Several years ago, we used to sell for other people. A nice lady named Bobbie was one of our customers. She was downsizing to a smaller apartment after her daughter went off to college. Bobbie had a lot of high end furniture which she would no longer be able to use. One of the items was a beautiful marble coffee table.
She wanted only $600 for the table that cost $1800 originally. It didn’t sell for several months and eventually Bobbie put it in a storage locker way out in the suburbs. About six months later, we got a frantic email from a guy in St. Louis. He not only wanted it, but he wanted it as soon as possible, the next day, Sunday.
We met Bobbie at the storage locker and hoped the guys would show up when they said they would. About 15 minutes after they were due, 4 guys in a late model SUV with Missouri plates came roaring up the street and whipped into the parking lot. As they spilled out, three of the guys were laughing uproariously and the fourth hung his head down and dragged himself over to us.
He gave us 12 fifty dollar bills and asked where the table was. We pointed to the storage locker. He walked over and tried to pick up the top of the table. The heavy, three inch thick marble wouldn’t budge. The other guys were still laughing as I asked one what the deal was.
They had thrown a fraternity party on Friday night at the fancy condo of one of their parents. The parents had a coffee table exactly like Bobbie’s. Notice, I said “had”. Apparently, Mr. Glum got a little too “into” a game of indoor Nerf football and his spectacular, beer fueled fingertip end zone grab finished with him crashing onto the coffee table, shattering it. He was okay, except for his embarrassment.
They spent all day Saturday looking for a replacement. They checked every store in St. Louis they said, with no luck. Then somebody’s girlfriend suggested eBay. They found our listing of Bobbie’s table within minutes. They celebrated by going to another, probably less destructive party on Saturday. They left that party at 3AM and drove all night to Chicago. They had to get the table back to St. Louis before mom and dad got home.
Mr Glum got his buddies to help him with the table. The four burly guys together picked up the table top like it was made of air. Then they had to get it in the car. The only way they could fit the table top and the pedestal in was if one passenger was really squished. Guess who got that seat?
Mr. Glum was looking glummer than ever as they drove out of the parking lot with him squeezed up against the window. The other guys were having more fun than ever, at his expense.
In the end, it turned out okay. Bobbie was happy. We were happy. Three out of the four guys were happy. I just wonder what the parents though of their new coffee table.