To review, last February the wife and I ordered a beautiful, five-piece, very expensive patio set made out of recycled milk jugs. (So yes, you can thank us for saving the planet.)
We ordered it in February thinking that it would be delivered in plenty of time for summer enjoyment. Eight months later, just in time for the first snowfall, the furniture was delivered.
Under inches of snow most of the winter, we stared at our patio furniture out a window as we dreamt of warmer days.
“Oh honey,” the wife said as she perused our patio, “I can’t wait to have our first cookout on our new, very expensive composite furniture. Aren’t you excited?”
“You know what excites me? Knowing that we only have 29 years left to pay off the second mortgage on that pile of crushed milk jugs,” I said just a tad sarcastically.
“I know you’re excited. Just imagine eating brats and potato salad under a colorful umbrella in the evening sun.”
“Is there beer involved? Because it is physically impossible to eat brats without a tasty, frosty mug of beer.”
“Of course there’s beer. And because you’re eating on recycled milk jugs, you won’t even need a coaster for your frosty beer.”
“Now I’m excited. Beer and going coaster-less. …There is a God.”
Taking my hand the wife said, “Let’s step out on the patio for a minute.”
“But it’s raining out. And I’m in my pajamas,” I whined. “I am not made of recycled milk jugs, I could melt.”
“Just for a minute. I want to show you something. See this open area by the garage. Wouldn’t a nice composite buffet table be fun here?”
“I’ll tell you what would be fun, not having to get a third mortgage for a buffet table. Besides if we order one, we’ll be lucky if we get it in time for our funerals.”
“I agree,” the wife affirmed, “that’s why I think you should build one.”
“What? I don’t know how to crush milk jugs into furniture.”
“You’ll figure it out, dear. I just want it to be 4 feet long, 18 inches deep, 32 inches high, and I need to match this furniture perfectly — that’s all. Now I’m off to shop for paper products for our first cookout.”
A successful trip to Home Depot landed me the recycled materials I needed to create the buffet table of the wife’s dreams. Then I remembered I got a C- in shop class because, as my teacher put it, “Your joints gap.” I was not real hopeful on how this was going to turn out.
But if I didn’t succeed in making a decent looking buffet table, the lady shopping for paper products was going to order another expensive crushed milk jug buffet table which would be delivered within the next millennium.
Some rough sketches, measuring once-cutting twice and enough deck screws to build Noah’s Ark, in the span of an afternoon, I “jimmy-rigged” a fairly decent rendition of a buffet table, I like to call the Jimmy Buffett.
“Oh honey,” the wife tittered, “that is exactly what I was hoping for. It matches our furniture perfectly and will be a wonderful spot for appetizers, main dishes, and desserts alike.”
“You really like it?” I asked. “I did get a C- in shop class.”
“It’s absolutely perfect. Now I’m going to go cancel the buffet table I ordered, you know, just in case…”
“I’m so glad you like it. …Wait, what?”
Raul Ascunce is a freelance columnist for the Sentinel-Tribune. He may be contacted at [email protected]