Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Cockroach Bed

Moving internationally is a lot like moving domestically. My wife Diana should tell the following story, but, since she’s currently traveling and I’m unpacking the entire house, I get to share what I remember.  When we lived in Sterilng, VA, Diana would go to Juming Jacks once or twice a week with Sawyer and Logan.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Jumping Jacks, it’s a warehouse with inflatable slides, toys, etc. and each week they have “open jump” times when anyone can come in and play for a couple of hours.  Since Diana would go weekly, she got to know several other “regulars.”  Several weeks before we left, she was kicking back at Jumping Jacks, gossiping with some of these women, when one of the women started complaining about her husband.  I forgot the reason, but her husband was insisting they move and this woman was appauled that her inconsiderate husband would uproot his family, make them leave behind all their friends, their schools, everything they knew and transplant them about ten miles away.  Yep, you read that correctly – T – E – N.   “1” & “0.”  That would be a singular “0.”  Only one.  I can run ten miles.  And I’m not a runner.  Given, it would probably involve a significant amount of pain . . . unless I trained and stretched properly first, of course.  But I could do it.  And this woman was in a tizzie about it.  My wonderful wife feigned empathy by responding that she could not believe it.  In the ensuing conversation, it came out through one of the other women that my wife was preparing to move to Nigeria.  I can only imagine how ridiculous the first woman must have felt.

But really, moving overseas is pretty similar to moving domestically …except when your mattress gets pulled from the shipment because they can’t ship king size mattresses to Abuja, and you can’t run to the store and get a new one.  (and no, no one could explain to me WHY they couldn’t ship our friggin’ mattress, only that it was a rule.  I understand certain types of export laws – I helped enforce them when I was in the Bureau.  We can’t ship certain types of technology to certain countries.  Makes sense.  But, what, a king-sized mattress is somehow going to disrupt the technological balance of the African continent, tipping it in favor of Nigeria – now Nigerians know how to sleep more comfortably than other Africans!  Oh, the horror!!)   But I digress.  Besides certain ridiculous rules, it’s about the same as moving domestically.  Regardless of where you are, when you’re unpacking you come across the box labeled "toys," only to find that it has tools and car cleaning supplies.  Or the box with only a large ball of packing paper inside, obviously protecting something fragile.  What’s inside?  6 marbles wrapped in a dryer sheet.  Why?  Who knows.  But the marbles smell great.

So, last night I was putting together our king size bed frame (the one without an accompanying mattress).  Most of you don’t know this, but about two years ago my brother, Kyle, and I decided we were going to be “handy.”  Our sister had told us about this website, Knock Off Wood.  The woman is a self-taught carpenter.  She goes to stores like Pottery Barn, looks at the furniture she likes, and then redesigns the instructions so anyone can build it.  It’s a great site.  Well, my brother and I got the idea that we could build some pretty cool storage bench beds for relatively cheap.  The only thing I’ll say is that that is story for another day.  But the bed . . . . the cockroach of all beds!  Weird analogy, I know.  But you know how they say that if there were a nuclear war, cockroaches would be the only thing to survive?  Well, stick these beds on that short list!  Three long, wide, solid benches, connected by a ladder of 2x4’s in the middle.  Doesn’t creak; doesn’t shift; kids jump on it . . . nothin’.  Will withstand anything.  Like a cockroach.  Just better looking. 

But I’m trying to attach the 2x4 structure to the inside, upper portion of each bench.  But the ladder is large and I need both hands to use the screwdriver and hold a screw.  So, I tried to jimmy rig something to hold the ladder in place long enough for me to get one screw in each bench.  I worked on it for 30 minutes without luck.  By that point, I’d wedged myself in between two of the “rungs” of the ladder structure.  My knees were starting to hurt from kneeling on the tile floor, so I stood up.  But I forgot to unwedge myself first.  Something you might not know (Warning – what follows is more information than any of you want to know, but I’m saying it anyway because this is my blog) – the Woodruff boys are . . . well-endowed in the derrier region.  So, as I stood up, the ladder structure came up with me, resting around my waist.  There I stood, with a ladder structure (3 ft. x 4 ft) resting around my waist, propped up by my butt.  Then the thought hit me!  I knelt right back down – the ladder was at just the right height – and I screwed the ladder in place.  Wish I had a camera, cause I’m sure I looked ridiculous!  But got the bed put together.  Just wish I had a mattress to put on it.


  1. one of the saddest things in life, is that there is no picture to accompany this post.

  2. I agree with Angie - I'm trying to picture all this - would've been laughing too hard to help if I'd been there!

  3. I am laughing so hard. So funny! And I know how freakin heavy those beds are, too, so that is even funnier!