The Burnt Chair Family

Dec 08 2010

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I came across this photo some time ago. I found it quite funny but also very intriguing.  Introducing the burnt chair family.

The father looks to be the only one that is happy about this family moment. The children look to be mostly apathetic and the one bald little guy on the right with the ripped pants seems to be unimpressed. As I looked closer at this photo I realized there may be something written in the ash on the back of the chair.

I took the photo into Photoshop and had my way with it, if you know what I mean. I did some inverting and highlighting and adjustments and all that fancy Photoshop stuff people do and at the time this was the best I could come up with. I may have added some letters for dramatic effect.

Yup, that’s what my huge brain came up with. These guys love to mix flame retardant resin and then use it to write  messages on things that they will burn. I’ve done something similar actually, but the inverse. Some friends and I poured some methyl hydrate on a sign so it would spell something out in fire. It didn’t work. 
Anyway, recently I revisited this photo and realized that it more than likely does not say, “WE LOVE TO MIX RESIN” but rather “WE LOVE YOU ROSE”. I have a feeling that this chair belonged to Rose, possibly a family member, who recently moved out. The father you see smiling in the photo hated Rose’s chair, but Rose refused to get rid of it. Once Rose left, the old man decided to get rid of it once and for all, but not without a little departing message for Rose. 
My dad did something similar with a couch I was storing in his garage. He couldn’t stand having it in his garage taking up space, but I refused to get rid of it because it was the greatest couch of all time. So soft and so comfortable. I really loved this couch. I went away for the summer and my dad threw it in the dump. It was one of the greatest losses of my life. As such, I wrote a letter to the company that made the couch to tell them my sob story in hopes that they might replace my couch or give me a significant discount. Here is the letter:

Urban Barn HeadOffice
1550 Brigantine Drive
Coquitlam, B.C. V3K 7C1
To Whom It May Concern:

Hello, my name is Richard Bergeron and I hope you can help me out. When I wasliving in British Columbia a couple years ago, I purchased an Urban Barn sofa.It was the Flip Sofa-Chaise and I absolutely loved it. I spent a number ofmonths searching for the perfect sofa for my place and this one was by far thebest. It was so incredibly comfortable; I used to fall asleep on it on aregular basis. The cushions were so soft and comfy and the sofa’s designprovided optimal comfort even with multiple people on the sofa. My friends andI used to fight over who would get to lay on the chaise portion during a movie.I also loved the way the sofa looked. It was so elegant, luxurious and stylish.I really did love this sofa.
Unfortunately, a cat did notfeel the same way about it and decided to use it as a scratching post. All fourcorners of the sofa became severely damaged as a result. After that, I was laidoff from my job and was forced to move back in with my parents for a while. Assuch, I stored my sofa in my dad’s garage. During this time, I found a new jobthat required me to travel to Manitoba for the summer, but sadly, I was unableto bring my sofa with me. Meanwhile, my dad was becoming irritated with havingto store my ripped up sofa in his garage because he needed the space for all ofhis hunting gear. So while I was away trying to make ends meet so I couldafford a place to once again house my beloved sofa, my dad decided to take mysofa to the dump. He just tossed the most amazing sofa ever into the trash! Icouldn’t believe it. I was heart broken to say the least. I truly do miss thatsofa.

So now here I am, a few months later, about to move into a new apartment inWinnipeg, Manitoba and what do you know, I need to buy a sofa. Not just anysofa though, a Flip Sofa-Chaise. I need this sofa. After owning such an amazingsofa no other sofa will compare. The problem is I cannot afford the high pricetag on your sofa. It is beyond my means. If there is anything you can do tohelp me towards once again being able to have the most amazing sofa in theworld, I would forever be in your debt.


Richard Bergeron

A Sofa Enthusiast

The Following is an excerpt from a book that Irecently read:
‘The sofa was perfect for sleeping. Not too soft,not too hard; even the cushions pillowed my head just right. I’ve slept on alot of sofas, and let me tell you, the comfortable ones are few and farbetween.
Typically, they’re cheap dead weight. I neverunderstand how people can be lax about choosing sofas.
I always say…you can tell a lot about a person’scharacter from his choice of sofa…. Procuring a good sofa … requires styleand experience and philosophy. It takes money, yes, but you also need a visionof the superior sofa.
That sofa among sofas.’

Haruki Murakami -Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

A few weeks later, I received a call from the president of Urban Barn informing me that I was entitled to 10% off at all Urban Barn stores. I honestly did not expect to even hear from them. It was just something I thought would be fun to write. Unfortunately 10% was not nearly enough of a reduction considering my economic situation at the time, but I still do appreciate the offer they made. Thanks Urban Barn. Below is the only photo of my beloved sofa know to exist.
“The Greatest Sofa Of All Time”
I miss you.

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2 Responses to The Burnt Chair Family

  1. Anonymous says:

    That was fine piece of sitting equpiment you had. I think the chair was set on fire by the children somehow. The kid on the left looks very dumb.

    — The kid on the left.

  2. Neon Jello Evangelist says:

    He definitely has a dumb look on his face. Why would the dad be so proud of the kids for setting the chair on fire?

    It was a quite fine piece of sitting equipment indeed.

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