The Porch: Where Couches Go to Die

I was thinking last night about the whole OSU porch couch issue (I was drifting off to sleep, I don’t really set aside time to think about couches). It occurred to me that the porch is generally the last useful place that most couches end up.
The life of a couch. A couch starts out all pretty and new, sitting on a showroom floor, or even in back stock, not getting trampled on by little and big kids all day long. Then your parents get tired of their old couch and purchase this new fandangled spiffy couch and bring it home for you and any siblings or pets you might have to romp on it all day long, year after year. Now, if the couch is a good one, it may stay in that location (subject to periodic rearrangement) for many years, as many as 10-15! But, those unfortunate couches that were recipients of nifty gadgets, or spring-loaded something-or-others, tend to fair poorly in the long term. The parents, and children, tire of the novelty and the couch is generally retired to a less prominent location, such as the basement. Now all couches get demoted at some point. The future of a couch typically depends on the age of the children in the immediate family. If the children are still in grade school when a couch is demoted, it generally stays around in some capacity until they reach college age. When the children, or grandchildren or any close relative offspring reach college, this is when parents see an opportunity to finally be rid of the cursed couch! They will pawn these unsuspecting couches onto the grateful-to-have-furniture-of-their-own students with no guilt what so ever. At this point, the couch could go down many paths. First, it could end up in a dorm room, where it would be used almost 24 hours a day for everything under the sun. During this college period the general well being and appearance of the couch typically becomes a lower and lower priority. Stains are not cleaned up as quickly and upholstery cleaners are long gone for this couch. Then it could go to a college apartment or campus house. At this point the couch remains safe and secure inside the dwelling unless one of two events occur. 1) Some tragedy befalls the couch such as fire, large amounts of pet or person vomit (in the case of vomit-only if it was NOT cleaned up in time), something spilled on it that cannot be cleaned or no one will touch; or 2) one or more “new” old couches are introduced to the household. At this point, the tragedy couch will generally either be taken directly to the dumpster- or placed in the yard to be ‘cleaned off’ by the rain. Then it may enjoy a short stint on the porch. The ‘crowded’ couch is now involved in competition with the other couches. Many a couch have lost this battle because they just weren’t soft enough, they were too long, or they smelled too much like beer. Now, this is where those gadgets that condemned a couch in its prior life will come to its rescue. A couch with a kick out recliner, or a foldout bed will almost always beat a non-gimmick couch. Either way, which ever couch loses the battle, is instantly relegated to the front porch. The couch must then hold it’s ground against other potential porch couches, proving that it is the BEST porch couch and should not be replaced. At this point, an interesting thing may occur. Besides the inevitable trip-to-the-dumpster that these couches will face, they are often STOLEN and placed on other porches. These couches have found their niche as the “Best Porch Couch”! They are sturdy and dark to hide stains well. Once a couch has made it to the porch, they can survive for years being inherited by younger siblings, neighbors, and even resurrected from close calls with the garbage men. Some couches do meet a fiery end in their dumpster prisons, but they’ve generally lived a long life and are ready to be done with it. Now I know couches can go down many other paths, but this is what I know about them. Hope you enjoyed this edition of “Where does my furniture end up”. Hehe. Later.

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  • Anonymous - I love this! I so pictured that orange couch of yours throughout its journey! What would college be without a couch on the front porch? Another way that a couch gets promoted or demoted (depending on how you look at it) to the front porch is for a little varmot to come crawling out of it when there is only one person home who has never come in such close contact with something like it before! Too bad couches can’t talk, they’d have some great stories! love ya! J

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