Sunday, November 22, 2009

Liquor + Cigarettes + Irish Movers = You'll Get Your Furniture Shipped in Record Time

When I say “Irish guy,” what pops to mind? Is it a drunken bloke with red hair, freckles, and a shamrock tee? Is he stumbling all over the place, burbling “Ah, blarney,” and “C’mere, lad,” and “Em, I’m so peckish I could eat a ‘ole meal ah bangers an’ mash”? Because that’s what I see. And not just in my imagination. I had a nice, juicy taste of this authentic Irish lifestyle back in July 2008 when I visited my aunt in Dublin. We rented a car and drove (on the wrong side of the road) across her green country, stopping in towns like Galway, Sligo, Cork and Kilkenny, where these drunken chaps crowded the pubs each night. On stage, they’d recite poems from memory and play the spoons and dance to the audience’s hand-clapping rhythm. So, yesterday, when our Irish movers showed up (forty-five minutes late), I wasn’t surprised to witness flickers of this type of behavior.

At first the movers were overly polite, and each of the three gentlemen shook both mine and Darren’s hands and introduced himself. “Ey, ya got a lot a stuff, do ye?” the big one asked while jiggling my hand up and down ferociously. My arm was Jell-O. And my boring American accent was super lame, I realized. I attempted to spice it up, but it came out hick-ish. “Nah, this’ll be a breeze for all ya fellas,” I said. Then I covered my mouth and led the guys to the apartment.

Within five minutes, three grown men were chasing each other up and down the stairs, to and from our second-floor studio. They pulled at each others’ heels, stumbling and rolling on the floor once they reached the top of the staircase. They found this hilarious. Then they wrapped the flat screen in a big blue blanket and packing tape and flew down the steps just as fast as they’d dashed up them. I was too nervous to watch the clowns handle Darren’s precious Samsung and sectional leather sofa, especially because he hadn’t signed anything stating that the company would be liable for any unforeseen damages during the move. I’m no lawyer, but I know enough to give (or get) a signature for the shipping and handling of the two most valuable items in one’s household.

The owner of the company simply explained, “Well, we were supposed to bring this manual that describes the insurance policies and everything, but it’s, like, this thick.” He held his hands a good two feet apart from one another to show us how massive the book was. I gave him my usual eye-roll and simultaneous head-shake. Then I perused the refrigerator – leftover Chinese food, half a pizza, sour milk – in an attempt to distract myself so as not to give the Galway, Ireland native a piece of my mind (which means a loud sigh and another deep roll of the eyes). “So, I just need you to initial here, here, sign here, and initial there,” he continued. But the man forgot a pen, so Darren couldn’t even fraudulently sign on the line that indicated he’d read a non-existent manual.

When we arrived at the condo, the moving truck wasn’t there. After waiting a few minutes, I thought the guys may have taken our boxes of clothes and housewares and fled to Mexico. Or Ireland. But eventually they arrived (and subsequently charged us an $85 “driving fee”). Even though they smelled like liquor and cigarettes, I applaud the men of Corrib Moving & Storage for getting our furniture to the condo undamaged – and in record time.

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