The Great Waterbed Fiasco

Oh sure, it’s funny now, but Saturday afternoon I was in tears and not from laughter.

A few weeks back my friend — how about we call her Patty — told me she was going to have to give up her bedroom set.  Now you have to understand that Patty has had this bedroom set since before her daughter was born – probably more than 30 years!  But she has COPD and other health maladies which have contributed to make breathing difficult.  Lying down, breathing is nearly impossible so she started sleeping in a recliner in her living room leaving her waterbed to gather discarded clothes, dust bunnies from hell and cat hair.  She needs it gone so she can move in a standard bed and sleep there using a bean bag chair to keep her elevated.  I thought this was an ingenious idea and I hope it works.

Well JD and I discussed it and decided that if nothing else, her waterbed frame would be strong enough to support our latex mattress since its frame bought the farm a few months back.  Latex mattresses are hella-heavy y’all, but pretty comfy most of the time.  We offered to buy her 30+ year old bedroom set and she sold it to us for $50!  Plus her friend and his son were going to deliver it; the faster to get it out of their way don’t you know?

Saturday we made the drive over to her place to pay her and pick up a couple of things that wouldn’t fit in her truck with the camper shell on.  Then we led the way back to our place, Patty’s friend playing leap frog with us in traffic.  That man definitely has control issues.  Too bad that control doesn’t extend to attention to detail!

Sorry, sorry {in with the good air … out with the bad, repeat}

We arrived at our house and the men started unloading furniture, a LOT of furniture.  All the parts to the waterbed – six drawers that made up the base, foot rail and side boards plus a huge mirrored and lighted headboard; a dresser with a matching mirrored, lighted …hmm, hutch isn’t quite right, but suffice it to say it was big and heavy; and finally the armoire.  Plus there was the waterbed mattress – which we’d decided to try out when we heard it was still somewhat new.  To get a good idea of how my living room looked you have to remember I live in a manufactured home.  Sure, it’s a double wide but it already had a full complement of furniture in it.  Yeah, it was a tad crowded.  As in the Grand Canyon is a tad deep.

Patty’s friend – I guess I can’t keep calling him that can I?  Let’s call him Jack, as in JackAss.  So Jack sets about assembling the waterbed frame with JD and Jack’s son providing the brute force to lift things and hold them in place while Jack directs them and clicks the trigger on his cordless drill.  To be fair, he started the assembly while JD and Junior were still unloading the trucks so he did a fair amount of hauling things into place himself before they were able to assist.

I didn’t watch the time so I have no idea how long it took, but there were a LOT of parts to this bed frame and they had to go together just so.  Once it was together and all the screws were tightened a la the cordless drill we were ready to position the waterbed mattress, which the guys did.  JD hauled our hose out of the shed, dragged it in the back door, through the kitchen and dining room and snaked it into the bedroom where Jack crammed (technical term) it into the appropriate opening.  We didn’t have an adaptor so someone was going to have to watch to be sure it didn’t become disengaged.  That wasn’t enough of a red flag apparently because a few minutes later Jack and Junior started packing up and getting ready to leave.  I watched the mattress filling for a while, fascinated as it began to bulge at the bottom and started sliding down between the platform and the bottom rail.  While I have never put together a waterbed in my life, even to my unschooled eye that gap had looked wonky.  But hell’s bells, Jack had just taken apart the blasted thing, he should know how to assemble it shouldn’t he?


Idiot that I am, I tried to yank the mess up toward the headboard.  Yeah, I hear you laughing; I did say “idiot” didn’t I?  Pick yourself up off the floor, there’s more.  The bulging vinyl (or whatever they’re made of) kept growing and while I was tugging at the top to no avail, the hose came into contact with the foot rail and since it was only “crammed in” of course it made a leap for freedom – and began fountaining all over my carpet.

This was only the beginning of the end dear readers.  Part two of my tragic saga to follow.