5 Awful Things Nobody Tells You About Moving
Oh, sure, you've moved before: To a better neighborhood, a bigger house or just to spite that bitch Stacy at work who said she lived in a "very exclusive neighborhood." It's not a big deal. You suffer through one shitty weekend, buy your friends cheap beer and sub-food quality pizza in exchange for manual labor, and you're done. But the big move -- the out-of-state, thousand-mile, cross-country, fuck-all move -- is a different story. There are all sorts of traps, pitfalls and dastardly sons of bitches lurking out there, just waiting to pounce on you in your vulnerable state of temporary Hobo-osity. And nobody warns you about them ... presumably because Big Moving has had all of their protesting tongues cut out and fed into the secret Misery Engines that really keep those trucks running.
Cheap Shit is Now Insanely ExpensiveLocal moving has lulled you into a state of complacency: You roll up into the U-Haul place, flashing your wad of Lincolns like you own the place, hot bitches on either arm (or more likely, waiting in the car with the windows cracked), you plunk down your thirty bucks a day and you're off. But here's the thing: All those low prices you see on the sides of the moving trucks (the "29.95 a day!" bubbles emblazoned next to a dinosaur or a bee or whatever bizarre avatar the moving company has assigned your state) -- yeah, there are asterisks after those things. The asterisk is the biggest son of a bitch in the Punctuation Kingdom. He's the coworker that talks shit behind your back and denies it to your face; he's the gag lottery ticket your asshole brother got you for your birthday; he's the waiter that assures you there's no problem with special orders, then pisses in your vegan minestrone (you kind of deserved that one, though). Asterisks should always be regarded with fear and revulsion, and exterminated with fire wherever found. If left unchecked, the asterisk's primary purpose is plowing your wallet right in its asshole (you know that little hole, down at the bottom of the billfold where the creases meet? Yep. That's what that is.)
A promise: You are going to feel weird next time you touch it.The asterisk in this particular case reads: "Price for in-town move only." Somehow, that modest truck with the janky shifter and seat that smells like old action figures is magically transformed, upon crossing state lines, into a solid gold chariot driven on wheels of purest diamond, powered by the Ark of the Covenant, with a fuel tank three quarters full of the meaning of life (and make sure to refill it to that same level of nirvana before returning, or there will be a fee). For every one long-distance mile you plan on driving that run-down Ford with a metal box on the back, you can go ahead and shuffle the decimal point in that listed price one spot to the right.
Don't Try Anything New -- EverIf something seems like it kind of sucks upon first impression, my first reaction is to see if I can think up a clever workaround. There's just no better feeling in life than skirting a major expense by virtue of your wit alone, all while laughing at the suckers left burning in your wake. (Side note: Burning things in your wake is a pretty good feeling, too.) So when confronted with sticker shock at the U-Haul place, I simply scoffed, knocked some appliance pads on the ground, executed some ornate, baroque obscene gestures and went to find a better way.
"I don't even know what that means, sir, but I'm terribly offended by it!"After some research, I settled on one of those portable storage container thingies that those assholes are always blocking the street with. I figured,
There Are Meth-Addicts Watching You, Right Now, Waiting to StrikeYes, they're outside your house at this very moment, perched in the trees, waiting to dive like skinny, scabby falcons at the timid rodent of your belongings. I thought I lived in a pretty nice neighborhood: middle-class, nothing fancy -- but clean, quiet and safe. Until I dragged that big green plastic bag with my household waste out onto the driveway. Then I was confronted with the disturbing reality: There are dope-fiends nesting in every hedge, scrabbling around in the drains, occupying every dark, recessed corner, just waiting for the moment you put something out on the curb that might have scrap metal in it.
"Exchange me for drugs please!"I neatly arranged my Bagster (sides straight, straps securing the contents within, or they won't come pick it up) and set it outside. When I awoke, the entire contents were strewn across the greater metropolitan area. For the rest of the day, dudes with mouth-scars drove by in vehicles straight out of
Seriously, he's always there. How much tragedy can one man sweep up?Then I called the garbage service for pick up, and found out they secretly charge another $130 bucks to collect the Bagster. That's right: Pickup not included. I just paid $30 for a fucking convertible garbage bag. Dejected, harried and really, really cheap, I finally gave in. I rented a van and took everything to the dump myself, bag and all. There, I watched Alejandro sweep a torn picture of little Felipe, long since taken by the fever, onto a jam-stained Reptilianne card. He turned away to hide the solitary tear, but I saw it. I see it every night when I close my eyes.
Portable Storage Units are Billboards Advertising How Easy to Rob You AreNo matter how secure you think you are in the world, I promise you this: You are always one wrong turn away from being alley-raped by a guy named Scooby. Safety is an illusion, is what I'm saying here. With our garbage firmly ensconced in a pit of broken Chilean dreams and disused booster packs, I thought the threat was over. No more pile of meth-head bait, no more problems, right? Wrong. If I had stopped and thought about it for a second, rather than just masturbating to my own ingenuity, I would have realized that renting a PODS is like taking out a full page ad in the local paper with my address up top, followed by giant bold letters that read: "I don't want my things anymore, could somebody please either take or pee on them?" It's a big metal box that sits in the street and proudly advertizes that you can "RENT THIS POD FOR YOUR NEXT MOVE!" It tells every single passing stranger that you are no longer around, but all of your belongings are, and they are very, very lonely.
"We're so alone! Please, stranger: Won't you hurl us in the street and poop on us?"
In the End, Stuff is Just Stuff. It's the Immaterial Things that Really Matter ...... is a thing people with lots of stuff say to people that just lost all of their stuff. Turns out? Stuff is fucking awesome. Seriously, you guys. Objects are the best.Without them, my wife and I are now sleeping in an empty room on hardwood floors. For fun, we count the number of slats in the blinds, compare our results, then fight about them until she starts crying and runs into the closet. We bought an air mattress (a hundred bucks if you want a pump to inflate it, which you kind of need, unless you're just using it as a ghost costume for a fetish ball), but our dogs were so freaked out by our abrupt relocation into an empty cave that they popped it the first night. We bought a pad to sleep on the next night, but the dogs slapped paws with the cat and tagged her in so she could piss on it. So here's my situation after the first big move of my life: I haven't slept in two weeks, the stress has sweated all the joy out of me like condensation on a glass full of misery, and even my animals have turned against me, because they were apparently just in this relationship for the material goods.
Pictured: Golddiggers.I've been robbed, but have no idea what's missing, because all of my things are two states away, and also probably in the shopping cart of a dude named Scary Larry. For the next 10 days, I am literally just going to sit and wait for a delivery, solely to find out how bad I was robbed. It's like I mail-ordered a burglary, but wasn't very excited for it, so I just opted for the free super-saver shipping. At some point in the next week, a big box will be dropped off in front of my house with a major crime waiting to spring out of it like a felonious peanut-snake. So here's where you learn the big lessons from everything I did wrong, which is ... everything, really. Here's the right way to undertake a large move:1. Pay the goddamn U-Haul people their blood money.2. Burn your garbage. Fight anybody that looks at you while you're doing it.3. Release all of your pets into the wild.4. Divorce your wife and disown your family.5. Buy a folding chair, a packet of no-doze and a gun. Camp out in front of your moving van; shoot everybody that looks like they need a shower.6. Enjoy your new life in your exciting new city! Or probably prison!
You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook or you could just give him his fucking toolbox back, you son of a bitch!
Check out more from Brockway in The 10 Most Terrifyingly Inspirational 80s Songs and 5 Movie Martial Artists That Lost a Deathmatch to Dignity.