Sunday, March 09, 2008



By popular demand (okay, Xavier asked politely) I'm going to do an occasional feature called the title above. You know how easily bored I am, so I may never remember to do this in future. We'll see what happens.

I decided to launch this feature with a sofa my brother has for 22 years called "the ugliest sofa on earth." That boy needs to get out more often, because what he calls "ugly," I call "magic."

Yes, here 'tis, my mid-century modern boomerang sofa with blue and red poppies on a matrix of brown beastly upholstery. It's so non-sensical that I can't help but love it. Furthermore, something about the weave of this cloth just lurves Jack Russell Terrier hair. I literally have to put the vacuum up (no, the little nozzle thingie won't do) and run the spinny things over the surface of the sofa to get all the doglet hair off.

And still I love it.

I got this sofa in 1986 at a junk store called Thrift Town on Division in Arlington. I saw another shopper sneering at something low-slung in the furniture section, and she turned, mid-sneer to look at me as I came around the corner and I gasped - *TING!* - it was love, true love, I tell you. I stood grinning at the sofa like a 'possum and she looked at me like I had the plague. Like, well, like I were that very sofa. I didn't dare to hope I could afford it, but saw $40 on the price tag and my heart leapt. Yes!

I took the tags off, along with a couple books I picked up that day, including my first copy of one of my favorites - 100 Years of Solitude, and sashayed up to the register. (You may have noticed sashaying figures heavily in many of my most victorious moments in life. Deal with it.) I also bought a chair, and I put the tags up on the counter with the books. The delivery guys were carting same to their truck as I was at the checkout. As she was ringing me up I said to the girl "you didn't add in the sofa" and she impatiently said "I got it, I got it!" I tried to explain and she acted really mad and and said "I did." I don't know what her problem was, but she totally harshed me with that nasty vibe, so I stopped arguing with her to let me pay for the sofa.

So I got the sofa, chair and books for under $30. I gave the $40 to the guys who delivered the sofa. I'm all for a bargain, but I couldn't enjoy something if I felt like I'd stolen it. Then again, you may be thinking this was a charity case, me adopting the ugly puppy. But this puppy is exuberant in its ugliness. This sofa never wakes up one day and wishes to be Louis Quatorze or Directoire or Queen Anne. This sofa knows its place in the grand scheme of things, and this sofa set about its task and goes forth with a vengeance, and I can respect that.

Anyhoo. My brother was in paroxysms of repulsion over the sofa, but I still think it's bee-yoo-ti-full. In fact, he still brings it up occasionally, laughing riotously as he does so. I really don't understand why. Perhaps you can splain me?

This is an odd picture because I wanted a white background when I sent an image in to Atomic Ranch magazine (which so UTTERLY rocks) to see if one of their mid-century modern furniture experts could tell me the provenance of the piece. And yeah, it's poorly lit and kind of a mess, but I suppose it fits. And it looks great with my Jetsons TeeVee.

Isn't it special?

One of my favorite sayings comes from James Lileks:

Nothing says "yesterday" like something that said "tomorrow."

Brilliant, baby.


Lin said...

I rather like the lines of that sofa. But I am VERY glad that you explained the background. I had been thinking "My but she has an odd technique in hanging wallpaper." I am relieved.

Anonymous said...

Now I'd like to tour your house. That sofa is adorable and I can picture it with the Jetson's t.v. Cool

Thud said...

That put me off my feed!

phlegmfatale said...

lin - It's a sheet, baby! It's a really cool looking sofa.

lainy - Yes, you must visit my home, darling. It's a garden of earthly delights.

thud - I expected this, but not from you! *HEE!* But if the sofa looked comfy, was butt-sprung and half-covered in duct tape, would you find it beautiful then?

g bro said...

If it's a boomerang sofa, you can't throw it out. (I'd be tempted to try, though.)

Anonymous said...

The sofa looks lonesome. It needs, hmmm. Oh I know. It needs some avocado shag carpet. And some orange fiberglass drapes. And a couple of Verner Panton S chairs. Like this one

Bonnie said...

I would totally buy that sofa.

phlegmfatale said...

g bro - and that right there- that's why I love you like I do: you can say you hate my sofa and make me life while you're doing it.

myron - I think you're absolutely right!

squeaky - baby- you've got good taste!

J.R.Shirley said...

I like it. And I usually have terrific fashion sense.

phlegmfatale said...

j.r. shirley - Your taste is superb, sir!

Christina RN LMT said... long as YOU love it, that's all that matters! I dig the shape, but the pattern/colors?

I'm more the comfy leather type, though I do like color. I have a purple REAL WOOL shag carpet that resides in the closet right now until I can find a washer big enough to wash it in.

Thud said...

I still can't figure out where I'd put my drink!

phlegmfatale said...

christina - I'm happy we agree that mine is the only important opinion on this sofa! You need to go to a big laundromat with that carpet.

thud - why, one of your comely fembots would happily stand and hold it for you

Christina RN LMT said...

Phlegm, I'm kinda afraid of those places.

FHB said...

Eeeew, I love the SHIT out of that! Purdy.