Der Kleiderschränk

Eberhard and Manfred assembling the Schrank

Eberhard and Manfred assembling the Schrank

This is slang for “giant,” or “hulk of a guy.” It also means large clothes cabinet, and that’s what my mom bought from the Hofmeister last week, which they delivered yesterday. They sent one guy to haul this thing up our steep, 15th century steps, along with a bed-set and mattresses. I helped of course, and my back hurts today.

My mom thought they would assemble it too, but Eberhard explained that would cost an additional 200-300 euros, so he was willing to come put it together for us. Thus concludes the office project: we’ve now successfully converted John’s old office into my mom’s new bedroom. This should prove to be a very healthy transformation for her, as she’s able to create her own, new space.

I didn’t get much exposure to the Schrank. It came in several heavy boxes, with one master set of instructions, which was a bad photocopy showing a variety of small illustrations, numbers, and pieces. Friday, Eberhard and I got the bedframe together pretty easily and Saturday, he returned for the Schrank. Ebrerhard’s around 50, and we think his skin color is looking bad from smoking and bad eating. Sometimes he looks gray. He had a cast on earlier in the week for an altercation he got into with a guy who appeared to be breaking into a car. Since Eberhard’s a cop, he has an eye for these things, and although he wasn’t on duty, he felt compelled to intervene.

The guy called Eberhard a nazi-swine and refused to show him his papers or his car key, so Eberhard “fixed him,” and kept him restrained until an on-duty officer arrived, only to discover it really was the guy’s car he was trying to break into.

Today, Eberhard was foggy from too much beer and cognac with his girlfriend last night. He sat on our front stoop with a cigarette studying the instructions, then we got all the pieces laid out and began organizing them. Since there’s a natural pecking order that occurs when men do things like this, I fell way off the radar and was resigned to the occasional nod, to hold something or possibly screw some things together. Once, he had me go outside and look for a piece of metal that might have been discarded by accident.

But Eberhard had to call in his friend Manfred at one point, as he couldn’t figure it out himself. Manfred arrived shortly thereafter, a chubby, older guy wearing overalls, and then the pecking order was reset with Manfred in command.

Now, my mom is in the room doing what makes her happiest: decorating. I have a seafood gumbo on, and we’re killing time until she’s worn herself out, to eat.

Categories: humor, Travelogue 2009

Tags: ,

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