Do I own the ugliest chair in the world? Seems a sweeping statement, doesn't it -- a grand claim. In the world? But you know, it might be true. It's pretty darn ugly. Ed found it in the Goodwill store, and came home and told us, his eyes alight with the joy of the true philosopher. When something is a perfect platonic example of itself -- when it ideates a single pure form -- you are drawn in a way you cannot resist or comprehend. We have to get this chair, guys, he said. We have to. It's perfect. It's big and ... words failed him here ... there's blotches and blobs and it's squishy when you sit down and it's so ... Imo was looking a little dubious.
Um, I said.
And it reclines, said Ed. Imo turned to me. She was getting it now. She was on the trolley. Like all my kids, she loves a reclining chair. I've never owned one, but when we are in a mall we spend a lot of time in the free test chair section
A recliner, Dad, she said. A blobby squishy recliner....
They were both giving me the eyes.
Ok, I said.
Actually, I was getting intrigued myself. They went together to buy it, and when they carried it through the front door fifteen minutes and about as many dollars later, my mental staggers matched their physical ones.
Wow, I said. There can be a fine line between beauty and horror. With some high-fashion models you don't know if they are so ugly they're gorgeous or so gorgeous they're ugly. Well, this chair is not like that. It's way over the line, way over any line. It crouches, squat and menacing, the colour of fear and ice tea. It is warm and soft to the touch, like fresh vomit. It reclines with a groan and a snap of tired springs when you pull the lever at the side -- a lever which wears a matching fear and ice tea sock over its polished wooden handle.
Days later, I am still giving the chair a second look every time I enter the living room. It still makes me laugh. It is the world's ugliest chair.