Who Cheesed My Move?– Why You Shouldn’t Hire A Mover Named Cheese

“Name’s Luther,” he said, extending his mitt of a hand out for me to shake, “but you can call me Cheese.”

Ok, Mr. Cheese, I thought, trying to think of a joke about that stupid book Who Moved My Cheese?

I felt unsettled by how long he held my hand and then winked at me.  Before he picked up so much as shoe box, there was a puddle of sweat pooled around the top layer of his neck flesh.  I wondered if he was diabetic because I once read a book about a girl who realized she was diabetic because she sweat all the time. Please don’t die until you load the truck, I prayed because I am a good-hearted person.

I watched Luther-Cheese and his two helpers hoist all of my possessions on their backs with nothing but a frayed mesh rope. I didn’t watch them closely.  For one thing all the sweat grossed me out.  Plus, my possessions were grad school chic– the nicest thing I owned was a third-hand bookshelf that was crap to begin with.

I couldn’t wait to get settled in my new place 80 blocks north. Like my childhood hero George Jefferson, I was moving on up. My “deluxe apartment” wasn’t exactly in the sky— it was on the third floor of a walk-up.  I was most excited to leave behind my grad school roommate who was “finishing up his dissertation” by guzzling Folgers coffee by the pot and playing solitaire all day long in his bathrobe.  I judged him because I am not a perfect person.

I was going to be living alone outside the cocoon of student housing for the first time. I saw Luther-Cheese’s smallest helper– an almost-infirm 65-year old man– drop my computer on the stairs. When he looked up and saw me watching him, I saw in his toothless grin an expression I hated. “Whatcha gonna do about it?” he dared me.

We both knew I wouldn’t do jack about it, because I was 25 and couldn’t think of anything to do.

Luther-Cheese found me when they were done loading up. “You’re gonna take care of my guys, right?” Did he mean blow jobs?  My face betrayed that I had no idea what he meant.

“We should each get a generous tip. Cash.” He winked again.

Jesus, maybe he did mean blow jobs.

I’d like to report I had the good sense to be pissed off. Or afraid. Or that I had burly friends who would meet me at my new place to play the bigger cheese to Luther-Cheese. None of that happened.

I stopped by the ATM machine to withdraw enough money to give them each a $50.00 tip, even though they had broken my computer and a dining room chair.

They refused to unload the truck until I paid their tips.  As I handed the Cheese trio their $150.00 in tips, I prayed they would think it was enough.  Luther-Cheese counted his wad right in front of me, then hurled my bed onto his back and disappeared up the stairs.  They unloaded boxes with the care that two-year olds hopped up on candy corns treat their toys.

“Can I have a hug?” Luther-Cheese asked as he finished.  I hated him, but was four years from learning I didn’t have to hug a sweaty old man.

I hugged him and then bolted the locks behind him– because I am a good-hearted person but not perfect.

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81 thoughts on “Who Cheesed My Move?– Why You Shouldn’t Hire A Mover Named Cheese

  1. Are you kidding me? This is downright frightening! Moving is so stressful, I get hives just thinking about this story. Unfortunately we move every two years so I have seen my fair share of Mr. Cheese-men, though nothing this bad. I would have triple bolted the door!!!!

  2. We decided to go to the “cheap way” one move, and hired a day laborer from one of those street-corner type places. Yeah…. it wasn’t until he unloaded all of our worldly belongings into our new apartment that he told us he’d just gotten out of prison for manslaughter. As my husband later said, “I should’ve known those muscles didn’t come from Gold’s Gym.” We gave him a bottle of vodka and a generous tip as well.

  3. I didn’t even know you had to tip movers, although to be honest, we’ve always been the “move it ourselves with friends and family we reward with pizza and beer” kind of movers. The only time we hired a mover it was because they advertised that they specialized in pianos, and we got them to move my grandmother’s super heavy piano (the kind with the solid cast iron soundboard). They did a crappy job and even if I’d know you were supposed to tip movers, I wouldn’t have. There is still paint on the piano from them scraping the stair railings (which were easily removable), and that was 10 years ago.

  4. Sweaty hugs are gross even with the people you love most in the world! I can’t imagine how horrible that Cheese-hug must have been!

  5. Sweaty hugs! There’s relief out there for those of you moving in the future- check out Unpakt.com to find reputable/reliable moving companies, compare their exact prices and user reviews, and book online instantly. It’s seriously a time, money and headache saver when moving! Use code SPRING5 to get 5% instant cash back on your move. Sweaty hug not included. 🙂

    • He was so gross. I will never forget that hug or that skeevy look in his eye. I bet he did want a blow job for himself and the boys. Blech.

      On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 10:26 AM, Outlaw Mama

  6. ugh!! that is terrible!! you had me grossed out at the glistening sweat on his neck fold. ugh again. and so disgusting and inappropriate and disgusting and ugh!! you’re quite the tipper. i terrible! i never know what to give and so totally didn’t at 25! and let’s not even discuss, he called himself cheese! ugh!

  7. Eww no! I can imagine how disgusting it would have been hugging the sweaty guy forget that i can imagine the disgust standing next to them. Well you were brave. Moving out is stressful enough with all the manual work, planning and then to top it all up with such a team of Movers. Boy, my sincere sympathies. But nevertheless you did well. Funny story!

  8. Wow…..this brought up some bad memories about grad school and moving. Frightening on both accounts! There was one five year stretch where I lived in a different city (and province) every year.

    You need to expand on and collect these vignettes into a short story book. Seriously.

  9. Oooh, neck flesh, flop sweat, blow jobs and cheese – all the elements of a fabulous story! Love the way you structured this and the gory details – I’m creeped out and oddly intrigued at the same time. “Four years from learning I didn’t have to hug a sweaty old man” is my favorite line. Great post!

  10. Oh man Christie! I was laughing and wincing and laughing again and then grossed out…. you had me all over the place with your writing. I love it.
    I was also a single 25 year old once, and it’s amazing the number of creeps that pop up out of nowhere during that time.

  11. I moved someone and got a blow job in return. Hell I got more than that and it was much better than a $50 tip. Who knew that every woman thought that way.

    Ok, I confess, she was my girlfriend and I would have moved her without any incentive because she was my girlfriend and she asked me to.

    Of course I had to move 8 million people in my life because I was the guy who could move furniture up and down stairs without breaking it and was dumb enough to almost always say yes when someone asked for help.

  12. I hate those uncomfortable moments when you give the sweaty jerk a hug because you don’t yet know you can say no. Sometimes I let these kinds of memories haunt me for years. Of course, I like reading about the ones belonging to other people, so thanks for sharing. But sorry–ICK.

  13. AT 25 I probably would have hugged and tipped that sweaty Luther/Cheese and his friends too – but now, I’d be blogging about it like you. Isn’t it liberating to come to understand that we don’t have to hug and give money to sweaty old men who drop our computers? Great writing – by the way.

  14. I have totally done this. And by done this I mean hiring sketchy, cheap and definitely uninsured movers when I was in law school to move into my first big girl apartment. But, I didn’t have a sweaty guy named Cheese, so your story wins. I hope you bathed in bleach after you hugged him. Ick.

  15. So gross! I’m sorry they took advantage of you like that, and the hug at the end…blech! I thought it was bad having to buy beer for everyone who ever helped me move. I was wrong.

    • Beer seems like a reasonable request, though I myself am not a fanning of spending money on it. I also don’t like spending money to have scary men break my shit and ask for hugs. I guess I’m confused.

  16. You really brought back those insecure early 20’s for me. The ones where you are paying bills like an adult but don’t quite feel as if you have the rights of an adult.

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