A man’s lifetime of longing for a recliner
In his day, my father was a Barcalounger man. Back then, America had Chevy men and Ford men, Budweiser men and Ballantine men, Barcalounger men and La-Z-Boy men. He was a working class guy who provided for his family, a World War II veteran who took part in the liberation of Paris, an average Joe who drank a 16-ounce Ballantine or two while he read the newspaper in his recliner after a hard day’s work.
He was a Democrat, but I’m not sure what he’d be today. Maybe an anarchist.
In deference to my father, who was a union man and believed America was a great country, I should point out that Barcaloungers were manufactured in Morristown, Tenn., not China. Founded in 1896, the company is the oldest maker of recliners in the United States.
His chair also functioned as sort of a piggy bank. Very often I’d sneak into the living room, shine a flashlight into the dark interior of the Barcalounger and reach inside to retrieve a handful of silver and copper. (Any spare change you lose in a sofa nowadays will make as much interest as your savings account.)
All my life, I’ve wanted a recliner, but that dream was thwarted by my wife and four daughters, who preferred pricey furniture from Hitchcock and Ethan Allen because they figured the Daughters of the American Revolution might drop by for cucumber sandwiches, mint iced tea and musket practice.
However, I still fantasize about owning a recliner, where I can nap at the end of the workday or on weekends, when my wife would rather have me outside sealing the driveway, filling bird feeders and raking leaves. For generations, the recliner has given men an opportunity to relax. Napping, as you know, is the secret to long life and marital harmony because when you’re asleep, you can’t argue.
So I’m determined to buy a recliner, and if they won’t let me bring it home, I’ll rent space at Westy Self-Storage. In the evening, I’ll go to my storage unit/den, sit in my recliner and sip a matcha latte and nibble on cucumber sandwiches. No Ballantine or Budweiser for me.
I believe the recliner can make America great again and keep us from going into a recession. I came to that conclusion after reading a headline in the New York Post that said, “In a stumbling market, La-Z-Boy shares are energized.”
The story said, “The furniture retailer is up 14 percent, outpacing the broader market as well as the broader retail segment.” La-Z-Boy is doing better than Apple, Applebee’s and Facebook.
I have my eye on the La-Z-Boy “perfect sleep chair,” which retails for about $2,500 and comes in leather, making it an ideal recliner for rich Democrats and poor Republicans, who want to pretend they’re rich. It’s fully adjustable with heating and massage modes. According to the manufacturer, it provides “zero gravity and infinite sleep positions, along with maximum relief for your aching muscles and joints.”
Zero gravity is a necessity nowadays, and with the right atmospheric conditions and sufficient propulsion, I probably could take my La-Z-Boy for a flight through the lower atmosphere and be remembered in history as a pioneer in the AARP space program.
The recliner can bring Americans together. It can unite Democrats, Republicans and geezers in a common cause — relaxation. Our motto will be “Make America Relax Again!”
Now that I’m done rambling, I intend to put a piece of paper in my typewriter and peck out a letter to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, urging her to force Nancy Pelosi to support a New Deal for Recliners.
We should never forget the immortal words of that great Republican, Herbert Hoover, (Dear young readers, he was the 31st president of the United States and not the vacuum cleaner manufacturer) who said: “A chicken in every pot, a car in every garage ... and a recliner in every den.” However, I may have to keep mine in the garage with the car.
Joe Pisani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.