January 5, 2010

Dream Come True: A Couch With No Under

The timeline:

Roughly 2:30 in the afternoon: after digging around in the lint and crumbs for a paintbrush and finding also (among many, many, many other things) a video game cartridge, a DVD out of its case, two non-matching socks, and a sippee cup with very very old traces of milk in it, Swistle uses Twitter to complain:





8:45 p.m.
Swistle checks Twitter and finds many empathetic replies to this complaint. It turns out Miss Zoot DOES HAVE a couch with no under. This does not surprise Swistle, who theorizes that Miss Zoot is probably magic and can also probably bend spoons with her mind and probably also has a computer keyboard that doesn't collect brownie crumbs in the cracks. But then Arwen said SHE had a couch with no under TOO, and what are the odds of TWO people being magic right in a row like that?

8:50 p.m. Swistle tells this whole story to Paul. She says, "If I'd known such a thing as a couch with no under EXISTED, that would have been, like, the FIRST thing I would have looked for when we were couch-shopping." Paul says, "You know, I wonder if the feet of our couch would just, like, come off." Swistle is silent and dumbstruck.

8:55 p.m. Paul and Swistle go out to the living room. Paul tips the couch back, but has to HOLD it like that, at a tipped angle, because all the STUFF under it actually prevents it from tipping backwards all the way. This is when Paul realizes he is going to need tools, so Swistle has to go fetch them. Paul spends nearly a full minute explaining the appearance of a Special Crazy Tool he needs Swistle to find, until Swistle interrupts with "Do you mean an Allen wrench?" and Paul says "...Yes." Marriage is neither a game nor a competition, but Swistle nevertheless makes an imaginary mark on her side.


Using the Allen wrench. Can this possibly work?


Yeah baby.


9:00 p.m. Paul says he can either put the foot back on and we can do this later, or we can clean out under the whole couch and then remove the other three feet right now.

9:01 p.m. Paul and Swistle are cleaning out under the whole couch, loading "Things that need to be put back in their homes" into one bin and trash in another, while Swistle uses the dustbuster for everything else and who cares if it wakes the children. When everything is cleaned, the couch can be put on its back.


Two feet off; two feet remaining.


The feet, on our coffee table.


9:20 p.m.: A couch with no under, and the first day of the rest of our lives.

83 comments:

Dynamita said...

This is quite... mindboggling!

Linda said...

This is simply brilliant.

Emily said...

Brilliant! And right now is not the first time that I regret letting my husband talk me into getting the couch that reclines. We will forever (or at least until this three-year-old couch dies) have an under.

LoriD said...

Aren't you smart!? We have one couch with no under in the living room and one with an under in the den. The one with the under always looks like that first picture when we dare to move it. I will investigate whether or not the legs come off so I too can cross that off my List of Frustrations.

Hilly said...

That's very amazingly brilliant! If I had kids or a hardwood floor, I would totally do that myself. :)

nonsoccermom said...

OH. OH MY GOD. This had never occurred to me. My couch has legs just like that. Maybe *I* can have a couch with no under too! It would be a dream come true!!

Dr. Maureen said...

My mind. Is blown.

Lippy said...

Couches with no under are the best. Also I feel special, because our couches are the same color. The allen wrench cracked me up!

My word verification: lowerifi

Nowheymama said...

Will taking the legs off my couch make the couch scratch my floor? Do I really care?

donna said...

Your lives will not be perfect. It's like a happily ever after with no dust bunnies.

Cass said...

You are seriously changing the world here. I see a Nobel Peace Prize in your future - maybe Kennedy Center Honors.

Swistle said...

Nowheymama- Ours has fabric on the bottom, so I'm hoping it will scratch the floors less than when it had wooden feet. Paul wondered, though, if being directly on the floor might be hard on the fabric---like, the fabric might get worn out before its time. Me: DO NOT CARE, TAKE THE FEET OFF AND TAKE THEM OFF RIGHT NOW.

Amanda said...

a. Twitter DOES have a use

2. You are changing lives as we speak

c. Couches without unders. Who would have thought?

AndreAnna said...

I so wish my couch could do this.

Yes, I even have a video of my husband and I moving the couch to clean and the results are well... there are just no words.

If you're interested, it's here

C (Kid Things) said...

That first pictur looks familiar. In fact, I'm afraid to look under my couch. Around here, its kind of like a bed, when in doubt sweep it under the couch.

Jenni said...

holy. shit.

Susan said...

I am stunned. With awe. For the brilliance of Swistles.

Sarah said...

You know, I think both of ours in the den would do this... But dare I? What would I DO with all that free time, previously spent snaking around on my belly digging out toys and game pieces and socks?

clueless but hopeful mama said...

O. M. G.

My mind is officially blown.

"Oh, honeeeyyyyyy??????"

Joanne said...

This is the best story I have ever, ever read. I am going to my Livingroom right now to change my life!

Jess said...

This is awesome. Our couch also has removable feet and I am totally going to remove them once we have kids. For now, the underspace is actually remarkably clean.

One question: Now when you go to sit down, do you bounce a little when you land, because you're expecting the couch to be higher than it is?

6p00d83451dd4369e2 said...

I am new to your blog and love it so far. You have become my morning favorite:)
Did you know though that if you pull back that black thing on the bottom of your coach you'll find another load of treasures? The last time we did it we found 10 pens, 3 ds games, 20+ legos and a handfull of crumbs and little army guns!

Mimi said...

Genius! You know what my husband will be doing when he gets home from work tonight.

Astarte said...

OMG, I SO wish I could do that!!!! The Under drives me BANANAS, because the dog's toys ALWAYS end up under there, and I either have to crawl down there and get them or listen to them scrabbling around trying to get them. The crazy thing is, since it's a lay-z-boy thing, sometimes there's a front to the floor, but if the footrest is up, there's a HUGE space there, which is even worse because then the entire DOG will disappear under there! BUT, there's *always* a big space at the *back* bottom of the couch, like maybe five inches. Not to mention the need to vaccuum under there. Between that and the radiators, there's always something under somewhere, and it makes me want to scream!!!!

Swistle said...

Jess- The first time I went to kneel on the couch (to straighten the pictures above it), I totally WHOOSHED down because I thought it would be higher! But Paul says SITTING in the couch is more comfortable than before: that it had seemed a little too high-and-formal before, but now it seems more slouchy-and-cushy. (I always sit in a recliner.)

TJ said...

I do not presently own a couch, but when it comes time to finally become a couch owner later this year, I know what the first order of shopping business will be. I shall say to the Couch People, "Show me what you have in a No Under Model. You know. Like Swistle's."

Melissa H said...

Hooray!!

Nicole said...

Wow. Your hardwood looks so clean. My carpet is so gross.

d e v a n said...

Brilliant!

fairydogmother said...

Holy cow, Paul is magic! I am in serious need of a couch with no under. I had to retrieve an errant dog treat from under our couch the other day, and discovered that there is seriously enough dog hair under there for an entire other dog, and of course the vacuum only fits under the couch for maybe an inch. Gross. Makes you want to come visit, doesn't it?

My next couch will have no under. Either that, or the dog has to stop shedding. I'm fine either way.

Misty said...

Does it feel weird to sit on because it is too low?

Arwen said...

I'm so glad I could help! A couch with no under is a magical thing, isn't it?

Swistle said...

Misty- To me, it doesn't matter because I so rarely sit on it. But Paul says he thinks it's MORE comfortable now that it's lower.

StephLove said...

What did the kids say when they saw it?

Mama Bub said...

Brilliant! We have a footless couch, that should technically have no under. However, we just lifted it up to adjust the rug and found all manner of crap under there. Looking more carefully it does have a teeny, tiny foot. Bastard couch. At least I can't *see* all the stuff under there.

Swistle said...

StephLove-- We wondered who would be first to notice, and it was William. No one seems impressed, even though I keep emphasizing how this will REVOLUTIONIZE OUR LIVES.

Cherish said...

My couch had no under for the first year or so because I was too lazy to put the feet on it. But then I lived in a place with hardwood floors which ended up getting huge scratches in it because of the dang couch. So now, it has an under and Im ok with that. Our other couch downstairs though would most definitely be improved if it were to have no under.

JEN said...

Love it!!

Marie Green said...

I have a theory that couches on hard floors collect more thing under them than couches on carpeted floors. It is, at least, true in our house!

Our furniture (couch and chaise lounger) in the hard-floored room have very little space under them- about an inch. So THINGS don't get under there, except for dust, dirt, cheerios, crumbs, cat hair, etc.

GREAT IDEA SWISTLE!!!! (as I wonder if our legs come off too...)

Anonymous said...

I was just going to add - our couch has an under but it's on a carpeted floor, so not much gets under it, because things don't slide/roll very much. But for your situation - brilliant solution, and great blog post too!

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Awesome!

Anne said...

For some reason "A Couch With No Under" sounds like it should be a childrens' book.

I was stoked this weekend when I found out that our newish couch is high enough that the roombah can fit in the under, thus solving the whole dust and grossness problem.

Anonymous said...

Next project: How to prevent stuff from getting under the couch cushions.

Now get to work on that one, k ;-)

Manda said...

GENIUS! PURE GENIUS! I'm off to find my Allen wrench!

jen(melty) said...

omg. mind. blown.

I can't do this though because my stupid couch has a SKIRT. I suppose I could meticulously tuck that under too.

When we threw our last couch away, we heard rattling when we were carrying it outside. We cut open the black part and many many many lost treasures spilled out.

Fine For Now said...

LOL, awesome!

Claire said...

jen(melty) we have a ginormous hole in the fabric base the cushions sit on, and I can't BELIEVE how many Little People came out of there the last time we cleaned! Our couch will be left on the curb if and when we ever move, because
1. it is coming apart at the seams
2. it has an Under
3. it is from an earlier, singler, kid-free time when we actually kept off-white clean. Now it's so far off-white it's disgusting.
Hooray for the No Under, Swistle!

Christina said...

Our couch has no under, but I LOVE your guys' solution!!!

However, just be warned -- yogurt covered raisins still can find their way under there. Then you'll see a parade of ants across the floor.. be like WTF? and flip the couch back to see a whole COLONY that needs to be vacuumed up and sprayed!

Kira said...

Completely fabulous.
Although it would interfere with the way my husband sweeps, which is to sweep everything under the couch, then wait until the baby is sleeping to move the couch and corral all the dirt. Is it conventional? Is it the best way to trap the floating clouds of dog hair that sail away on eddies of malice?
Who cares? Did you catch the "my husband sweeps" part?
But if not for that I would TOTALLY be looking for an allen wrench right now.

Kate@And Then I Was a Mom said...

I must applaud such inventiveness. The American Dream exists because of creative industry likes yours. Seriously.

However. I do wonder. Without the need to lie prone, shove the skinny vacuum attachment under the couch, and shimmy around while cursing, I am losing one of my few moments of true aerobic activity. Oh, and kicking the vacuum for doing such a lousy job--that's like 20 calories right there.

Lawyerish said...

{gasps}

{pauses}

{bursts into applause!}

Celeste said...

BEHOLD, the awesome powers of the TwitterNet.

This cracks me up. You were willing to pay cash money for something and then found a way not to...you've got Frugalista street cred now, girlie!!!!

Swistle's Dad said...

WE'LL SEE if your aging parents can heave themselves up out of it at the end of the evening next time you invite us over for pizza and a movie.

Alice said...

my mind is BLOWN. BLOWN! i wonder if my couch feet come off?? the cats bat ALL SORTS of grossness under my couch..

Emily said...

You are my HERO, as are the sources of inspiration for this project!! And now, when my sister complains for the 783rd time about how my husband broke one of the legs off her couch while moving it (for a move she *mandated*, rather than *requested* help for, and didn't even offer pizza afterward), I'll let her know it's really so much better this way. :)

Wenderina said...

This totally made me laugh. I think if I did that though, Hubby and I (he: 6ft 4, me: 5ft 11) may find the drop down and more importantly the heave back up to our feet needs those few inches of help from under the couch. But a couch with no under...priceless.

Whimsy said...

Awesome. And how adorable that YOUR DAD just commented.

Hotch Potchery said...

Welcome to the other side...life is good here.

Jennifer said...

I bow down to you, oh wise and mighty Swistle.

Anonymous said...

Swistle I knew I loved you!

Amber said...

*Giggle*

I LOVE how you made an imaginary mark on your side because Paul didn't know what to call an Allen wrench. Neither would I, of course, but it was a great story all around.

Yay for underless couches!!

cardiogirl said...

Now that is an awesome case of problem-solving: working smarter, not harder.

Well played, my friend.

Leeann said...

Huge cheers to Mr. Swistle for his flash of problem-solving brilliance!
(and willingness to act immediately on the issue, as well!)

Lucy said...

Brilliant I say! Brilliant!

chrisyub said...

hmm. wonder if this would work for my dining room table since under it is a vortex that sucks all manner of stuff into it...

Mimi said...

You are a very good writer and I truly enjoy your blog. However, I was stunned to see all the positive comments! I can't say that I am a fan. I admit that I do not have kids and this has probably alot to do with it but seriously, that must just look... well.... weird.

Kira said...

Oh please, Mimi.
Yes, you're right. Let us all SHUN SWISTLE back in to sofa normalcy.
While we're shunning people, A(space)LOT. It is two words. Every single time. A LOT. Not alot. THAT looks fairly normal, online, but it's STILL WRONG.
Swistle, I think the couch looks great. Sorry for getting cranky in your comments. I try not to do that a lot. (SEE HOW IT WORKS THERE? A LOT.)

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

A couch with no under sounds like a philosophical riddle. But yay! I think it looks great.

Now what to do about the couch with no behind. Stupid behind the couch area.

jiveturkey said...

A couch without an under. Fantastic.

Now I need a couch that has cushions with no in-betweens. I once found a Cheerio lodged in between our cushions that I know did not come from our house. Did I mention we bought the couch secondhand? THAT WAS SOMEONE ELSE'S CHEERIO. GROSS.

Swistle said...

Mimi- I don't think there's anything I can do to soothe the shock, but at least you don't have to wonder how weird it must look: the last photo shows it in its full After glory. Perhaps lots of people are equally stunned by it but are being polite because they realize the way our couch looks doesn't affect them even one tiny bit. They may be praising the ingenuity of the idea that gave us a couch WE'RE happy with, since of course they don't have any reason at all to care if it's a couch THEY'D be happy with.

Mimi said...

Kira - :) How I saw the couch with no under is probably how you see driving your van with marked up windows (your blog, Dec. 7, 09) although I laughed out loud when you corrected your son's spelling too! :) Thanks for the correction of 'a lot', I always wondered.

therextras said...

That.was.amazing!

Stacia said...

Awesome! I am so doing this. I even ran into the living room to find out if the couch has feet and it DOES! Here comes a life with no more cat toys under the couch to scoop out with a yardstick.

Anonymous said...

Swistle, you are hysterical and awesome. Love the ingenuity of your discovery...but mostly loved the humorous and clever post. Thanks for the smile!

Katy said...

Before I had a child, there was never anything under my couch. Now, sometimes, it's my kid that's under there.

Shelly said...

*waves hand in the air*
I know what an Allen wrench is, too!

And I love this idea! Brilliant, you guys!

Anonymous said...

may no long-legged person ever accidentally sit on your couch with no under!

Superjules said...

I am deunderifying my couch as soon as I can get a man over here to lift it.

sagessa said...

You are a genius.

Hobo Mama said...

Bless you for your bravery in showing what gathers under sofas. It always frightens me.

kris said...

Confessing to not knowing what an under was. I don't need to get out more; I need to read more blogs.

Julie said...

This will not work for me as my couch is a sleeper and doesn't have removable feet. But, I am glad to know that I am not alone in my desire to have a couch with no under. My oldest daughter likes to pretend she is not eating. She hopes to control my behavior by refusing to put food in her mouth in front of me. So, she hides any evidence of actually consuming. I had to clean out under the couch and found dishes, bread crusts, ants (aka spider food), webs and three huge spiders. I know she won't stop this behavior. I am looking to modify the environment. I got here querying google in hopes of find a couch with no under. You are right, a complete waste of space...

Anonymous said...

I also got here after using google, but I was looking for ways to prevent the dog from losing her precious toys under our couch. The thing that embarrasses me the most is I know my couch's legs come off because we had to screw them off and on when we moved. Yet I never even thought about removing them permanently. *Hangs head in shame*