The Furniture Evolution

Santa Stand & Museum of obsolete technology

Santa Stand & Museum of obsolete technology

I’ve recently had a revelation. Under my printer, there’s a counter top.

A stack of papers and folders had been accumulating on top of the printer, which had ceased working three years ago. The stack has been growing less and less stable in recent weeks and each new addition required a careful balancing and centering act. Like a personal game of Jenga.

When the stack threatened to majorly tumble yesterday, I removed everything to reorganize them. At that moment, I saw that underneath the printer was a larger, flat surface.

The moment that followed was not unlike the scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey when those ape-men jump around hooting at the discovery of a stick.

Still, it was a nice moment.

As I was moving the printer – aka: plastic shelf – into my TV stand, it got me thinking. What else is acting as furniture?

My flat is essentially the moderately furnished dwelling of a bachelorized English teacher. And as you aggregate that image in your mind, I can assure you that your vision is spot on. I have a queen-sized bed, a bright orange couch with matching armchairs. One of those is in my bedroom so I can read and be in my bedroom at the same time. There’s a desk from IKEA and a lot of wooden structures that hold things like books, computers, glasses, cups, and utensils.

But what else did I have that I didn’t need?

I investigated.

The first thing I saw was my dress shirt drying rack, formerly a pull-up bar. When I first bought the pull-up bar I had big plans. Literally. I went to a pull-up website, wrote a pull-up schedule, and had pull-up charts that would moderate my evolution from me to buff.

But it turns out that pull-ups are very very difficult. And dangling from one whilst imagining zombies beneath me didn’t help, so the pull-up bar quickly became a piece of furniture for drying dress shirts. Also, since it’s in a doorway, it annoys tall people who come to my house.

In the corner of my living room there is a large black box on a stand. We’ll call this box a television. I used to watch films and shows on it. However, after this became like watching a live version of Vétheuil in the Fog I started using my computer to watch films.

Nowadays my television is a display stand for the disturbing amount of Santa Claus statues I somehow own. Also, it’s a climbing post for the B Monster. I know some people who use their televisions as devices on which to enjoy programming, but these are mostly the flat screen kind, and I would have to sell a kidney for one of those. And I need my kidneys.

As I wonder how I ended up with so many Santas, I find a few other things in my house that used to be useful and now act as De facto furniture.

I use a pair of stereo speakers as phone, MP3, and tablet charging stands. They are the perfect height so the wires don’t get stretched out or become attack victims for the B monster. There’s this old thing called an alarm clock that I used before I got a phone and a tablet. Now I use it as a clock. There’s also a microwave that hasn’t worked in two years serving as a shelf and a plastic bag holder.

The TV stand turned up some fascinating bits. An old DVD player is now a stand for an older DVD player. While not furniture, there are two cat toys that we used to call remote controls. And in the cabinet of the TV stand there’s something called a VCR that is older than some of the students I teach. There are also cassettes, video tapes, and Compact Discs.

It’s a day of revelations.

My second revelation is that most of my new furniture is digital. My third is that I could sell tickets to my TV stand as a museum for obsolete technology.

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