Posts tagged "Obvious Facts"

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Source: The (tentative) poster design for my on-demand moving company.
Also, I bought royalty-free rights to a repository of icons, so expect a little less attribution in the future when I make my Frankenphotos.

I knew embarrassingly little about The Box™ when I bought it. I spent weeks obsessing over what kind of vehicle I wanted, but I purchased my current home of two years after only an hour or so of looking it over.

For example: I had the truck for nearly a month before I figured out it used to be a moving truck. More specifically, it used to be a Budget truck, and I just had no idea. I only found out by chance observation; if you look closely, you can still see the faded "Budget" logo, forever etched into the truck. Let me show you, with the help of my good friend science:

We start with a picture of the truck.

Then, we enhance the photo.

Enhance further.

Keep enhance-ing.

Very…nice. Now, we apply a binary low-pass reverse-osmotic filter.

Preheat oven to 350°. Build a Visual Basic GUI. Dash of paprika.

Utilize RBF back-propagation through inverse big data dimensionality reduction.

Boom. It appears to be the Budget logo.

Science aside, this isn't particularly shocking: most truck rental companies sell their moving trucks once they're done with them. Mine just went through a few more hands before it got to me.

I swear I have a reason for dredging up the truck's humble, Budget-y origins once again. The truck and I have helped heft, hoist, and haul people's junk around on no less than ten separate occasions. For somewhat obvious reasons, I haven't had to move at all since I relocated to California. I mean, I guess it depends on how you think about it. Sure, I've never had to pick up my stuff and move it to a new place, but every time I go get gas I'm hauling all of my belongings with me. Home is where I park it, after all.

On to the part I want to talk about: for at least seven or eight of those moves, I actually offered to help schlep stuff around. No prompting or anything. They mention they're moving, I offer my truck and services. As weird as it sounds, I legitimately enjoy helping people move, and that's what I'll spend the rest of this post discussing (both for my own bemusement and to try and indoctrinate you, dear reader, to do the same).

Good Exercise

This one's probably the most obvious. Moving is a great way to put all of those squats and deadlifts to good use. Lifting from your legs, maintaining a neutral lower back, keeping your core tight — all just as applicable for moving as they are for lifting. The more stuff someone has to move, the more intense and effective your workout gets. And this isn't your Dad's workout, it's much more dynamic than any boring old routine you can do in the gym. It's a full-on functional workout. It'll hit your posterior chain like a freight train. Worried you aren't working your stabilizer muscles enough? Carry a bunch of rickety furniture down a few flights of stairs and you'll be sore in muscles you didn't know you had. The muscular pump you get after a few hours of moving Ikea sofas around is a reward all its own.

Smug Self-Satisfaction

Wow, I have a lot of stuff.

-Pretty much everyone I've helped move, ever

I hear some variation of the above quote, without fail, every time I help someone move. And it makes sense, right? You never really acknowledge how much stuff you have until you have to shuffle it through a labyrinth of hallways and elevators. Step by sweaty step. Box by bloody box. Taking part in that experience is another one of the benefits for me, because it reminds me how glad I am to have so little. I love that I don't have box after box of who-knows-what packed away in my garage, because I don't need those things and I don't have a garage. It's kind of like my Couch Conundrum, just because I can have something doesn't mean I should. So I end up feeling more grateful for just how good and easy my life is after each move.

Being a Decent Person

Moving is one of those activities that people seem to legitimately dread. Maybe it's the prospect of attempting to tame and pack the always-growing piles of dusty knickknacks. Maybe it's the fear of trying to pick up the old bulky television that hasn't been moved since the Reagan administration. Maybe they just aren't looking forward to shelling out money for a truck or professional movers. For one reason or another, most people aren't overjoyed at the idea of hauling all their belongings from Point A to Point B. So if a someone mentions they're moving sometime in the future, offering your services might relieve a bit of their moving-related stress. In my experience, people seem to genuinely appreciate it. Helping people move has turned a few coworkers and "friends of friends" into friends — the bond created by a formidable move is not soon broken.

Free Food

You know what's really satisfying after a few hours of moving heavy stuff around? A hearty meal.

You know what's even better than that? Not having to pay for it.

While I'll always outright decline payment for helping people move, I'll gladly accept a post-move meal. Post-move meals are among the greatest small pleasures one can experience in life. Think about it: you're hungry, you're sweaty, you're sore, what could be a more perfect remedy than free, delicious food with friends? Food is good, the satisfaction of a job well done is good, and combining those is just the bee's knees.

The Way It Was Meant To Be

Plainly and simply: hauling crap around is the truck's God-intended manufacturer-intended purpose. The truck was made to roam the open highways, full of useless garbage packed into equally useless plastic bins, and it just wouldn't be right of me to deprive it of that joy. This magnificent piece of machinery was meant to meander down microscopic suburban side streets, narrowly dodging low-hanging branches and awkwardly parked minivans. And who am I to deny the truck its God-given manufacturer-given destiny?

Really Bad Jokes

If nothing else, I get to make the same terrible dad joke every time I help someone move. As we pack their boxes and floor lamps and TVs into the truck, alongside my bed and dresser, I'll say something stupid like, "Looks like we're moving in together, I didn't realize it would get this serious so quickly." And they'll chuckle halfheartedly, quietly wondering why they didn't just hire a professional mover.

Source: Truck clipart forever from Clker, bathroom stick peeps from ClipArtBest

I feel like it's been a while since I started a new series of posts. Sure, we've got Truck Tech and Home Improvement and Tips from the Truck and Q & A, but I'm pretty confident we have room for at least one more. If titles weren't supposed to be short, I'd probably extend the series name to: Incredibly Obvious Facts About Box Trucks (And Their Implications), just so we're all definitely on the same page. Anyway, these posts will be all about inherent properties of box trucks, and what that means for how I structure and live my life. Our first patently obvious fact about box trucks: they definitely don't have bathrooms.

To illustrate the above obvious fact, here's a recent* picture of the box.

Not a single bathroom in sight.

Box trucks are well-suited to a wide range of activities. Need to make an area more sketchy? Park a box truck there and watch the surrounding property values plummet.** Worried you don't own enough things covered in graffiti? Buy a box truck, they're magnets for impromptu community art sessions. Got some stuff to move? I know seven satisfied customers who can testify that Brandon's Ad Hoc Moving Service™ comes in handy on occasion. Box trucks are great for hauling crap around…just not in the literal sense.

Which brings us back to the (decidedly unglamorous) topic at hand: my home of choice doesn't have a bathroom. But what does that mean? Well, I've already talked at length (arguably too much) about the implications of not having a nearby bathroom, so we'll gloss over that part. Basically, it's not a huge deal because I'm never in the truck except when I'm sleeping. It does change how I think about bathrooms though. It's not a room in my house where I keep my hygiene-related stuff. For me, it's any place where I can get myself ready for starting or ending a day. This is what my bathroom looks like:

Sure, there's no marble countertops or glass walls, but it gets the job done.

Or from a few other (equally unflattering) angles.

I own more Axe® products than a prepubescent boy preparing for his first date.
For the record, I'm neither of those things.

Uh Brandon, I know you're slowly losing your mind and all, but that's definitely a travel bag…not a bathroom.

Why not both? That bag has everything I need to not look/smell*** like I live in a truck, just add water. And really, it's hardly any less convenient than a personal bathroom would be. In fact, it's definitely got a few perks. For one, normal bathrooms are hands-down the worst part of a house to clean. Aside from the general uncleanliness that pervades bathrooms by their very nature, they also have that whole Portal to Hell™-area going on behind the toilet. When was the last time anyone willing stared into that abyss? Never. Seriously, that place is a straight-up war zone, with different gangs of bacteria and mold-like creatures fighting for turf. There are more unclassified species back there than in the Amazon. I'm downright joyful that I don't have to fight that battle.

That's not to say I'm just pawning off cleaning and making it someone else's problem though. I'm an ardent subscriber of the whole "Leave things better than you found them" philosophy, and always make sure to clean up after myself and then some. For example, and I'll never understand this, but for some reason people love to strew their gym towels haphazardly around the locker room on Friday nights. When I come in on Saturday morning, it looks like a washing machine projectile vomited all over the place. Or like a bomb went off in the laundry bin. In any case, I'll usually take a few of them and toss them in the actual towel receptacle (a mere three feet away) on my way out the door. It's certainly not the most heroic act ever committed, but it stops me from feeling like my questionable life choices are to the detriment of others.

The only (incredibly minor) downside is that no bathroom means no mirror, meaning the first time I see my ugly mug is after I've subjected everyone else to it at the gym. When I stroll into the gym with Beyoncé blaring, I quite literally "woke up like this".

*I've gotten rid of the wood, extra insulation, and tire since I took this photo. I also built the previously pictured coat rack for my shirts.

**Unfortunately, this doesn't work in the Bay Area.

***I don't know if the truck has a scent or not. If it does, it's certainly not the one I want to smell like.


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