On Saturday LC and I got rid of my sofa. This was the one that I bought while living in Yeovil but didn't actually take possession of until I moved to Falkirk. For the first few years it was extremely comfortable, but as time went on it became more and more broken down.
Eventually, LC positively insisted that we had to get a new one (and rightly so). I in turn said we should wait until after we'd moved (again, I think that's right - we should select a sofa to match the new house, rather than pick the house to match the sofa). This delaying gambit led to us being offered, and gratefully accepting, a sofa from LC's parents (that I think they were in the process of getting rid of anyway). So far, so good.
Now, in hindsight we should really have gotten rid of my sofa at that time, when it would have been easy to do so. Instead, we made the mistake of keeping it in the living room to provide additional seating from guests. The folly of this approach became apparent when the Christmas Tree went up - it had to go where the sofa was, which meant that the sofa needed to be elsewhere, which meant "in the spare room". And the spare room didn't actually have space, and so has been insanely cramped for about six weeks (and since that's where the computer is, that wasn't good).
So the sofa had to go. At which point the plan was to donate it to a charity shop. After all, it's a bit beaten up but it's still a useable sofa that someone might benefit from. Arrangements were made, with only one condition: the sofa had to have the fire tags attached, without which they couldn't take it - not only could they not sell a sofa without, they couldn't even give it away. No problem... or so we thought.
It turned out that the fire label had long since been removed. I don't remember doing this, but obviously I must have done so. Anyway, the sofa couldn't be donated. And so, on Saturday, we borrowed my dad's car (which is just big enough) and took it to the dump. It's gone, done, and we have space again. Huzzah!
So, the important discovery is this: never take the fire tags off a sofa, even if you're sure you'll be keeping it until it dies on you. Because you never know.
#4: "A Confederacy of Dunces", by John Kennedy Toole (a book from The List)