I am currently going through the most dreaded experience known to humans; the pure chaos and sheer mayhem known as moving. I might be off-line for a short while due to wi-fi issues and other such technological roadblocks that add yet another dimension to the already harrowing experience of moving, so I may not be writing for a couple of weeks.
The moving experience can probably be traced back as far as pre-historic man. The cave got boring and you needed to find another cave. You tempt Grog and Fug with promises of free raw meat in exchange for helping you move all your rocks from one cave to another. You, of course had to leave a substantial part of your rocks as a damage deposit. You are running out of rocks because your previous Neanderthal cave-lord would not return your rock damage deposit because you made all those cool cave paintings on the wall.
Once you have all your rocks moved in and your primitive buddies have eaten all your raw meat and drank all the fermented berries, you are left on your own to arrange your rocks and make some new cave paintings. This about the time that you realize that your new neighbors are lower species of humans and their barbaric howling will keep you up at night. Also, when you are out hunting, they come to your cave to try to steal your rocks and maybe deface your cave paintings.
If you grunt at them to shut-the-fuck-up, they will invite more barbarians with their trained giant sloths to try to intimidate you, and maybe break whatever rocks you may have left. They will try to hot-wire your rolling rock and maybe steal it. The remains of your rolling rock will often be found in the bad-cave part of town where all the rocks in the caves are made of pink velvet, the cave-wives are very fat and have teeth missing, and all the rolling-rocks are up on blocks made of rocks.
After your lease made of bones is up, you will be forced to look for another cave.
Seems that after a million years or so, not much has changed.
Here's a breakdown of a greasy modern moving experience.
1. Meet the New Landlord.
Once you decide that you've had enough of your current place, the daunting challenge of finding a new place begins. You scour the local classifieds, or more likely, Craigslist. To put it mildly; your gonna meet a whole bunch of sons-of-bitches and psychos.
On a side note, I really lucked out and found a great place with a really cool rock 'n' roll landlord, but I had to run a gauntlet of shitholes and lunatics in the process before I found this place.
You see, landlords don't seem to like greasers. The first place that I went to look out turned out to be a shithole. It was being rented through some kind of agency and they were adamant about showing the place at a set time in the middle of the day. When informed of this, I icily replied that most folks work in the middle of the day ( omitting "fucking day" with some difficulty).
When I showed up at the prescribed time, I was already kinda pissed for having had to miss work. I was even more steamed when three other prospective tenants showed up at precisely the same time. The agent, or whatever the fuck she was, pulled up in white BMW. This glaring display of ostentation was steeped with capitalistic symbolism.
As she exited the car, her clothing and demeanor spoke volumes. She introduced herself and eyed me up and down, unable to hide her scowl behind those fake Dolce y Gabbana sunglasses. I scowled back because she made me even more pissed than I already was. She was unable to hide her disdain as she gazed at my engineer boots, then up to my rather large wallet chain, my mean lookin' shades and the pomp, which she seemed unable to fathom.
Needless to say , I did not get the apartment, nor did I want it.
Other landlords will impose crazy rules. Like some hippie burn outs who will tell you that you can't cook meat, or other freaks who will answer the door in their pajamas and say " Eef you have bird in house, I keel you !" Others will impose restrictions on visitors, "No womens in heer !" or "Only open door with left hand" or "You must go to gas station to shit, you no shit here !"
Some will mercilessly pound at your door at 6 am demanding the rent. When you leave, will never see your damage deposit. Some half-assed excuse will be given such as " You leave funny smeel". All the greasy doorknobs left by an average rockabilly cat leave the average demented landlord perplexed as to where all that grease came from in the first place.
2.Pack Your Shit.
When you finally do get that new place, the desperate search for boxes will begin. You will become obsessed with boxes. You will scour liquor stores and supermarkets for boxes and somehow get them home, but not before a thorough inspection of the boxes for any signs of the presence of cockroaches.
You will feel a sense of accomplishment once you gaze triumphantly at all the boxes that you have accumulated. You will then be immediately perplexed as to what goes into what box.
This will take about a month as you try to categorize all your stuff and rhetorically ask yourself where did all that shit come from.
You will get some beers to help you cope with the monumental task of sorting and packing your shit. The eventual outcome of packing in a semi-coherent haze will leave you looking for stuff for many months to come as you unpack the haphazardly packed boxes. You will definitely lose may items, and the olive oil bottle will break, soaking important documents.
You will never locate the toilet paper on your first day of unpacking and will have to resort to using the newspapers that you used to pack your more fragile items ( which didn't work anyways, as half of your broken dishes can attest to).
3. Moving Day.
Here in Vancouver, there is a place called cash corner. Unsavory looking dudes hang out there in the morning waiting for unscrupulous contractors to pull up with pick up trucks and hire laborers on the spot. I have often rolled by there on some early mornings and smelled the wafting odors of pot.
On various mornings many moving companies, some of which you yourself have contracted to move your precious goods, will scout this corner , looking for hired hands.
These toothless, shiftless and pot-addled rejects are probably not people you want in your house, much less carelessly hauling your stuff.
This is when you realize that you will have to find some sort of conveyance and convince a few of your buddies to haul their drunken asses out of bed on a Saturday to kelp you move.
This when the excuses start rolling in. My back hurts, my wife doesn't want me to or just plain refusal. After a few phone calls, you do manage to convince a few cats to show up with the promise of free beer and pizza ( the tacitly implied currency of moving day).
Your real stand-up friends will eventually show and they will be ready to roll. Many years ago, however I learned the hard way, to only break out the the beer AFTER the move is done. The lackadaisical attitude and resulting smashed furniture and half finished move was a lesson learned.
The broken down cube van is ready to roll. The boys are in overdrive and shit gets loaded into the van in a haphazard fashion. The inevitable discussions and heated arguments about how the couch will absolutely not fit through the door will ensue. One dude will astutely observe, that if it got in, its gotta go out.
The same futile attempt at manipulation will occur when the couch arrives at your new place. Five dudes will try understand the intricacies of three-dimensional physics as they attempt to move that same couch through a series of 90 degree bends.
Once that couch is in there, that is the signal that everyone can finally relax and crack a beer. Being the greasy cavemen that we are, we will all heartily slap each other on the back, chests puffing out in pride, confident that we have successfully moved all these rocks into the new cave. This is probably where the expression ."We rock !" originated from.
As your buddies leave when the beer runs out, the faint, lingering smell of testosterone reminds you of the fact that you will probably have to go through this experience again in twelve month's time.
Happy moving, friends!