Saturday, April 4, 2009

to rachel, my wife, whom i slept with*

There are probably all sorts of reasons to not tackle your wife with a running spear onto the bed -- not least of which being that if you do, it will likely snap five of the bed's support slats. You would think the average university-educated adult would be smart enough not to do such a thing. But, as Dr. Handy used to frequently point out, I just don't think. So, we found ourselves buying a new bed Saturday.

We weren't immensely upset. Our previous prison-like metal bed frame was too small for our gigantic American selves. And it had a tendency to squeak any time one of us moved, or when we breathed, or when the Earth rotated. Remember that I live in Britain, where all the houses are packed together and we do not have air-conditioning. Our windows are almost always open and I can hear when the woman across the road sits and has tea in her garden. You don't want a squeaky bed in that kind of setting.

Our old bed was accentuated by the shittiness of its mattress, an insufferable spring-loaded number that was not entirely unlike sleeping on a cooling rack. Its only positive came from the fact that when I went to visit people overnight, wherever they put me was sure to be more comfortable than what I had back home. Really. The night spent in Annie's back garden was bliss. For the next month I would lie in bed, metal digging into me, staring at the ceiling and thinking: "I wish I were sleeping in Annie's garden."

"Sleeping in Annie's garden" sounds like a euphemism, doesn't it?

Anyway, we decided that since we had to buy a new frame we might as well fork out the dosh (a) for a new mattress. A trip to Sioux Falls Newport Road (b) ensued, £600 was parted with, the delivery of a bed frame was promised, and a fancy rolled-up mattress was tossed into the back of our 306 (c).

But the whole reason I sat down to write this post is to sing the praises of Cardiff Council. No one ever sings the praises of their council. Go ask Dewi Prysor about his council's ability to replace doors in a timely manner. Ask just about any English person about their fortnightly rubbish collection. Councils get a bad wrap. And certainly Cardiff Council leaves room for improvement (who approved all those flatpack-trendy flats along the Ely?), but if you've got a bed (and old printer and busted vacuum) what needs gettin' rid of, Cardiff Council provides a lovely waste centre where you can chuck it all for free.

And if you don't have a 14-year-old French car in which to load all your junk, the council will come pick it up for free. How cool is that? Huzzah for you Cardiff Council.

Hmm, perhaps I am far too easily impressed.

*The post title is reference to Bill Cosby's album, "To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With," which contains a 27-minute story -- probably one of the best spoken-word performances I've ever heard** -- that tells of himself and his brother, Russell, jumping on the bed and then breaking it.

**I have long maintained that Bill Cosby is far greater a genius than people are willing to give him credit for.

(a) I'm pretty sure that is the first time I have ever used "dosh" in a sentence. It will likely be the last.

(b) Newport Road is possibly the most American stretch of pavement in Britain; it is about a mile of straight road with box stores and fast-food restaurants on each side. If I were a spy, I would tell Russia that Britain's nuclear weapons are stored on Newport Road and then try to provoke a confrontation.

(c) Best car ever made. We've got the diesel and it will not die. French cars for the win. Who would've guessed?


jg_38 said...

Sioux Falls?

Word Verification: exospat

Chris Cope said...

That stretch of road reminds me of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in some weird way.

Sioux Falls is Any City, USA. You can find versions of it in any corner of the United States. It is for me an example of the homogenization of America. When I would see these places -- especially those in California -- I would say aloud to no one: "This place looks just like Sioux Falls. And if that's all you're going to give me, then I'd prefer to be in the real Sioux Falls, where at least the people are more likeable."

jg_38 said...

Well having never meet you, and not even sure how I started reading your blog, and not remembering you stating you lived in Sioux Falls - it struck me odd.

That and I am in Sioux Falls watching the snow fly.

True Story

Chris Cope said...

Nope, never lived in Sioux Falls. Just driven through there a few times.

Admittedly, then, Newport Road doesn't look like Sioux Falls today. We had a lovely spring day.

Dafydd Tomos said...

Whenever I've gone along Newport Road it's always seemed as if I'm in an entirely different country. Now you explain it, it makes perfect sense.

Jenny said...

Was it your landlord's bed? Do you have to leave him/her/them the new bed when you leave that house?! Replace it with a crap one!

Chris Cope said...

Jenny -- The old bed did come with the house. A bed is part of the contract, but since we just got our own he'll replace the bed when we leave.

Brian said...

I was just thinking about that album the other day, about how awesome the title is. And yeah, Cosby is brilliant at the stories. "Now, I told you that story so I could tell you this one..."

Anonymous said...

Funnily enough I have a French car - a Peugeot. 120,000 on the clock, never a problem in 6 years.
Love it........

Annie said...

I love being on your blog