Misty was wearing a beautiful little black dress imprinted with white polka dots the size of quarters. Its cap sleeves embraced and accentuated her lovely round shoulders, the hem that just skimmed the tops of her knees playfully tickled her shapely legs. She had cinched its waist with a wide black belt and wore a delicious pair of black pumps that allowed the tips of her toenails to peak through. All twenty nails were painted a deep opaque white that accentuated the white in her dress.
Joe thought she looked exquisite. “Yeah, you’d better change out of that dress. I wouldn’t want you to ruin my birthday present to you!”
They kissed quickly in passing. “Be right back!”
Brita asked, “Birthday present, huh? Did you pick that out or did she?”
“I did. I love dressing her, she’s so cute!”
She elbowed him and winked. “Bet you love undressing her too,” she teased.
Joe blushed. “Yeah, yeah that’s true too. She’s just great. I’ve probably picked out most of her new clothes over the last couple of years.”
Misty sprang out of the apartment and bounced down the stairs in pastel pink Capris, and a form fitting gray vee neck tee-shirt that said “He Who Gets Slapped” on the front and Central Connecticut State College, Drama for Life, 1982 on the back as well as an old pair of gray Converse high tops.
“Ha! Nice tee-shirt!” Joe laughed.
“Yeah, I figured you’d like it. Now, what’s the plan?”
The women looked at Joe who looked back at them, the stairway and then the television. “I think I should go first and back up the stairs. You guys can each grab a corner and we can carry it up all at once or just bump it up one step at a time if we have to. We just need to go slowly and if anybody thinks he even might need to set it down holler early and we can rest. Does that sound good?”
Brita looked at Misty who shrugged. “That’ll work I guess. You don’t think we can go up sideways?” she asked.
“No, that was my original plan but with Misty here I don’t think you two can squeeze up the steps together side by side and even if you could one would be on a high step and the other the low. Let’s try it my way and see how things go, okay? I’ll walk backwards and the two of you can carry the heavy end together, alright?”
“Why do we get the heavy end?” Misty asked.
“Well, for one thing there’s two of you, and for another I’m going up the stairs backwards. But really you don’t get the heavy end, it’s just that gravity will work harder against you once we start going up the incline than it will me because you’ll be at the bottom. The important thing is to take it slowly! Are we ready?”
“Yeah. I’m ready,” Misty replied.
“Let’s go!” said Brita. Joe nodded and placed his hands under the bottom of the TV where the legs ended at their tops.
“Wait, wait, wait! Why don’t we tilt it so we can hold it up by its legs?” Misty asked.
“Yeah, not a good idea. We heard the legs crack when they were supporting the TV at an angle and I’m afraid they’ll snap in half is we lift it up by the legs and have all that leverage; they’re really not designed for that kind of a load in that direction. Besides, if we carry it upright then we can set two legs on the stairs and rest a little along the way if we have to.”
Misty saluted. “Okay, boss; you’re the boss!”
“And don’t you ever forget it!” Joe said quickly.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Are we ready?”
“Ready,” Brita responded.
“Okay, then lift on three. One, two, three!” The trio lifted the TV and slowly made their way clumsily up the stairs. Joe walked backwards always leading with his dominant right leg and they made observable if incremental progress. About half way up Joe said, “Okay, I need a break. I’m putting my end down!”
Joe set the TV down so two legs sat on a step. He stood upright and unkinked his back and neck. The two women stared at him. “What?! I’m not allowed to rest?”
Misty said, “We don’t mind if you rest, but what about us? We can’t put our end down!”
“Oh, man! I’d like to claim that that was my evil master plan but it’s not true. Can you just lean against it with your bodies to hold it up for a minute?”
“We can try. Hang on,” Brita responded. “Can you hold your end up for a minute while I let go and lean?” she asked Misty.
“Sure, I think so. Give it a try.” Brita let go and leaned up and into the TV. Misty released her hold on the edge she was supporting and as she did so came the too familiar crack that Brita and Joe had heard before.
“Wait!” he cried. That won’t work, we’re side loading the legs again and if they crack this whole thing might come flying down on you. Let’s just keep going! Bump it up one step at a time, okay? One step on each three count. Ready?”
“I’m ready, but I’m not calling you boss anymore!”
Brita turned back around and got a solid purchase on the base of the television. Joe led the chant of, “One, two, three lift!” and soon they all were saying it in unison as they slowly bumped the heavy console up the last eight steps. Once they got it to the top Joe said, “And down! Whoa! That was harder than I thought it would be.”
“I’m sorry, you guys! I didn’t know it would be so much work!”
“No, no, not a problem. Let’s get it into your room and we’ll be good.”
They walked side by side until they got to Brita’s door where Joe again walked backwards. Even though the TV was heavy moving it in the apartment was much easier than hauling it up the stairs. She had cleared a spot by her bed and they got the TV situated without further incident.
“Well, maybe next time I’ll stay at work a little longer! That was tough!” Misty declared.
“I know, I’m sorry! Thank you so much!”
“No, no! I was kidding! It was fine!”
“Glad to do it. Now we’re even though, right?” Joe asked with a wink.
“We were even before, but thanks again. Can I get you anything? A drink? Water?”
Misty and Joe looked at each other. Joe said, “No, thanks. I didn’t get much lunch today and I want to get dinner going. Have fun with your dinosaur!”
“Okay, I will. Thanks again!”
“Guh bye!” Misty said on the way out.
“Bye!” was the answer as Brita closed the door.