Friday, December 30, 2011

Salvation on Harry Hines

I was working diligently in my office on a cool, stormy Tuesday in October when one of my doctors came in and asked if I would accompany him on a field trip to shop for a new sofa for his office.

I thought we would go down to the design district to look at chic and unique furniture to make a statement in his office.  He had something a little different in mind—the Salvation Army.  I have never been to the Salvation Army, especially not the one at the corner of Inwood and Harry Hines.  Doctor assured me that the Salvation Army was cool and it is where he purchased all of the furniture that furnished his dorm in medical school.

As we pulled up I had to ask him, “How do you know if a hooker had previously died on one of the sofas?”  There was no punchline.  I honestly wanted to know.  Doctor told me that we’ll just have to ask for a “No Dead Hooker Guarantee” if he considered purchasing one.

When we walked in, I was quite surprised by how seemingly normal and even nice the furniture appeared.  Some of the pieces looked like they had been slightly worn in, but otherwise everything was pleasant and relatively unstained.  Doctor sat on every sofa that looked to be the size and style he desired—he was insistent on having a couch that was long enough to lie on without his feet hanging over the end.  It was entertaining to walk around scoping out sofas and point one out, only to see him lying flat on his back staring at the ceiling across the room.  Doctor was all business about this.

He sat at the end of one sofa in particular for a bit and claimed to be keen on the style, size and feel of it.  He then scooted to the other end and observed, “Odd, the cushion is squishy down here.”  When I suggested that must have been where the hooker died, he jumped off of the couch and we moved on.

Towards the back there was a loveseat in chocolate brown leather.  It appeared to be completely new and even smelled all nice and leathery.  We sat on it for a bit and then Doctor realized it was a dual recliner.  He could lie on his couch length-wise or use the recliner option.  We both tried it out and soon it was official.  Sold.

While we were sitting on his new loveseat in the showroom, I noticed an annex with the sign "Uncle Willie’s Collectibles”--or something to that effect--hanging above the entrance.  Doctor said we could go visit Uncle Willie, and I proposed competing to see who could find the most ridiculous/creepy/sad item for sale.  The room was set up like a flea market with booths and tons of old crap that the previous owners no longer wanted.  He found a hand-made sign that looked to be a kindergartener’s art project which read “You have my heart.”  Why would someone try to sell that…at Uncle Willie’s…inside a Salvation Army…on Harry Hines?  Doctor won.

The rain had stopped only moments before we emerged from the building to head back to the office.  The loveseat was delivered later that afternoon, and now Doctor’s office smells nice and leathery.  I have walked into his office several times since, and he has sat up quickly on the couch to declare, “I wasn’t asleep!”  For Christmas, I draped a French blue throw over the side of his chocolate loveseat with a note that told him the blanket will keep him comfy while relaxing on his couch, even when he claims he is not sleeping.