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Weekly Column by Andy Grieser
Column by Andy Grieser

May 10, 2002

By the time you read this, I’ll be hip-deep in moving. Not moving as in flailing my limbs, though that’s entirely possible, but moving as in relocating my bed, Elvis posters, Darth Vader doll and girlfriend.

I have bad luck with moves. For one thing, it rains without fail. Last week, the weather here in Chicago was sunny and warm. Less than a week from the move, we got hit with a cold front carrying thunderstorms. Today, it’s sunny and cold. The day of the move, we’re expecting thunderstorms and even more cold. I swear to you, I am a Rain God. All it takes is for me to plan a move. (Side note: I am for hire, if you’re undergoing drought conditions.)

My last move was a Lovecraftian nightmare of sanityetching ineptitude and thievery. First, let me say that it’s mostly my fault: I went with the lowest bidder, ignoring the fact that they never quite got back to me with insurance information, and that their purported Web site actually went to a different company. I paid for it, though. The company charged three times their estimate. They showed up late to get my belongings, which meant I was already en route across the country. The driver, hired because he supposedly knew Chicago well, got lost, and I had to guide him in via cellphone. The moving crew (two guys in a rented truck) broke a few things — none too important, thank God. And when I tried to complain, the company up and disappeared.

Almost as bad as the time in college when a roommate waited until the afternoon of the move to pack. Then he couldn’t understand why he couldn’t move the huge box into which he’d thrown almost all his worldly belongings.

Or the time I got called away to spend a day with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders — hey, I was writing a book — leaving my friends and then-SO to do absolutely all of the work. Wait a sec, that’s a good memory.

Those were the days, when a case of beer, a pizza and a U-Haul were all it took. We did hire movers this time — reputable ones; I made sure to check — and now the Sunshine Girl and I are frantically packing so we don’t have to pay the packing crew.

Let me repeat that: We hired a packing crew to come over the night before the actual move, and we’re working our butts off to make sure they have no work. Oh, sure, we’re letting them handle really fragile stuff. (Their insurance will cover anything that gets broken, which is nice.) Otherwise, their visit is just a twisted form of motivation.

I just hope they bring umbrellas.


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