That brother-in-law who has a van

The sport of making a move in summer, not because it is a minority, is no longer an activity on the rise.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
20 August 2023 Sunday 10:24
2 Reads
That brother-in-law who has a van

The sport of making a move in summer, not because it is a minority, is no longer an activity on the rise. Most of the moving companies take their summer vacations, so practicing this sport in August indicates economic precariousness, imminent judicial execution or sentimental separation, and determining that moving is a clearly amateur sport that drinks from curling ( furniture on blankets in corridors), rugby (elevator blockades), American football (the basic figure of the quaterback) and Fast

This type of sport is, at least in its beginning, in a series of ideas deeply rooted in the psyche of an urban middle class, whose ancestors used force, hands and common sense to manage their lives in a rural world and pre analogical. But it's not all genetics, mon ami. That your great-grandfather knew how to break fields or fix tractor engines, that your father or mother knew what to do when something broke at home, that is, whether it was sewing, splicing, welding, screwing, hanging and unhooking, nailing and riveting, polishing and giving splendor does not mean that you know how to do anything with your hands other than typing a mobile. As highly specialized mutant beings when it comes to technology, our relationship with the real and organic world in a move is reduced to crying or phoning a strong brother-in-law. It is possible to do both things at the same time.

For the dates, summer but especially August, the move has had and continues to have other sports as serious competitors, such as Painting The Floor, Making The Kitchen, Changing The Floor or The Shower Tray. In fact, there is talk of including all these activities in the new modern pentathlon for the next Olympics to be held in Paris next year or even in a future edition of Iron Man.

A priori, moving is a game without predetermined rules in which as many players as needed can participate. There is an initiator, who is generally the owner of the movable property that has to be moved to another place. This initiator, let's call him Player 0, is the one who, wanting to save a professional moving service (the classic triad of the Classic Circus of the smart clown or White Face, the nice one and the one who breaks everything), calls or asks other players to and time agreed to show up at the right place to play the move. In general, one of the players has a white van –Player 1– and another is the brother-in-law of Player 0, whom we could call Player 2. All the players have some connection of camaraderie, family or friendship between them and all with the Player 0.

As the exercise of this sport is amateur, the players are not paid, unless beers or lunch at mid-morning can be considered salary. Prior to the day of the game, it is common to collect cardboard boxes –used in supermarkets or bought first-hand-, newspapers –in fact it is believed that the written press will survive while removals are made–, ropes, blankets – the classic gray ones edged in red but others fit-, electric or manual screwdrivers and a pseudo-human element in the form of a mother or father that anticipates every blow, every corner, every tear, sometimes trickily after the fact.

The game must have a clear and firm direction. The American football quarterback that Johan Cruyff was inspired to design the player with the 4 on his back, would be the ideal model for the move. Someone who distributes games, who imposes priorities, who flips doors, turns in stairwells, knows the differences between freight elevators and elevators like a linguist knows the difference between commas and semicolons. That he doesn't make beginner mistakes like not assessing the weight of the books inside a box, that he doesn't leave any object behind, that he is the first to open and the last to close. There aren't very good quarterbacks in the moving world, but when you find a Patrick Mahomes, you know him right away.

The distribution inside the van –white, poorly parked, probably in the name of a dead cousin– is carried out by Player 1 while Player 2 –the brother-in-law– halfway through the second hour of the game repeats two things like a mantra: “everything will not fit” and “we could make a stop”. The rest of the Players would do well not to fall for his taunts.

Moving a house can be playful or tragic –an eviction or a divorce–, and therefore a reason for joy, sorrow, pain or melancholy. All this does not affect the development of the game at all. In the case of judicial eviction, Player 0 would no longer be the owner of the objects located in the home. Player 0 would be the owner of that address, who through new players (police, court personnel, locksmith) will start the forced removal game on the day and time.

Once all the furniture is loaded, cardboard boxes filled with clothes, books, music, absurd souvenirs from trips to Istanbul or Cádiz, the back door of the van in charge of Player 1 is closed and the Rest is reached. After 5 minutes, Player 1 gets into the van in the driver's seat, Player 0 in the co-driver's seat and in the middle, always a short Player. On the route full of potholes and enemy traffic lights, the atmosphere of the game is filled with male camaraderie, physical sweat and the desire that this be his life forever.

The second part is like the inverse of the first. Unload the van, upload furniture and boxes and, as much as Player 0 implores, the rest of the Players will give up setting up cabinets, armchairs and dining tables. Player 0 can try but it is not ethical or moral. The end is vermouth, food or beer in a nearby bar. Player 1 is in the most hurry because he has to return the van to the dead cousin. Drinks should be in charge of Player 0 but there is a lot of stinginess in this world of moving. There's the possibility of lower back injuries, broken glass, and old AC/DC jerseys that are stained but not expired.