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Battlefield Reporting

August 7, 2010
By ThePov SILVER, Middleton, Massachusetts
ThePov SILVER, Middleton, Massachusetts
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

So I had an "Office Space" moment last night. I don't know if anyone else here has seen it, but there's a scene in it in which the office-drone heroes go completely postal on the fax machine that has been the bane of their existence throughout the movie. They literally lug the thing into a field and take a bat to it, smashing it to bits with rocks, their fists, everything they can find. It looked really fun, and yesterday my brother, my dad, and I got to do it for real.

See, we've had this massive, non-functional office copier lurking in our basement for years. It's a holdover from the days when my dad ran a magazine called "The Large Print Literary Reader" from home, and he bought it "refurbished." Which of course meant that it worked for about 3 months before completely kicking the bucket. We had gone through all this massive trouble to get this massive hunk of metal and plastic into the basement, and it ended up just being a very large, very expensive table for other junk in the basement to sit on, gathering dust. It's been a major embarrassment for Dad and a major headache for Mom for years now.

Fastforward to the present day. Mom's current home-improvement odyssey (after last year's Herculean effort to clean up and organize our shed, and on top of an ongoing but slow-moving initiative to beautify our yard) is to clean out the basement, which, trust me, will likely require as many man-hours as it took to build the Hoover dam. Our basement is FILLED to the brim with our old toys, boxes of dad's old books and papers, some of Dave's old sound equipment, and a smattering of actually useful tools and household items, which are usually inaccessible because of all the other junk. When it got to the point where just opening the door to the basement became difficult, Mom had had enough. We've been slowly chipping away at it every other weekend for a little while now, usually motivated by various bribes from Mom, and we've actually made respectable progress. Not to mention, I've found some awesome bits of nostalgia from my childhood. I had been wondering where my old Transformers toys had went.

And then we had finally come to the moment I had been dreading: time to get rid of the copier. There was an electronics recycling drive going on this weekend, Dave was home from college for the week, and Dad was even able to drive out from Worchester to help exorcise this demon. Grandma admirably spent most of her day before Dad got there in the basement, clearing a path for the 1000 lb + copier to get to the door and unscrewing/breaking off every bit of the thing she could, so that it would fit through the door. By the time Dad arrived, it was ready to go. We had some dinner, set my step-sisters in front of Nickelodeon on the TV, and the battle began.

The thing did not go quietly. Trying to maneuver such a massive piece of junk in our tiny basement hallway, and getting up and down the stair landing that was in the way, was basically impossible. We realized halfway through that the top door part thing (yes, that is the technical term) had to come off, and believe me, was THAT an adventure. First, we tried to unscrew it. No luck. We tried a chisel. Nope. A household hammer yielded bupkis. It was obviously time to call in the big guns, and I ran next door to grab the sledgehammer from Grandpa's barn. We went John Henry on it with that for a few minutes, with mixed success, before the sledgehammer broke.

Broke. As in, the head of the sledgehammer ceased to be attached to the handle. We BROKE a freaking SLEDGEHAMMER with this copier. This meant war.

Unfortunately, it didn't appear to be a war we could win. Even when I got a solid steel crowbar from Grandpa, praying to God I wouldn't have to explain how we managed to break THAT as well as the sledgehammer, the freaking door thing stayed firmly attached to the rest of the blasted contraption, and no amount of sweating, cursing, and elbow grease was gonna remove it. We gave up, and were eventually able to get the thing out the door with the top still attached. The thing was out of the house, and we were briefly happy. Then we realized something. To actually get the thing into the truck we had borrowed, again, from my Grandfather, we would have to push the thousand pound hunk of junk.

Up a hill.

It took all three of us a good 15 minutes to roll the thing, end over end, up the hill from our front door to the yard. During that process, just to spite us, the stupid door thing came off on it's own, breaking the glass in the copier in the process. Basically, no one's going barefoot in our front yard for a while. And even when we got the darned thing up the hill, we could figure out how to lift this behemoth into the bed of the truck. We spent a good 20 minutes trying to figure out THAT little physics problem, before we eventually called it a night. it was 9:30, it was getting cold, and none of us really felt like hurting ourselves if the thing got halfway up to the truck and then fell. Dad left, and me and Dave left the thing outside until morning. Eventually, grandpa was brought his tractor over, and we used that to lift it into the truck. Then, Dave and I drove to the recycling place, all the while dreading that we would have to actually move the Devil's own office appliance again.

The irony was, we didn't have to. The people who were picking it up had had the foresight to bring a semi-truck, and we just had to back grandpa's pick-up up to the back of the trailer, and they pushed it straight in. We didn't even have to get out of the car. It was kind of anti-climactic, really.

Still, I'm glad the evil contraption is OUT OF MY HOUSE.

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