The Austin Chronicles: The Move Part 2 (In Which the Author Makes Some Extremely Stupid Moving Decisions, Ignores His Fiancee’s Advice on How to Fix Those Decisions, Tries to Cover Up the Results So She Won’t Find Out and Call Off the Wedding, Fails, and is Forced to Admit He is a Moron, Which Comes as No Surprise to Fiancee)

June 10, 2013

(Read Part 1 and/or Part 3)

Things you need to know before reading this blawg:

Number1: After three years together, the less abrasive pessimist and I got engaged at the same cemetery I took her to on our first date. This was surprising news, to say the least, for my friends and family, who had started to compare my relationships to M. Night Shyamalan movies: in the beginning they’re filled with promise and intensity, followed a lot of ominous foreshadowing in the middle, and everyone leaves disappointed in the end. We’d been engaged less than four months at the time of the move, and I’m certain there were those who were expecting me to screw it up somehow, myself included.

Number 2: We have a one-year-old cat named The Tempest. She’s half Siamese and half Paranoid Schizophrenic.

Number 3: Neither of us had jobs. (This blawg is being written about events that have already taken place, hence the past tense, but it would be more accurate to use the present-tense verb “have” in this particular situation.) But we’d saved up enough money to pay the rent for a few months while we searched for employment.

Number 4: I just want to remind the reader about that whole cheap-vs.-lazy thing from the last blawg. Here’s where it becomes relevant…

In the past twenty years or so, I have moved approximately fifteen times. Each time I simply pack my belongings into a rental car (not a truck or a van…a car), throw away whatever does not fit, and drive to my new home. The only time I’ve ever altered this routine was when I moved to Prague for a year, and in that situation, I brought two bags on the plane, one for clothes and the other for books. I have never purchased a single piece of furniture. Instead, I simply leave my old furniture behind, sleep on the floor for a few months at my new residence until a neighbor decides to leave a mattress next to the Dumpster, then I drag the mysteriously stained rectangle up to my bedroom, plop it on the floor, wrap a plastic cover around it, and take a nap. Couches, lamps, bookshelves, tables, and televisions are obtained in a similar fashion. Sometimes, coworkers or friends’ mothers hear about the way I live, gasp, and donate entire bedroom sets. But that’s rare. More often you can find me sitting on a lawn chair in my living room, eating cold SpaghettiOs straight out of the can with a plastic spork, and glaring psychotically at my laptop.

For some reason, my new fiancee did not see the advantage of moving halfway across the country with just a toothbrush and a worn Billy Joel CD. So plans had to be made. Plans that involved doing work. Plans that involved spending money.

The cheapest way to move was to rent a truck and drive sixteen hours south to our destination. I’ve had some bad experiences with U-Haul in the past, so I looked at Budget and Enterprise. The cost of a truck was around $600 or so. Add the cost of gas for the truck and the less abrasive pessimist’s car and the total would be around $1,000. But we also had to load our belongings on and off the truck ourselves. Not good for the lazy side.

A friend recommended I try a website called uShip, which allows you to enter the details about your move into a profile and then movers all over the country can bid on it. This satisfied my lazy requirement, but when I entered the information, the website told me my best bid would probably come in at around $2,500. The cheap devil in me balked. So I restricted the maximum bid to $1,200 thinking it would do no harm if no one wanted to accept it. This was a little more than the cost of renting a truck, but it would also be less work. It was the perfect balance of cheap vs. lazy. I was pretty pleased with myself.

Several weeks passed and no bid. Finally, when the profile was about to expire, I received an email from a company called Gatz Shipping. It was a small, family operation out of Idaho, just a man named Jeff Gatz and his wife. They were moving someone else to Austin and wanted to add our belongings to the trip. Sort of like killing two birds with one moving truck. I said that sounded great to me. I gave him my number and he called immediately to work out the details. He said he would pick us up at the end of May and we would be in Austin by June 1 to start our new lives. My fiancee was a bit dubious, but since she’d been dreading driving two vehicles while trying to control our spazoid cat, she finally came around to the idea. I was a hero!

The long story of how Mr. Gatz thoroughly and unapologetically screwed us can be read here. The short version is that he never showed up. It would have been bad enough if he simply told us he wasn’t coming, but he kept telling us he would be there until several days after he was supposed to be there. The less abrasive pessimist picked up on the pattern early and suggested we find a rental truck on May 25, which would have kept us on schedule. However, I did not want to give up on my dream of being lazy. So I told her I was certain Mr. Gatz would come through for us if we gave him more time. May 26th passed, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st. We entered June and still no moving company. I’d gone from hero to heel in a housefly’s lifetime.

To be continued…

(Read Part 1 and/or Part 3)

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5 Responses to “The Austin Chronicles: The Move Part 2 (In Which the Author Makes Some Extremely Stupid Moving Decisions, Ignores His Fiancee’s Advice on How to Fix Those Decisions, Tries to Cover Up the Results So She Won’t Find Out and Call Off the Wedding, Fails, and is Forced to Admit He is a Moron, Which Comes as No Surprise to Fiancee)”

  1. Debby Lucero Says:

    “I’ve had some bad experiences with U-Haul in the past….” Are you sure it’s not the other way around?


  2. I can’t wait for the next episode. This catalogue of disasters can’t get worse but it might get even more funny.I have to assume by now you’ve reached Austin and aren’t stranded on the road somewhere.


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