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If it’s expensive, it’s probably trouble

When I hear, “It’s very expensive,” I become leery.

Al’s brother called. “I’m coming up with a new TV. You can have my old one. I want it out of the house before I get there.”

Al said to me, “My brother is giving us his old television. It is big, it works perfect and is very expensive. I have to get it out of his house before the weekend. It’s really heavy and I’ll need help. I’ll get our son-in-law and the boys to help.”

Three strong guys wrestled with this monster of a television and barely got it up the stairs of our vacation rental house. It sat in the middle of the living room for several weeks. We wondered what to do with it.

Finally, I said, “We have people coming, we have to get that television out of the middle of the living room.”

“It’s very expensive,” said Al. “I don’t want to get rid of it. My brother only buys the best. We will put it in the master bedroom in the house next door.”

“Al, it’s too big. It’s not going to work.”

“I don’t want to get rid of it. I’ll ask the boys to help me move it.”

Sunday night, before the NASCAR race, I said, “We have people coming and we have to move that television. Will you help Al move it before the race starts?”

The whole family went next door. Two strong football players, their father and Al strained to get the set into the bedroom and finally got it up on a six-foot coffee table. The television completely covers the table and sticks out three feet. There is only one foot between it and the couch.

Our old television was adequate for what we needed and is now sitting in the corner of the bedroom.

I woke up this morning and said, “Al, I don’t want that big television. It is too big. We’ve got to get it out of that room. I want the old television back.”

He said, “I’ll bring it over here, then. I’ll put it in the loft.”

I was reminded of another item given to us that was too expensive to turn down.

Al’s brother had a custom bar built for his big Great Room. The bar is probably 20 feet long and has an odd shape. The top is inlaid with expensive wood, the front is covered with tufted leather and it has a round brass footrest. It was very expensive and built like a commercial bar. When he moved from his house, he told Al he could have it.

We struggled to get it into our rec room and it was there for 20 years. It was always too big for the room and I said, “I want to get rid of that bar. It takes up too much room.”

Al’s response was this: “My brother paid $10,000 for that bar to have it custom built. It was very expensive.”

I said, “I’m sure it was. It fit his lifestyle, but it doesn’t fit ours. It was built for his house, not ours.”

I stayed on Al until he said OK and it took a master plan to get the bar out of the room. It was built in sections with all the frills added on. It would be great for a public restaurant. Al took it apart. He removed the leather panels and unscrewed the three sections. It had a one-piece top that he had to maneuver very carefully.

When our daughter came over and saw the stripped-down boxes and all the leather paneling piled up on the floor, she said, “Why didn’t you get a picture of it before you unassembled it? You could have sold it. Now, no one can visualize it.”

“I didn’t think about it, I just wanted it out of there.”

“Nobody is going to buy it without seeing how it looks.”

“I don’t know; that’s a problem for another day.”

Our current problem: Where is that big television going?

I don’t have any idea.

Al maintains it is too expensive to get rid of. He is thinking about moving it up to our loft. That means dealing with our entertainment center.

This one-eyed monster is an encumbrance and Al is still fiddling with it. I don’t know how many more times our family will help him move it.

If you see me driving through town with a six-foot big-screen television on a flatbed trailer, you will know Al is out of town and I’m getting rid of it.

Do I have a deal for you!

It’s very expensive, and you can have it for nothing.

The only snag is, you can’t call when my Sweet Al is home.

Final brushstroke: Just go buy a flat-screen television if you want a big one. Don’t worry about letting your brother down. Just because it’s expensive, doesn’t necessarily make it better. The price is too high.

Artist’s quote

“Remember, happiness doesn’t depend on who you are or what you have, it depends solely on what you think.” — Dale Carnegie.

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