Stories from the Field: The Tale of the Machete Stairwell


Here at CMM, we move a lot. We move couches and chairs and desks, but we also move original Dali paintings. We move statues of dinosaurs. We move automated salsa manufacturing machines. 

There isn’t a lot, in fact, that we don’t move. And when you move a lot, you end up with stories. Some horror, some humor. Some interesting, some just plain weird. All the names and any pertinent personal details have been changed. We thought it might be nice for those of you facing moves to get a little taste of some of the things we’ve dealt with in the past.

Trust us, we can handle your move. But maybe tell us beforehand if it involves, say, a menagerie of zoo animals.
This story starts with a truck service, in late autumn. It was a pretty standard move, a three bedroom into a four bedroom, from Woodbury to Maple Grove. The clients were a married couple, a retired football lineman and a librarian, and the family was expecting to need the extra room sometime within the next month.

With the help of CMM, they packed up their belongings in boxes and loaded up their possessions into a 26’ truck. They started with the mattresses, then moved onto desks and armoires and a single unusually large antique couch. Finally, they finished loading the truck with rugs and cushions and some left-over Tonka toys.

Everything was safe and everything fit.

The truck service was running along perfectly smoothly until the Muscle Movers arrived at the unload location in Maple Grove. The new house was larger than the old one had been, but the entrance to the basement was extremely narrow. After taking off a railing and popping a door off the hinges (temporarily, of course), the Muscle Movers managed to fit the desks and armoires and necessary furniture down into the basement.

Except the couch. The feet were taken off. It was compressed with slippery wrap. It was twisted and turned in every possible direction, but the couch just wouldn’t fit. The husband, the retired football lineman, was determined to make it work. The couch, he said, has been in his family for generations, and he couldn`t abandon it.

So, midway through the move, he took matters into his own hands. He went out to the garage and grabbed a machete and saw. The next time the movers passed by carrying a reclining chair, he was chopping and sawing at the wood and plaster in the stairwell to the basement.

Just have to avoid the studs, he said merrily. You boys interested in getting in on the action? As you might imagine, this was not a small man. This was the sort of man who could toss out 10 reps of 225 on a bench press before breakfast. His work with the machete gave the impression that had he wished, he could have made a fortune as a guide leading groups through thick Amazon forest. He made short work of the stairwell, and he swept the dust and plaster into garbage bags before having the Muscle Movers carry the couch downstairs.

This time, it fit just fine.