Tim Belford: Short Takes On Life
Tim Belford
Tim Belford
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Tim Belford is host of Quebec A.M. -- CBC Radio's popular English- language morning show (91.7 FM, 6-9, Mon.-Fri). He also is said to know a thing or three about wine.

Posted 03.31.05
Quebec City


I finally got the piano, now let me tell you about our new bed

A little while back I related the story of my misplaced piano.

Well, for those of you who were wondering, and from the phone calls I received there were a few, the piano arrived safe and sound.

Mind you, it had been to British Columbia and back in the meantime.

As for jack the cat who caused the delay when he was inadvertently flattened by a packing crate, he's off life support, the IV's out and he's doing just fine.

The problem this time around is my new bed.

You see, in fifty-eight years I've never actually purchased a bed.

The one we're sleeping on now I made myself some thirty-odd years ago.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I recently bought a bed from a major department store.

It's king size, a necessary indulgence due to the incompatible sleeping styles of the love of my life and myself.

She's a burrower and I'm a tosser.

Anyway, having forked out two arms and a leg for the bed we were told we had to wait three weeks for delivery.

This was understandable since we got it on sale and it was part of a floor display.

I presume the sales clerk wanted to give another three hundred customers a chance to try it out while the sale was on.

The big day arrived and so did the bed. Two box springs, a king size mattress, a headboard, a footboard and assorted pieces of frame and supports.

The only problem was that the headboard was thirteen inches narrower than the foot board.

I pointed this out to the delivery man who assured me it was the right piece.

I explained that if I put the bed together as it was it would resemble the Great Pyramid of Giza lying on its side.

Back it went.

The next day the clerk was very apologetic, muttering something about the idiots in shipping.

She assured me the right piece would be sent the following Thursday between five and nine.

I asked if she could be more specific. She got a horrified look on her face and said, oh no!

Apparently, delivery men start to bleed from the ears if they're asked to promise to deliver within an hour of the intended arrival time.

Well, Thursday night came. Five o'clock came. Six o'clock came. Seven o'clock came.

A seven thirty, my bride phoned me with the news that she had received a garbled message on her phone in Sherbrooke. The delivery man had called and said emphatically that there was no such address in Limoilou and thus he could not deliver the headboard.

This came as a mild surprise since I live in Quebec City.

According to the driver, the postal code was wrong.

Which surprised me further since I was under the mistaken idea they'd drive it over, not mail it.

The upshot was another trip to the mall.

The sales clerk apologized once again but said it couldn't be helped since the address was wrong.

I pointed out that it was the same address that they used to deliver the wrong part a week earlier.

She gave me a look that suggested I had probably moved during the week just to make her life more difficult.

Well, I did what any aggrieved customer would do and asked for the manager.

Fortunately for me and unfortunately for her, she spoke English.

Like many Quebecers I can get by in the other official language but find it difficult to get really angry.

The manager was sympathetic. She offered to fire the entire sales staff and most of the drivers and assured me the head board would be delivered the following Tuesday.

Why not Monday I asked?

Oh, we don't deliver Monday she replied.

When I pointed out it looked like they didn't deliver Thursdays either she started to lose sympathy. I didn't press the matter.

Anyway, Tuesday came and so did the rest of the bed, delivered by the original driver.

I thanked him and as he was leaving asked if the driver who couldn't find my house had been fired.

"No monsieur," he replied. "Why do you ask?"

"No particular reason," I said. "Just wondering."