What’s a Couch Between Friends?

Posted on June 6, 2011


Moving is hard.  You need someone to help you, or better yet, someone who can be tricked into doing it for you.  You could ask a friend, but unfortunately you don’t have any friends because you never call unless you need a favor, like moving.  Or maybe you always ask for help, but you’re never available to help your friends when they need help with something, like moving.  Or maybe you don’t have time to make friends because you’re running from the law and that’s why you’re always moving.

It’s hard to get someone like my friend Todd to commit to an all-day move, but people always feel good about helping others once they’re finished, which is why I see no problem with tricking Todd into helping me.

The key is to start with something small, like the couch.  If I can trick Todd into helping me move a couch, and he’s already sweaty and all stretched out, he might just agree to keep on going and help me move everything.

Here are some tips for getting your friend started on moving that first couch:

Try complimenting his strength, just like you would a child

“That’s a really firm handshake you have there.  I bet you’re really strong and can move all sorts of couches.”

Challenge him to demonstrate his fitness

“Can you hand me the chips?  Whoa, take it easy.  When you reached for the chips just now, you looked like you were about to have a heart attack.”
“I’m fine.”
“Your face went all red.  I thought your eyes were going to bulge out of your head.  Forget about handing me the chips.  I guess chip-handing is a young man’s game.”
“I feel fine.  Get off my case.  I’m in great shape.”
“But you could barely lift those chips.  There’s no way you could lift something like a couch.”

Try reminiscing to make him feel nostalgic for couches he’s moved in the past

“Man, I miss college.”
“Me, too.”
“Remember the all night parties?”
“And the girls?”
“And moving the couch out onto the quad?”
“But we’re too old for that stuff now.  We could never move this couch outside.  That’s something young people would do.”

The crying kid

“My kid dropped his toy behind the couch.  Can you help me lift it?  Thanks.  As long as we have it in the air, can you help me move it outside?”

Give your weight in couches

“Did you notice I lost some weight?”
“No.  I can’t tell.”
“Really?  Because I lost a ton of weight.  I used to weigh one-and-a-half couches, but now I weigh half a couch.”
“You couldn’t possibly weigh half a couch.”
“I guess the only way to settle this bet is for you to pick me up and then pick the couch up to compare.”

Make a nonsense claim about the couch’s size

“We’d really like to move, but we can’t leave this couch behind.  My grandpa gave me this couch and it has a lot of sentimental value.”
“Why can’t you take it with you?”
“The couch won’t fit between the doors.”
“How did you get it into the house the first time?”
“The house was built around the couch.”
“That can’t be true.  Have you tried to move the couch?  Have you tried to measure the doorways?”
“Nope.  It’s just a hunch.”
“But the doorway is huge.  I’m certain we could get the couch through there.”
“What do you mean ‘we’?  You’re going to have to call a friend to help you if you’re just doing this to prove me wrong.”

We get the couch outside, and I act surprised to see a moving truck, and say, “As long as this moving truck is handy, we might as well put this couch inside.”  After the couch is inside the truck, I ask if he’ll help me move a matching chair or a coffee table, and pretty soon he’s committed to helping me all day long.  And if he doesn’t, maybe he’s an even worse friend than I am.

Posted in: Advice, Columns