Down the Chute -- One Piece at a Time

I got it one piece at a time
And it didn't cost me a dime
You'll know it's me when I come through your town
I'm gonna ride around in style
I'm gonna drive everybody wild
'Cause I'll have the only one there is around.

I threw out my desk tonight. It went right down the trash chute.

I had a large O’sullivan L-shaped computer desk that I bought form Office Depot in winter of 2000. It survived from Mt Lake Terrace to Seattle in November of 2001 with minor injuries. One part broke in half, and another was weakened.

It should be noted, that it was a big, heavy piece of particle board furniture, and I moved it in a half-assembled state. I got great service from O’Sullivan. When I contacted them about the large, broken piece, I gave them the part number and they sent me a replacement with in a week, at no charge.

I used the desk for nearly 4 years until July, 2005, when I rearranged some furniture. I wasn’t sure it would survive another move, and I wanted something new, anyway. So I replaced it with a desk I build with Industrial Post Shelving.

But now I had this large desk to get rid of. I didn’t relish the thought of putting it in the car and hauling it to the dump. And since I live in an apartment building, I couldn’t really leave it at the curb or in the dumpster. Besides, it was heavy. So I disassembled it and put it in my closet.

Every couple of weeks after that, I would pull a piece out of the closet, stuff it in a bag, and throw it down the trash chute.

After a while, all the small pieces were gone and it was time to tackle the large panels. These I leaned on the steps and split by jumping on them. Then one piece went back in the closet, and the other went down the chute.

Finally, I was left with the big, extra thick pieces. They wouldn’t break no matter how much I jumped on them.

I don’t own an actual saw so I reverted back to a technique from childhood.

Have you ever tried to throw out dirt in a city? I don’t mean to scatter it, I mean to get rid of large quantities? It’s not easy.

When I was in grade school, my father decided to pave over the back yard with asphalt.

To do that, we had to remove 2-3” of dirt from the entire surface of the yard and get rid of it. Rather than try to get the Sanitation department to haul it away, we buried the dirt under the pantry. To do that, we had to cut a hole in the floor. How do you cut a whole in a surface when you are starting in the middle? You use a drill.

We drilled a series of holes in the floor in the shape of a square. Then we used a jigsaw in a game of power-tool connect-the-dots. The floor opened right up and over the next few days, we dumped dirt underneath the floor of the pantry.

Over the past few weeks, I took my drill to the large pieces, and made a line of holes across their width to weaken them. Then I jumped on the panels to split them.

And tonight -- 17 months after I began-- I dropped the last piece of the desk down the trash chute.

No one ever said I can’t complete a project.

So we drove up town just to get the tags
And I headed her right on down main drag
I could hear everybody laughin' for blocks around
But up there at the court house they didn't laugh
'Cause to type it up it took the whole staff
And when they got through the title weighed sixty pounds.

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