The entertainment center, part the first

We recently bought a new 46″ Samsung LCD television, and are thoroughly enjoying it. Sports and movies in hi-def! The weather map has never looked better.

However, with every positive, comes a negative. The new TV has created an orphan: the old entertainment center, AKA the Beast.

A sad, sad case

Trust me, this thing is large and HEAVY, not to mention awkward to carry. Long story, but there’s really only the two of us – friends won’t touch it, our parents have medical issues and our son is too small – and we’re not nearly strong/agile enough to carry the thing up to the upper floor from the basement of our split-level house. It barely clears the ceiling by the stairs, and could cause consider damage to our walls, hardwood floors, our bodies and our collective state of Zen.

More (including awesome video) after the jump…

I’ve looked up movers, but damn, they’re expensive for an interior move of ONE piece of furniture. Plus, occasionally, there’s a minimum 3-hour charge. If done correctly, this thing could be moved in 15 minutes, and we’d have to pay for 3 hours.

I can’t figure out how to disassemble it without damaging it, and it was too expensive/too new (2002) to replace. Plus it’s getting to be an absolute eyesore and a bit of a strain on our relationship.

So, when faced with a problem, I did the usual and turned to the magic of the Internets.

When I was looking for furniture pads, I saw some forearm lifting strap thingees at U-Haul, but subsequently found them cheaper at Amazon. They looked nice, but I was still concerned. So I consulted the ease-of-use video/infomercial below complete with people dropping mattresses – oh no!

Even though it’s endorsed by a George Washington University graduate and makes a great gift, I wondered if there was even a better way because our unit doesn’t really have feet and we’re going to have to lift this monster up two half-flights of stairs with very little clearance room.

That’s when I found, cue the seraphim, The Shoulder Dolly (TM). Aaaa-aaaaaa!!!!

Pricier, yes, but check out this smooth-ass photo of two dudes moving a heavy-ass fridge, specifically UP and DOWN STAIRS. Shit, the guy on top is so unencumbered, he could just reach inside the fridge with his free hand and grab himself a frosty cold one. Sounds like just what the doctor ordered. Or at least what a doctor from a non-Atlantic 10 school would order.

Not one to be easily swayed by “slick” photographs such as this, I started reading customer reviews and subsequently found what might now be my all-time favorite customer review ever:

5.0 out of 5 stars Good For Emergency Lifting too!, May 19, 2008
By Jayne

Recently, my invalid father fell out of bed and was unable to stand. My husband and I could not find any way to lift him without risking hurting him. I recently purchased this shoulder dolly and realized we could use it as a sling to lift my father. We managed to get the strap under him, then we held his arms and legs to keep him stable and we were able to lift him enough to get him back into his bed. Dad was fine and we didn’t have to call 911, (thus freeing them for more dire emergencies.)

Granted, thats not what this product is designed to do but it worked! We keep it in our emergency kit now!

Oh, this poor, poor man. How embarrassing. Not only is he an invalid and unable to care for himself, but when he falls, the response is “Hey, let’s try those straps we moved the sofa with!” I really never, ever want to get old. It’s really an Amazon review, which makes it all the sadder. But perhaps even moreso, informing me that this Shoulder Dolly (TM) is more complex and wonderful than I could possibly imagine.

But even after the photos and the fantastic reviews, I STILL wasn’t convinced. What can I say? I’m a hard sell. To put it plainly, it took me 6-1/2 years to propose to my wife. She had to plead her case several times over (occasionally with helpful charts) before I eventually relented. I don’t take life-changing decisions like marriage or the purchase of shoulder straps lightly.

So I Googled “shoulder dolly” and unearthed the following gem. While it first appears to be just a video of two guys in stone-washed jeans shooting the breeze in a garage – I bet Lars Von Trier wishes he’d thought of that – you simply can’t judge a book by its cover. The man on the right is the inventor of the Shoulder Dolly (TM). The man on the left in red is slightly more familiar to me…



In the video, Grizzly Adams Dan Haggerty explains how he and his wife moved an “AM-wahr” with little to no trouble thanks to the Shoulder Dolly (TM). Well, I don’t know what kind of fancy things those Hollywood types have to lug around, but I’m convinced. I’m also unsure why Dan Haggerty, TV’s Grizzly Adams, has to lift a finger at all, except to eat caviar on toast points and to point out where his manservants need to place said “AM-wahr”s.

So, I’ve ordered and am anxiously awaiting delivery! Whether it’s our entertainment center, an elderly woman with a broken hip, or a schoolbus full of children hanging by a splintered guard rail high atop a mountain pass, I’ll be ready. As long as I remember to lift with my legs, I’m in the clear!

Thanks in advance, Shoulder Dolly (TM)!

Ominously, to be continued…


Posted on May 23, 2008, in The real world and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I now have, sitting at my desk at work , a goofy grin because my mind can’t get rid of the the picture of the invalid man being lifted up by straps. “Ehhh, I’m old, I’m an invalid – don’t call 911, get those straps! That’ll be good enough for me, your dad who diapered and bathed you and put you through school. Just get those old straps.” And then the kids tearing through the house, whispering, “OK, he wants the damn straps, we’ll GET the damn straps!” Lo and behold, they work, and an endorsement is born.

    BTW, if the shoulder thing doesn’t work, I suggest starting some sort of collection for the AM-wahr.

  2. Yeah, that customer review is a Lifetime Movie waiting to happen. Can’t you just see Meredith Baxter struggling to pick up an invalid Charles Durning?

    If the Shoulder Dolly ™ doesn’t work, one of us will probably be in the emergency room after being crushed. The collection we start will be of bottles of pain medication.

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