Monday, January 02, 2006

The Rally To Tally:Part One:Just Let's Get The Fuck Outta Chicago !!!

Okay...I have undergone a few intensive psychiatric sessions with Dr. Lowenstein, and we have decided that it is an important part of the healing process to share the details of the caravan from Chicago to Tallahassee...I would also like to report that my Special Lady and I are speaking again, for those whom were worried...

Okay, now to begin...I think it best to start with the arrival of the movers at Sandwich Flats Midwest(our apartment in Chicago, from this point forward to be called SFM- for those who are curious, there was a Sandwich Flats West as well- that is a tale for another day)....It was early in the morning of Friday the 16th of December, my Special Lady and I were awake already, dealing with RLB & LAB, and desperately trying to pack up our last few belongings(okay "last few" is an understatement- I would guess that the day of the move we probably packed 20 or so boxes-that's not including the stuff that got "put aside" for the caravan) and the movers arrived...It was cold and somewhat snowy that morning, so I decided that the back stairs to SFM were not an option for the movers, waaaaaaay too dangerous(and, I would find out later- waaaay more expensive-but I am getting ahead of the narrative), so they were going to use the front stairs, in defiance of the directive of the management company that stated all moves are to occur via the back stairs, but "Safety First", I always say...Fines Be DAMNED !!!! Okay, I really figured that they wouldn't notice, boy was I waaaay fuckin' wrong...Again, getting ahead of the story...By the way....Nancy Wilson(of Heart fame) does a great acoustic version of "In Your Eyes"...

Okay, pointless asides aside,where was I ?...Oh, yes, the movers arrived...And the bitching started...Man, could these guys bitch !!! I guess it serves us right for hiring Moody Bitchy Guys Moving, Inc., but I thought it was just a name...Now I know...Anyway, they show up and immediately start bitching about the car parked on the street in front of the building(some background here, on Thursday morning I went to our Alderman's office to get "No Parking" signs for Friday morning so the truck would have space to park in front of the building...in a scene worthy of Buster Keaton, I spastically attached these signs to a tree and a signpost in front of SFM...I was almost back to the door when it hit me that the signs had THURSDAY'S date on them, so I had to take them down, adjust the date, and reattach them to the tree and the signpost....I quite frankly did not believe that anyone would heed the sign, but lo and behold, Friday morning there was only one car on that side of the block(of course it was in the middle)...I was amazed...) Well, the one car was one too many, and the movers were not shy about sharing that view with me..."Alright, let's get that car towed." was about the third sentence from them...Actually, for story purposes, there were three guys, but let's attribute the speaking parts to the leader...We'll call him Smiley(not his real name)..So let's start that exchange over

Smiley: Awright, let's get that car towed.

Paticus: How do we go about that, exactly ?

Smiley: Call the city.

Paticus: I should probably call the Alderman's office, actually, they'll know who to call.

I almost added a shout of Ghostbusters, but I didn't think they would appreciate that.
So, I go off to call the Alderman's office...I will not recreate the whole conversation I had with the Alderman, but the gist of it was this...The signs essentially mean nothing...He told me that they really have no power to enforce them...It was heartening to see neighborhood government in action...Well, I report this to Smiley and the Fun Bunch, and they are not happy, I ask if they still have room to park the truck, and find out that they do, it just is not the prime spot for the feng shui of the move...But they accept that disappointment, and proceed to begin complaining about the stairs...Now, I'll accept some righteous grumblings about the foul auto that has ruined the feng shui, but these fuckers KNEW we were on the 3rd floor...If they knew this, then maybe don't bring the member of the Fun Bunch with the bad back AND the bad ankle...Maybe he's not your best asset for this particular move...

But I digress,they finally get down to assessing our belongings, and I have to start signing a series of waivers for things that they are not responsible for the safety of...Such as any pressboard furniture...And later I will have to sign the waiver stating that they are not responsible for the damage to the apartment building's carpeting(again, I am ahead of the story, sorry)...And he proceeds to tell us that it would be better to box up the computer and monitor and all that stuff(again, I'm pretty sure because if we pack it, they are not liable)...So we get to that, and then they actually start removing our materials from the apartment...

About 90 minutes in, they decide it might be a good idea to start protecting the carpet that they have been tromping over, so they tape some cardboard down on the landings, but don't protect the stairs at all, so I think it's really just a symbolic gesture of "concern"(this is when I had to sign the carpet waiver)...Smiley keeps asking us, "is that going ?"..."Is that going ?", clearly not wanting to carry these items...It is very hard to not scream" EVERYTHING BUT THE BABIES, THE CATS, AND THE CONTENTS OF THE BLOODY REFRIGERATOR IS GOING !!! PICK IT UP AND GET IT THE FUCK OUTTA HERE !!!", but I contain myself, and of course, that is not entirely true, there is random shit all over the apartment that is not going, but nothing to actually make their job any easier...

Okay, let's rocket forward to approximately 2 p.m., when a member of the Fun Bunch comes in to tell me that my super is down stairs freaking out about the staircase...I go down to talk to him, but he has moved on...This is when Smiley and the Fun Bunch inform me that if they have to use the back stairs, it will require the use of a shuttle truck and add at least 500 dollars to the move price, I decide to risk the carpet and I call the super on the phone and explain the safety factor, and I tell him that I will get the stairs cleaned by the people coming to clean the apartment...He is still not happy, but the day goes on...

Around this time, our friend CM comes over to lend a hand..Let me take a moment to nominate two people for sainthood for dealing with me and my family during this move...One is the aforementioned dear friend CM, who came by on Friday AND Saturday to help get us the fuck outta Chicago, and the other is my dear friend Sass, who made the grave error of agreeing to drive one of the caravan vehicles clear down to Tallahassee(she and I are still speaking as well, remarkably), but she will enter the story shortly...

Anyway, CM shows up for some moral support, and to help me because soon my Special Lady and Sass need to go out to O'Hare to pick up the trental car for the caravan...So, anyway, the moving finishes up pretty uneventfully, Sass arrives, she and the Special Lady go onto O'Hare to get the car...CM, RLB,LAB and I are all left in the aftermath of the move to try and organize some things and to direct the service that has arrived to clean our apartment( an idea borne of trying to save us some work AND perhaps get us more of our security deposit back, which went out the window with the wanton destruction of the apartment's hallway carpeting)...Anyway, the maid service tries to clean the carpet, but it ain't workin', we decide that we will just tell the super to have it shampooed and charge us for it...Fuck it, I just want out of this damn place now...

A little aside here, I call the maid service and they tell me that they cannot shampoo the rug, and I have to seriously question how their rep could come out and SEE the carpet and think that it would not need shampooing, and tell me that it will cost an extra 80 bucks to clean, knowing that they can't shampoo it ? Does that make sense ?

But back to our tale...CM and I tend to the babies and chat and organize, then I get a call from my Special Lady that the rental car company( a company for the budget conscious that will remain nameless) has changed what it said about someone under 25 being able to drive the rental car...Keep in mind we rented the car from them because the explicitly told us that it was FINE that a 24 year-old drive the car...Fuckers...Anyway, this news is the beginning of my unraveling(It doesn't help that I am a type 2 diabetic and I have not eaten all day)...But I am upset at the car rental place, I am upset that we have wasted most of Sass' day(one of only a few she had in town) for NOTHING, I am upset that we seem to have waaaay too much shit to take with us in the cars, and that it is in total disarray.,..Well, I hold it together until my Special Lady arrives, but then I do unravel(lucky CM gets to witness this)... I think unravel might be too kind a word, I think I can safely say that I melted down...I seem to remember remarking to My Special Lady that "We are never getting out of here."(which, incidentally, is the same thing I said during a bad acid trip at a Dead show when i literally forgot the previous two years of my life-good times)And my Special Lady is the one who realizes that I haven't eaten anything, so we decide to order some food and plan the rest of the night and the next day, we also allow CM to escape...Well, the food did not help, we set up the next day, but I was skeptical...

We took the kids and went to stay at the Super 8 motel...Once we were there, I immediately went to bed, only to sit bolt upright about half an hour later, because I couldn't remember turning off the oven(the pilot light on the stove had gone out while they were cleaning it, so I had to relight it, and I could not remember turning it off) I, of course, had to go check(I had turned it off, of course)...Then we slept...Saturday morning, the plan is to get out by noon...HA !!!!! ...Sorry, but that didn't happen...Gathering all our shit together and dealing with the super and loading the cars, even with CM and Sass' help took most of the day...What time did we pull away from the apartment ? 4p.m. CST....We did get to see one last beautiful Chicago sunset on our way out of town...Stay tuned for part 2

6 comments:

Lauren said...

One year, ten years ago, we had to move our entire house in one weekend in 100 degree 100% humidity weather. We were only moving next door though.

So, you win. You totally win.

Anonymous said...

Well, I moved once during a snow storm, but this sounds infinitely worse. Glad you made it out, and kudos for the longest blog post :)
Hope it's warm in Tallahassee (and hope I spelled it right!)
KG

c2 said...

Shazam!

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