When Furniture Hits Back.


You’ve all danced on (or at least climbed atop) furniture, right? In our development into right thinking members of society, clambering is a full time activity for all human beings. We introduce the soles of our feet to the tops of tables, chairs, bar stools, club speakers… it’s perfectly normal. So before we go on, we should agree that you, reader, have disgraced yourself and your mother on top of a piece of furniture once, twice, even four times. No need to feel shy or anything. You’re among friends.

Origins:

This obsession with climbing starts when you turn two and realize that wheeee you have legs. You straddle the living room sofa, claw your way to the top of the chair and jump down. Then you do it over and over again until you fall and break your arm in 5 places. This cures your obsession with high places. For a while.

Another try:

As a kid, you watch a lot of Cartoon Network and all those nimble agile cartoon kids have tree houses which they use to have a lot of fun and plan secret missions from and all of that. You also watch Maria and the Von Trapp children swinging like happy monkeys off the trees in Sound of Music and these combine to make you feel, at 7, that you’re not really living, which is when you decide to build a tree house.

This project fails immediately because no Ugandan parent has ever accepted to leave their children, hammers and nails in the same room together. Ug kids are crazy. Being young and adaptable, you do the next best thing. You climb trees with your friends. This fun lasts until twick! The branch you’re on commits suicide and drops you straight into a full body cast. This cures your obsession with high places. For a while.

Once Again:

Come young adulthood, standing on furniture takes on a new relevance. It’s the best way to seem cool. To seem ca-raaaazy. So we throw our inhibitions to The Grrrraaaawwwnnnndd! like Lonely Island and proceed to show the world how wild and carefree we are.

Like Mabel, only wilder.

During my phase, the coolest person in the bar was the one who danced on the most precarious furniture; for example dancing on top of a bar stool wasn’t enough. It had to be the shakiest, most splintered piece of ugly in the bar. If you were seen on top of a relatively safe broad backed table, the first person to hop onto a stool would steal all your glory.

These are a few other reasons why, as a young adult you may find yourself lifting your legs onto furniture like a two year old and thundering your body to the applause of other (stupid) young adults:

It’s instinct:

As a primate, it’s only natural to want to assert superiority over other primates, because drat, all of us having functioning minds is no fun. When God made Adam, he made him the only creature with a mind, right? This is how things were supposed to be which explains why we climb tables in bars. To seem taller than everybody else thus communicating to them that we’re more virile/ cooler/ evolved than they are.

Assorted intoxicants: 

These have the effect of elevating one. They get you high. Thanks to the greediness of human nature, you want to achieve even greater heights. How better to achieve this than to physically rise above everybody else in the bar by legging a table?

To show off Nature’s gifts:

Because you’ve just rounded the corner from adolescence, everything is brand new. Those legs. Those hips. That beard. Quite understandably, you want to show them off. You also want to be able to sing “I’m hot coz i’m fly you a’int coz you not” with conviction, so you climb a table and wave your hands like you’re flying to , you know, bring authenticity to  Mims’ lyrics.

Passive smoking? ‘nuther level.

In a club situation where everyone is puff-puffing away to look cool, people who don’t/ can’t smoke   get bored so they take passive smoking to a higher level. Since, according to physics, smoke pools in the ceiling, they follow it there thus alleviating whatever guilt that actual smoking might bring while still appearing sophisticated for ingesting tobacco.

About this time, furniture is a bit sick and tired of you and your antics. I mean what the hell, you’ve been abusing it for all of 21 years and now, it’s taken a stand. Right in the middle of one of your more ridiculous displays, the table you’re abusing crumbles beneath you, making you crash very loudly to the ground.

The people who one nanosecond ago were cheering you on will burst into such malicious laughter that you’ll remain on the ground wondering whether you imagined the applause of yester-minute. You’ll then pretend to faint to avoid facing your shame.

This will cure your obsession with high places. For a while.

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