So my husband sold our old queen bed.
Here's the thing about extra cash. We're not dying of money-less-ness, our cupboards are overly stuffed with food I should think about cooking. And, I've been blessed with a spouse who pays me to stay home and make house to my heart's content.
But when an opportunity comes up to earn an extra buck, you can bet Old Moneybags will jump at it with arms and legs extended.
The fellow who bought our bed lives a 35-minute drive away -- that's 35 minutes of autobahn time.
The autobahn kind of rocks. Thanks to many speed limitless stretches of highway, 95 mph is my new minimum.
After the initial sale, Jason pocketed an extra $50 by offering to deliver the bed.
"How are you going to get that bed there?" I asked.
"Easy, I'll just tie it to the top of the car," he responded.
"That sounds stupid."
"Watch me," he said with a grin.
It was date night. Mr. Uhaul informed me that we needed to "drop off the mattress" on our way to dinner with friends. Because, obviously, that kind of thing takes no extra time.
When I came out of the house and saw the queen-sized mattress and box spring stacked on top of our little Mazda 5 micro van with one measly tie around the center, I almost turned around and stayed home. Unfortunately, his usual ratchets didn't fit around both mattress and box spring, so he'd had to improvise. The bed looked like a stack of newspapers with a little piece of string tied around it.
"It'll hold," he assured me as we slowly climbed in the car.
We headed out on the two-lane highway with tentative speed increases.
"See?" he said. "It's going to be fine, so stop panting."
I gulped. The moment his odometer hit 40 mph, I watched through the sun roof as the mattress combo slid right out of sight off the back of the car.
"Stop the car! We lost it! We lost it! Oh my gosh, what are we ...?"
Jason pulled over and we got out. The bed had indeed slid back a good 10 inches, but one shove put it back in place.
"Turn the car around," I said, "There is no way I'm doing this. Take us ..."
"Sweetie, it's going to be fine," he said with a buttery voice. "We can't turn around, they're expecting us and he's already paid me. Besides, we've got dinner reservations."
He started out once more and took the on ramp to the autobahn.
Within 30 seconds, whoosh! The mattresses slid out of sight.
"Argh! It's gone. It's gone. What have you done? I told you not to ..."
Jason quickly pulled over and we got out once more. Again, 10 inches to the rear and I thought I was going to throw up.
"Look," he said, "We can't turn back now. Why don't you just sit in the back seat and pull down on the rope a little, ok? I'm sure it will make you feel better."
Did I mention that the tie was threaded through the interior of the car?
Shell-shocked, I climbed into the back seat and got a good handle on the nylon ties, pulling them tight with my lousy little biceps. We started out once more, flashers blazing and odometer not going above 35 ... until Jason got lazy and felt safe.
Suddenly he was hitting 40 and whistling and ...
Despite my sweaty death grip and body weight, that mattress slid right out of my grip and out of sight. One bloodcurdling scream was all it took for him to pull the car over.
By this time I was crying and shaking and convinced we would lose the bed on the autobahn, kill a bunch of Germans and get deported back to America. My arms were numb and, due to our extremely slow speed, the GPS ETA was 30 minutes away.
At that point even my industrious husband couldn't deny that perhaps it wasn't the best way to make a buck.
In the end, don't ask me how we delivered it intact, but we did.
And guess who got the money?
Annie Valentine is a wife, mother and columnist. Readers can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her blog at regardingannie.wordpress.com.