But what God gave my grandfather in affability he denied him in handyman skills. The guy (alav ha-shalom) sucked ass at home repairs. For 40 years, my grandparents' house was held together by a latticework of yellowing duct tape. Windows, bannisters, chairs ... you name it. My grandfather was a dipsomaniac man-spider.
As my grandparents got more wizened, they'd spend most of the day in two Lay-Z-Boys. This didn't give them much impetus to buy new chairs for the rest of us. Around 1993, you had four options, listed here in order of attractiveness: a) stand, b) the floor, c) two chairs that would spontaneously combust if you sat in them too hard (these were reserved for my parents), or d) the stabbing sofa (below -- I'm center).
Back then, our favored pastime was gatherin' 'round an itchy hound.
The stabbing sofa was a yellow Victorian sofa that my mom insists to this day was "a wonderful antique." Anybody junior enough to be sequestered to the damn thing knew the truth: that some colonial demonologist used the forbidden arts he learned in far Rangoon to build a Burmese tiger trap inside a loveseat.
This couch had a huge, hidden, rusty spring that could gore you square in the asshole if you sat on it wrong. My grandparents' solution was to toss a minor landfill's worth of decorative throws over it, which only goaded the coil to weave its way through the crochet like some butt-loving kraken tangled in a fisherman's seine. My siblings and I never complained because we were children and knew fuck-all about everything except the names of the Little Rascals.