Statistics of the Sofa of Bigsofa|
is the Castro
Convertible of Sofas.
You could put wheels on it and ride down the street in style. The Merkaba
of Merkabas. The Gold Chariot of the
Sofa Kings. It is the relic of a time
when the crowning glory of consumption was a Bad Couch and the altar upon
which you placed your offerings to the evidence of your Sunday casino
success was the coffee table. During the mundane week the Bad couch
vestibule was off-limits. One dared not step foot on the carpet of the
immaculates. Only on the day deity rested was one allowed to come near to
the high holiness of bad couch, and then only if there were visitors, and
not just any visitors, but visitors appropriately attired to command a
seat in the Waiting Room of Oz which aspired to look like a Las Vegas
WERE YOU SO LUCKY TO COME UPON BIG SOFA AND HOW DO I GET MINE?
Probably about the time BIGSOFA
disappeared (yes, poof, one day in the middle of the damned 70's it was
gone and there in its place in the less high holy vestibule was a black
imitation-leather couch with real chrome accents) we (Idyllopus and spouse) began to pay our sofa dues.
There was this church that had a
downtown location but had purchased much non-downtown land so it could
become a suburban country club church. On that land was a building that
resembled an overgrown country outhouse and was the church youth center
until it was torn down and construction was begun on the BIG church which
came with a BIG church youth center. Spouse and I were very young newlyweds, and very impoverished. Spouse had a familial link to said church. When the youth center was
torn down, everything in it was to be thrown away, and we nabbed the couch
on its way to the dump. It was a dark green vinyl beast from the 50's. One
of those "institutional" kind of couches that in the 50's was
respectable enough to live in a doctor's waiting room, but during the 60's
and 70's was more properly found in the neurology clinic waiting room of a
state-run hospital. Anyway, though the couch has a funky look to it in old
photos, it was all springs with no cushioning left, was extremely
uncomfortable, and if there's anything more unpleasant than sweaty summer
skin sticking to vinyl it's sweaty summer skin sticking to torn vinyl. The
couch was with us through three moves over two years until we moved into a
furnished garage apartment owned by a college professor and his wife. We
called the Salvation Army and offered them our couch which we would likely
have continued to use for a lot longer if we hadn't had to get rid of our
furnishings (which was no big loss as we had no furnishings except for the
sofa, a rickety folding card table and some version of a bed) and the
Salvation Army came and saw the couch and left. They said they couldn't
use it. I hadn't expected this.
This is a
button link to see a photo of that first couch.
As for the professor's garage
apartment couch, it was a sensible brown and green plaid. We used to have
a picture, I think. I don't know where it is.
Our second sofa (a
love seat actually) came to us via long-since-estranged relations who had
planned to donate it to the Salvation Army (we couldn't afford Salvation
Army sofas then and still can't). It had rust-orange, yellow and blue
flowers in spewing artless arrangements as big as your head which looked
like they were transplanted from a Highway 400 Carpet Warehouse
factory-second. (I do really keep picturing something like the headless
horseman of Halloween driving his horse through the rainy night, black
cape flapping about him, and rather than having a pumpkin on his shoulders
there are those big rust-range, yellow and blue flowers.) It was one of
those plump sofas, the fabric of which would have looked like it was
straining at its threads to keep from bursting if it hadn't been sagging.
We were on the road a lot, never home much in those days, and consequently
we weren't much bothered by this sofa. However, after we had moved again,
and then again, we did become violently sick of this sofa, and somehow
ended up leaving it with Spouse's parents, in their basement which was
stuffed full of unusable junk. They don't like to throw out anything, so
they couldn't bring themselves to throw out the sofa, nor could they
convince themselves we might not want it one day. They kept it in the
basement for over ten years and once a year would bring it up and ask us
when we would want the sofa back because they wanted to start clearing out
the basement and they didn't want it. Finally, they realized we were
serious about not wanting this sofa, and thankfully the sofa is no longer
anywhere in evidence--gone, gone, gone. Their basement is now so stuffed
that you can't walk through it.
Click here to look at the
Our third sofa
was an old rec room green and tan plaid number and was really our second
sofa. We purchased it before we acquired the plump love seat. No,
correction, I traded a painting or a drawing for it (you didn't think it
was a new sofa, did you). Then when the flowered love seat was tossed our
direction the plaid sofa (a sofa-bed) was maneuvered by me, all by myself,
up the narrow stairs to the second floor in our apartment in the "It's
a Small World" complex. I don't recollect what happened to it. We
must have given it to someone. Or did we? What happened to it? I could
have sworn we had a picture with that sofa in it but perhaps not.
Our fourth sofa
was actually new, a light little burgundy love seat futon thing which we
purchased, during one of our only high water years (high water to us,
these things being relative, from Pseudo Denmark Furnishings. The sofa was
so light and had so little support that when a heavyweight acquaintance
sat on it the thing was crushed. He was mortified. I was sorry he felt bad
about it because who could have guessed the little sofa could have been
undone so easily. We kept it for a couple more years until it completely
fell apart and was little more than a few sections of disjointed foam.
But boy was I proud of that sofa
when it was fresh and new. Here is a link to see a picture of it.
After that, for
twelve long years (well, thirteen) we did without a sofa. We had two lawn
chairs (don't turn up your nose, they were canvas and I'd painted them).
Eventually, the lawn chairs fell apart quite literally beneath us.
We also had a futon but I suppose it counts as a
sofa, but it was really a bed that sometimes masqueraded as a sofa.
Several years ago I had the
bright idea to take the back seat from the van, which we couldn't use in
the van because it hauls equipment, and put it on bricks and that way we
at least had something to sit on. It was hard, it was uncomfortable, it
had belt buckles, but it was someplace to put the van seat.
every mini-van (no matter if it hauls equipment) must have a child, Spouse and I produced one quite unexpectedly. When that child began to
make moves toward a less marsupial baby-sling existence, we determined it
was time to make a stab at finding another sofa. I made mention of this to
my friend Kathryn.
Two days later, Kathryn called.
She had seen just the thing. This big gold thing. It was at a funky
second-hand shop. It was $175. Not knowing how we could really afford
$175, but aware that's about as cheap as it gets, we raced down to the
second-hand shop. And there it was, our gold BIGSOFA, far exceeding
anything we could have imagined at 7 feet 9 inches. I knew this was the
sofa. Our son would grow up and remember playing on this huge sofa. It
would be the bottom line for sofas the rest of his life. The funky
second-hand shop delivered it for free as Spouse had to help move it,
for BIGSOFA is also a big sofa bed and the camel that broke the back of
the funky second-hand shop owner. He left swearing he would never have
another sofa bed in his store. Huff-puff. But his wife had already told us
this one we purchased the sofa.
And wouldn't you know it, within
a few months of acquiring the BIGSOFA, well, sofas just seemed to
multiply. Tim moved back to Los Angeles and gave us his futon, which we
placed next to the BIGSOFA. And Spouse's parents gave us their old
family room blue sofa that has no cushioning to speak of left in it but
that's fine because it's purpose is to hold stuffed animals in Aaron's
room and doubles as a gym. It also hides the van seat that once attempted
to serve as a sofa which is now pushed against the wall behind this couch.
So, as you can see, we paid our
dues. We figure BIGSOFA probably paid its dues too, somewhere, wherever it
was, after it was pushed out of its honored parlor position by the black
imitation-leather number that now likely serves as landfill. BIGSOFA's got
some tears but came to us in excellent enough shape that we know for many
long years it has wanted companionship. It's happy, we're happy, and we're pleased
to share our happiness with you.
We don't know where you can find
your own personal BIGSOFA, but you might want to ask Kathryn. She seems to
have the knack.
You may follow this link to see
the BIGSOFA itself.
Click here if
you're not bored with seeing sofas from the webmaster's past. You will
come upon two of my childhood sofa and their histories. They aren't
essential viewing but you will be able to read about how
don't want to spoil the surprise.