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* the Bishop’s chair

November 20, 2015

some of you have already read my tale of the Bishop’s socks. let’s just say it was an eventful visit when the Bishsagging easy chairop ate lunch with us back then when we were living in Madagascar, as there’s another story to share as well, this one having to do with his chair.

when living overseas in missionary housing, one can end up with a variety of furniture, some of it just fine, some not so much. so you can maybe imagine our dismay when, having arrived at our house for lunch, the Bishop of the ELCA ignored my careful shepherding and hinting (you can hardly just shove this sort of a person out of the way unless what they’re doing is life-threatening) and chose to sit in the one chair we really didn’t want him in. while fairly low to the ground, it was a fine enough looking chair, in appearance quite comfortable. only the straps that held up the seat cushion had broken at some point. insofar as replacement ones were not to be found, some enterprising soul had switched out the broken straps with bicycle tire tube. flexible? yes. rigid enough to do the job it needed to do? hardly. which meant the chair looked just fine with just a cushion over the top of this jury-rigged system. sit on it, however, and, unless you barely weighed anything at all, you just kept sinking down, down, down. we knew this and so tried to always keep visitors from sitting in it, having one of us instead occupy it whenever we had company. and when no one was visiting, we carefully avoided it, realizing it was there much more for show than for actual use.

but here i was, sitting across from the Bishop, having ended up in the chair i had tried to get him to use, watching as he sat down, sinking lower and lower, wondering if there was enough oomph left in the bicycle tube straps to 1) not simply break and, barring that, 2) hold our Bishop up before he reached the floor? having just made a mess out of the whole socks thing (see my previous post), i pondered the implications of following up on this with having the Bishop ending up in a collapsed chair in our living room not 5 minutes later? not good, i thought. who knew entertaining the Bishop could be fraught with such perils?!

my wife and i held our breaths, only starting to breathe normally again when the straps leveled out, just over an inch from the floor. the next torture then became wondering if the tire strips would hold him up until lunch was served? he was a good-natured soul, laughing easily, which, as it caused him to bounce up and down, coming within just a half-inch of the floor, did nothing to allay our fears. and there also was the whole issue of whether our Bishop would be able to extricate himself from the rather deep hole he had unwittingly sunk into?

in my entire life i’ve never been so relieved to successfully move everyone over to the lunch table! and no, we didn’t let him sit in that chair ever again.

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