This was, after all, what I'd meant when I told Dad I thought he could do it for the stuff he knew about. He'd been back and forth from Uncle's house to ours several times, and had measured for all the boxes and filing cabinets and tables that he could find. He hadn't, however, reckoned for these extra boxes.
This could be bad.
I was suddenly picturing our dining room with stacks of CDs and other things round piled from floor to ceiling. I shuddered in the warm morning sun at the thought. By this time, the movers had gotten most of the stuff out, so I packed my mountain of new sweaters (many still with tags) into my trunk, gave Aunt Sarah a hug goodbye, and set off toward home.
Dad showed up awhile later, and the two of us went outside for a companionable smoke together which led to the conversation at the beginning of this saga. After a few moments, he broke the silence.
"I know my calculations are correct," Dad said thoughtfully. "I re-did all the arithmetic. Looks like we're going to find out whether all that geometry education really took."
"I guess it would depend on how you measured," I mused. "I mean, did you use the mathematician's method, or the engineer's method?"
He looked up at me, his eyes wide with naivete. "Well ... theoretically," he began.
My heart sank. "I knew it! You used the mathematician's method!" I accused him. Well, he is a mathematician after all, so it made sense, but I could still hope. You see, the mathematician measures everything extremely precisely, does the calculations, and comes up with an answer. The engineer, on the other hand, uses the mathematician's method, then triples it. This is important in engineering, because of those elevators that say "Maximum capacity: 12 persons / 1500 pounds." Engineers just KNOW that one day, twelve 250-pound people are gonna squeeze into that bad boy, and they want some leeway, dammit.
I shook my head. "Well, I guess there's always the carport."
Dad brightened a bit. "Yeah. Yeah, we could put some stuff in there."
The two of us went back inside to wait for the movers, who showed up promptly a few minutes later.
Dad became transformed into the conductor of a veritable symphony orchestra of moving. He let the movers on a tour of the house, showing them the lay of the land so to speak, and what approximately would go where. He had everything figured out, everything. The guys backed their van (which, by the way, was about twice the size of my entire first house, a single-wide mobile home with a popout) into our driveway, and commenced to carting the treasures into the house.
At this point, I decided upon what would be the better part of valor, and went to hide in my office and work on the computer. There I stayed for most of the afternoon, while cabinets and boxes and stacks of VCR's, Laser Disk players, and, of course, CD's, DVD's, and videotapes were brought into and stashed away in various places in the house.
After a few hours, I emerged tentatively to see what was happening. Dad approached me.
"Oh, good, there you are. I wanted to ask you something."
I was frightened. I'm not ashamed to admit it. I did not, however, run screaming from the house, because I am strong and powerful.
"What?" I asked him.
"Well," he said a bit sheepishly, we've got these two little cabinets -- they're just little ones, and they're really pretty, and I was just thinking maybe, you know,"
"What?" I repeated, sighing a bit.
"Well, I thought we could put one by the fish tank here, and one over here in the dining room."
I knew it! I somehow KNEW that a box or a cabinet or SOMETHING would end up in one of the common areas of the house! Especially after finding all those extra records and laser discs that no one knew about.
"THE ENGINEER BEATS THE MATHEMATICIAN EVERY TIME!" I screamed at the top of my lungs whilst stomping my foot and waving my hands in the air frantically, "AIEEEEE!!!!"
Well, actually, no, I didn't. Instead, I calmly and quietly followed Dad as he led me over to the dining room, and pointed to a space next to the 120-gallon aquarium we kept there. I thought about it. It looked like a reasonable space, and would at least be out of the way.
"See, it's only a little one," he said, "Come on outside to the truck and I'll show you."
We went out to the moving van, and he pointed out a lovely little imitation wood cabinet. I thought about it for a minute, and actually, it wouldn't look bad in the dining room. What the heck -- I gave in.
"Okay, I think that will look all right in there," I told him to his obvious relief.
One of the moving guys handed down the stuff that was on top of the cabinet: a large, heavy, round, solid glass dish of some sort in a pale blue color, and a boxed set of the Indiana Jones Movies.
"Hey!" I exclaimed, reaching for the video set, "I've been wanting to watch these again!"
Dad looked at me with a somewhat lofty expression, and held it out of my reach.
"I may allow you to watch it," he said. "It's mine! MINE! I get everything round!"
I looked at him for a moment, then said gently, "Dad. That's a video set. It's not round, it's square."
"It has reels in it," he insisted, "and reels are round."
"Come on, Dad!" I said, and continued with a nursery-rhyme of sorts: "'If it's square, you've got to share!'"
He looked at me for a second, then came up with an appropriate retort. "If it's round," he began in a singsong kind of voice, "the heck with you!"
Okay, so it didn't rhyme as well, but it certainly got the point across. Dad always did have a way with words.
"Good one," I chuckled.
"Thanks," he said, grinning.
"So, is that pretty much it?" I asked.
"Yep. Come see -- I'll show you! You have to see this!" he replied.
I went with him back into the house to survey the situation.
[to be continued]