Rant 0000 0011, October 6, 2001
When furniture takes over the world...

My new bed is sitting here, and I hate it.
This is a rant about the process of acquiring furniture.
My mom decided my brother and I absolutely HAD to have beds with drawers under them. Sadly, these are quite hard to find, as nobody with half a brain in their heads want one.
The first attempt began hellishly early one Saturday morning, at somewhere around 8 AM. (ACK!) My mom and I drove WAAAAAY down into Perrine to visit a furniture store where they made pine furniture. Some of their stuff was REALLY COOL, but no beds with drawers. And they didn't seem to be willing to take a custom order... drat. So we just happened to notice a huge Rooms To Go across the street, and, approximately 20 minutes later, managed to figure out how to get into their parking lot. I kid you not -- the entrance was buried back along some side streets obnoxiously. Then again, my mom WAS driving. In the process we drove past an old GMC RTS II bus which was sitting in the middle of a road smouldering violently a couple times. (Flxible 0wnz j00, d00d.) Sadly, once we got inside the showroom of the Rooms To Go, we found that they had nothing suitable. And the salesperson there tried to convince us to purchase these strange bunk beds with a desk below, each of which would cost $800. Whoops... attempt failed.
The second attempt was even sillier. We went to a place called El Dorado Boulevard, up near Miami International Airport. In fact, it was right on the other side of the fence from MIA. The roads in the area were so congested with diesel-spewing freight trucks that I actually got high off the fumes. (Which would make the first time in my life I can say I actually got high off a chemical substance... please don't play that Afroman song FOR THE LOVE OF ERIS...) ... Anyway, the place was pretty strange. It was in two halves, one of which was a smaller little furniture gallery, the other being massive. We had to go to the smaller one first --- this is apparently their policy, with no exceptions. There we met a salesperson who actually drove us over to the massive side, across the street, in a multi-passenger golf cart. The massive side was set up in a downright surreal manner. There was a corridor leading down the middle that looked kind of like a street with little storefronts on both sides, each of which led to a seperate and massive chamber of furniture. I think they had about 1,000 square feet dedicated just to grandfather clocks, and I actually managed to get LOST in the Victorian section. My mom and I eventually found what we were, well, sort of looking for... in the back of a horrible, twisted, winding little room filled with children's room furniture. We told the salesperson who had been following my mom around the whole time that we wanted two of them, and she went to the back of the massive place to prepare a sheaf of paperwork. After that, it was a quick golf-cart ride across the street and back to the little building, which had suddenly become MASSIVELY crowded. While the salesperson went back into the office to prepare yet more paperwork, my mom realized she needed to measure some part of it to see if it would really fit in my brother's room, so we walked back across the street. We walked in the front door of the massive Boulevard building, and were promptly stopped at the door by a group of comically polite salespeople wearing suits. They told us we could not go back in there without the salesperson we had come in with before... and promptly called her on their handy Walkie-Talkies Of Doom. She came over a few minutes later with the golf cart and immediately demanded that we go back to the little building with the office, which we did. I noticed that the Boulevard building had a line of FOUR Street Fighter II videogame machines next to its restrooms on the way out... employee training for dealing with customers who let their children jump on the beds? Back in the tiny building, my mom finally was allowed to authorize them to charge her credit card for $800 for the two beds, maple finish, constructed of 'high quality furniture board', and we were told delivery could be taken in a week.

Cut to one and a half months later. We get a call saying the beds will be arriving within the day. As I'm riding home on the bus, I see a Rooms To Go truck sitting on 87th Avenue, dead, with smoke pouring out from under the hood. (Interesting...) The beds had been delivered, and my parents had already put the one in my brother's room together.
A week later I get around to putting mine together.
I was NOT amused. Apparently 'high quality furniture board' is the same crap they make office furniture out of --- crumbly particle board that smells STRONGLY of formaldehyde. The decking the bed itself goes on consisted of a series of VERY, VERY roughly cut wooden slats of pine, which were apparently not kiln dried... they had been cut so green that they were about an inch shorter than they should have been to fit well. I was just barely able to get all of them screwed into the 'high quality furniture board'... I got to the bottom of the box to find that the highest quality wood present in the whole assembly was the packing piece that held the drawers in the box. Between the fact we paid about $300 each for these beds, and quite a bit to get them delivered, I rate this whole experience FIVE TOILETS. Oh, wait, where did I put the toilets? ACK! I lost my little toilets! Naaaarrfff...