are, yep.
So Mr. Jazz called the friendly neighbourhood car rental people to reserve an Econoline van. Jazzmo (the Matrix) might have the most amount of storage space in her class, but clearly, this was beyond even her.
So we picked up the van, we drove it to friend’s place. Mr. Jazz and I loaded the furniture into the van. Yeah, verily, Ms Strongarm I am. Then we pootled off to the cottage.
All this had happened at a good clip, so we were in fine shape timewise when we got to the road leading to the cottage.
Which is where all hell broke loose. Of course. Because a) I’m obviously not going to tell you a story about the perfect move and b) Murphy’s law had not yet come into play and it was getting late in the game so it had to be there or not at all. And we all know that Murphy’s law just can’t resist fucking with me.
You see, despite being in Quebec, with Quebec winters of snow and ice (surprise!) rentals have four season tires. Every Quebecer knows that four season tires are useless during that mythic fourth season. But waddaya gonna do. It’s not like they actually offer winter tires on rentals. Though the government has just passed a law that starting next year all vehicles will have to have winter tires in winter – even rentals. About time. Especially since most renters are tourists from Europe come to see the exotic Canadian winter who have never driven in winter conditions. Snow. Ice. 4-season tires. Inexperienced drivers – a recipe for disaster… Of course, you also have the Quebec drivers who are so good at driving they don’t need winter tires. Hell, they don’t need tires, period. Because they have testosterone. But I digress.
Not only does the van have four season tires, it’s also rear wheel drive. In short, it’s a piece o’ shit rental. So, yeah, you see where I’m going with this. In the curve, on the way up one of the hills, the wheels start spinning, the thing fishtails and embeds itself in a snowbank. Finally, with the help of two friends, one a neighbour and the other the friend who was spending the weekend at the cottage to help us move the furniture in because I might be Ms. Strongarm but hauling a couch up 60 steps is somewhat beyond me, I’m sort of like Jazzmo that way, there are limits to my capacity (and how’s that for a digression) – we get it out of there, start backing it down the hill… and into another snowbank it goes. If I didn’t know better I’d swear that stupid white truck was trying to hide from us and the next hill we would have kindly requested it to climb. Because the thing was sentient. And it hated us. Perhaps for taking it out of its warm garage and onto a snowy country road.
I'll spare you the details but eventually we had to call the area superman (you know him, every neighbourhood has one, he’s the one who knows how to fix everything, who owns every tool known to mankind and knows how to use it and is more than willing to show you how it should be done). He came over with his kick ass 4-wheel drive pick-up truck and a chain, and hauled the van out bodily. No more nonsense. No more trying to hide, no snowbank camouflage. The gig was up. Once in a while I love those oversized gas guzzlers. I guess superheroes need more equipment than the rest of us. And Gilles was definitely the superhero Friday night. Jack Bauer has nothing on him. Except perhaps a willingness to kill everything that moves. Which hopefully is not Gilles' case. That would be bad. Seeing how Murphy's law and I get along. And stuff.
Finally, it took longer to drive those 600 meters to the cottage than to leave Montreal, pick up the furniture and get to the point where the whole mess morphed into a blog post.
Once Mr. Jazz and Mr. Mawwwk got the van emptied and the furniture up and the old couch into the van I figured the cottage no longer looked cottagey enough and told them to put everything back the way it was. Somehow, they didn’t think it was such a funny joke. Me, I thought I was hilarious. Go figure. No sense of humour these men who went above and beyond to get this done… tsk tsk.
Of course the next morning the truck had to be returned to Montreal so Jazz sat up half the night, doing the hellish anxiety thing, plotting the road out by the millimetre reviewing where we could get stuck and how everything could, once again go horribly wrong (that's for you Mr. Jazz). I finally fell asleep about 5:00, after which Mr. Jazz woke up and repeated the whole exercise. Had I known I would have told him not to bother because I had been excessively thorough in my anxiety. There was really no way he could one-up me on this. None.
The way out, obviously, was a total anticlimax.
It went swimmingly, probably because we had karma-ed all the nastiness out of it. Nothing could go wrong because it had all gone horribly wrong (again for you Mr. J) at least 652,469 times the previous night.
Did I ever tell you how much I hate winter?