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September 24, 1998

Confessions of a Furniture Man
by Bradley Wainwright

I’m a furniture man. I don’t make it. I don’t sell it. I don’t even own any of it. Not furniture, I don’t. But any time I happen upon furniture, I use it, I tell you!

If I walk up to a chair, I sit in that chair! And when I come across a bed, I take a nap, even if I don’t feel sleepy. That’s just the sort of person I am — I feel that every object has a purpose, and by helping objects fulfill those purposes … well, we make this world a friendlier place. Some people make use of money, others take on orphans. Not me, though. I’m a furniture man.

Now the other day I was walking on down the road, whistling a happy tune by those Divinyls that the kids love so much, and I found myself a chair. A beautiful chair, made of wood. Wood from a tree. It was quite a sight, the way the chair sat on the sidewalk, all wooden and all. It was beautiful.

So I stopped my strolling and I walked right up to the chair, I knew it wouldn’t bite me. Chairs don’t bite. Animals bite. And I knew this chair weren’t no animal, ‘cause it was made of wood, but that’s the sort of thing I know. It’s what I do. I’m a furniture man.

So I came up to that beautiful, wooden, non-animal chair, and I sat down in it, I tell you! It was a marvelous fit. The curves of the wood gently held my buttocks, and I leaned back to stretch out.

But when I did my leaning … well, I discovered something wonderful. The chair took all my weight, and then it kept going back, back, back, back, back. My feet were inches off the ground! And when I rested my head, I could see clear up to the clouds.

I smiled at heaven that day, and heaven smiled back at me. Because just as I feared that I might be trapped in that chair, staring at the clouds forever … why, the chair felt the pull of Mother Earth, and we moved forward, that chair and I. I was sitting upright once again, but I didn’t stop there, oh no.

My feet hit the ground, and I felt my knees start to bend, as the chair began to push against me — the critter was trying to buck me off, like I was in one of them old-fashioned rodeos. Now, I’ve never been in a rodeo, m’self, but I’ve seen "Young Guns" and "Young Guns 2" and I know that Lou Diamond Phillips wouldn’t a-been beaten by a chair, and neither would I.

I rested my arms on those arm rests, and I rode that chair — back to the clouds and forth to the ground — again and again. And when its time was done, that chair lost its will and momentum. Thanks to Mr. Newton, that chair was mine. I sat in that chair through the day and long into the night, until a man chased me away with his shotgun. But I don’t mind him protecting his chair. It was a marvelous chair. And I should know. I’m a furniture man.

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