Cozy Tales: 27. The Table Incident

We used to have a coffee table in the family room that was a two tier affair. The bottom was just a shelf while the top was comprised of three square panes of glass separated by wood with four pillars in the corners. We’d had the table for years and it had become the centerpiece of our family room, around which our lives continued to unfold.

One night while watching television, Lauren was lying on the long couch perpendicular to the  TV while I sat on the love seat. Cozy sat on the floor near me and Daisy had mashed herself in the space between Lauren’s couch and the coffee table. The dogs loved to be in this space that seemed too small for them which we figured had something to do with their den instinct. Regardless of why they liked those spots, they were always there making it difficult for people to get off and on the couch. Lauren, eight months pregnant with Meghan, had an even tougher time when the dogs chose to lie there, which was all the damn time.

For reasons that escape me now, I decided to sit on the coffee table so I could get closer to Lauren. Maybe we were talking, or maybe I felt the need to give her some smooches. Whatever the reason, it was overshadowed by the events that were about to unfold.

I had sat on the table countless times before, and I always sat right on the corner so that my weight would be absorbed by the corner pillar and not by the glass. I figured at around 185 pounds, there was no way that the glass by itself would hold me. As I sat on corner of the table this time, though, something changed. Perhaps it was a repetitive stress issue in the wood. Maybe the table was just old. Whatever the cause, I was sure that it had nothing to do with me.

With a loud crack, the glass pane nearest — and I must stress not under — me spontaneously, and otherwise without outside influence, exploded. Suddenly my 195 pounds were falling into an eighteen inch hole where the glass pane had been only seconds before. Glass shards were flying, the two dogs were up and barking, and from one second to the next we had gone from relative peace to utter pandemonium. I was swearing, the dogs were barking, the sound of glass breaking was echoing through the house and Lauren, my lovely and supportive wife, was laughing.

When Lauren finds something particularly funny, she goes into convulsive fits of unstoppable laughter the likes of which are difficult to relay in print. She had told me stories of her father banishing her from the dining room table while she laughed uncontrollably during dinner as a teenager. When something tickled her, the laughter would come and it was nigh unstoppable. We had learned through experience that the effect was considerably more prevalent (and debilitating) during pregnancy. During the episode of Friends where Ross tried desperately to get his leather pants on, throwing baby powder all over the bathroom in the process, Lauren was so overcome with laughter that I started to worry about her sanity and the baby’s health. There was no way she was getting enough oxygen to the baby, laughing as she was. This time, however, I was more worried about me.

I would like to point out that knowing the root of the word, hysterical, I was sorely tempted to use it here in all sorts of clever, humorous, and dare I say accurate ways. The little voice in my head then started screaming about making fun of a woman who knows where I sleep and has access to cleaver, after which I went back to looking for pictures of coffee tables.  

I was stuck. My butt was firmly lodged into an eighteen inch square hole that was formally plugged with glass. My wife was immobilized with laughter and the dogs were up and about, barking and walking on a floor covered with broken glass. Someone had to do something!

I managed to pull my 205 pound ass out of the table and grabbed Cozy’s collar who, being the stout and muscular girl that she was, pulled me out of the hole. At least someone was willing and able to help me! Barking and laughing filled the air, and not a one of the noisemakers seemed to care that my 215 pound butt might have glass stuck in it. Tap dancing around the pieces of glass, I got Cozy outside, then went for Daisy. Indignantly, I asked Lauren is she was alright, which just made her suck in more air and laugh even harder as the tears now flowed down her face and neck while she grabbed her belly and howled. I managed to get Daisy outside and went to look for a broom.

They say laughing releases endorphins into a person’s brain, making them feel good. It was at least twenty minutes before Lauren stopped laughing. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Meghan (the baby Lauren was carrying) was born perpetually happy with all the laughing chemicals Lauren inflicted on her in utero that day.

Miraculously, neither of the dogs hurt their paws on the glass, and I didn’t have to have any removed from my posterior, though I can’t imagine that Lauren would have been much help in that regard, anyway. Equally as miraculous was that my ego survived the incident unscathed. How my scant 220 pounds could have caused the glass to break when the two were never in contact is a mystery unsolved to this day.


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