In an effort to preserve our environment and reduce our carbon footprint the wife and I made a sacrificial decision.

“Honey,” the wife said in February, “our patio furniture is looking real tired and I think we need to replace it before summer.”

“OK, I’m getting concerned,” I said. “Do you know how many times you’ve told me I look tired? Am I about to be replaced too?”

“Not just yet,” the wife said, “you’re still good for a couple more years. I’ve been looking at this flyer from an Amish furniture store. They sell furniture made out of polywood.”

“Isn’t that an amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee?”

“No, Dear. Polywood (reading out of the flyer) is plastic lumber made out of virgin plastics like milk jugs, to form color-fast, rot-proof, durable furniture that is guaranteed to survive even a Category-5 apocalypse.”

“Wow,” I said. “Who knew that recycling a milk jug could help you survive Armageddon? Maybe we should seriously consider buying some of this stuff.”

“My thoughts exactly,” the wife said as she grabbed the car keys. “Come on, let’s go look at some polywood furniture.”

“What about a zombie apocalypse? Will this furniture keep zombies from eating my brain?”

“Oh honey, zombies want a meal not a snack. I think you’re safe.”

When we got to the Amish store, a helpful salesman asked if he could help us find something.

Before the wife could say to me, “let me handle this,” I blurted, “we would like to see your color-safe, rot-proof, zombie-resistant polywood furniture.”

“Right this way,” a salesman said as though there really was zombie-resistant patio furniture.

I smiled at the wife and gave her a thumbs-up. For a couple of hours we tried out several different chair and table sets, checking for comfort, ease of getting in and out of, and chair and table height.

We decided on a dark gray and white set with swivel chairs and umbrella table. “We’ll take this set.” I said

“You can’t have that set. It’s a display model. You’ll have to order a set,” our salesman said.

“How long will it take?” the wife asked.

“Twenty weeks … or maybe longer.”

“This is February for crying out loud!” I said, “Twenty weeks puts us into the middle of summer. What if we have an apocalypse before then? Our demise will be on your head.”

“So, do you want to order or not?” the salesman asked.

“Yes, we’ll order,” the wife said. “Apocalypse or no, I want new patio furniture. Honey, you look tired.”

“OK, order the furniture,” I said, hoping to not be replaced.

Epilogue: On Oct. 13, our color-fast, rot-proof, zombie-resistant furniture was delivered just in time for Thanksgiving. Bring on the Category-5 apocalypse.

Raul Ascunce is a freelance columnist for the Sentinel-Tribune. He may be contacted at