“So,” said my friend and fellow blogger Greg Gross, as I finished my sad and tragic tale of stupidity, carelessness and, well, stupidity about covers it, “there really is a correlation between Murphy beds and Murphy’s Law.”
Greg is a former colleague, veteran San Diego newsman and travel blogger (“I’m Black and I Trave!l”). He was always quick with pithy and witty headlines.
I let go of my remorse long enough to slump to the floor and let out a badly needed laugh. My god, was I in need of a good laugh.
You know what a Murphy bed is, right? A spring-loaded death-trap that folds up into a wall?
It is an improbable structure that balances delicately between the functional — providing a good night’s sleep — and the precarious – taut springs next to your head could crack loose and blast through your skull.
Come to think of it – and usually you do in the darkest hours of the night – it is a wonder anyone can get any sleep in a Murphy bed.
But that is not what this sad tale is about.
We have a Murphy bed. It is in the downstairs room that has served as my home office since I moved up from San Diego. The office was Rose’s idea as she so wanted me to feel at home in her home. When it wasn’t my office it was the guestroom.
The Murphy bed was among the things for sale as we shed our possessions in advance of our move to Ambergris Caye in Belize.
And it sold, quickly enough, to our friends Kathleen and Jay, just a block down the street. The hard part was figuring out how to get it from our house to theirs.
If you think sleeping in a Murphy bed is dangerous, try taking one apart.
Just look at the instruction sheet for disassembling a Murphy bed. What is the biggest word on the page, the one within the bright red banner that runs from edge to edge
Thank you. To the left of the word “DANGER” is a clarification: “You can be killed or seriously injured if you don’t follow these instructions.”
To the right of the word “DANGER” is a further caution: “TIP OVER HAZARD” and in case you can’t read there is a little stick figure about to get crushed by a falling Murphy bed.
You may notice the resemblance between the little stick figure and me….
Now notice what the instructions say just below the red DANGER banner, between the two words “IMPORTANT.” It SAYS, “The bed must stay secured to the wall for steps 1 to 5.”
OK, long story short, I didn’t see any of this. I went straight to Step 6: Unsecure the bed from the wall.
Even worse, I was removing the wall brackets while the bed was pulled down to the floor, stretching those springs to the max. I was barely half way through the second screw when the cabinet frame ripped away from the wall and closed down hard on the bed, like the biggest freaking mouse trap you’ve ever seen.
When Rose came home I was still sitting, dazed, beside the bed, stroking the shattered wood frame, trying to will it back to life.
The irrepressibly upbeat Victor is a seasoned handyman who has come to my rescue many times in the past few months. His favorite expression: “No problem; real easy.” It is like a mantra.
Victor gave the mess gave the mess the once over and in his most respectfully gentle voice said, “This could be a kind of Humpty Dumpty thing …”
Seeing my stricken look he added, “Well, nothing’s impossible. Really.”