OK, I am sitting on my deck in paradise. OK, it’s not paradise, it’s only Oregon. But I like to pretend it’s paradise because it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to paradise and I’m, as they say, getting on in years. In fact, in a lot of ways, I’ve pretty much gotten on and have almost arrived. And like wisdom and growing old gracefully, paradise has eluded me.

Anyway, I’m sitting on one of two pretty nifty recliners that I have given new life to. They are brand damn new recliners that were in the house, but I wanted a sleeper-sofa for my imposing houseguests, and these two beautiful recliners would
no longer fit in my hovel.

So, I thought about selling them on Craigslist, but I was afraid I would be killed by a sex murderer, so then I considered bartering them for a four-year supply of donuts, but then it hit me. I needed some comfortable places to sit on my deck. I needed to recline properly, like a man of leisure loafing in paradise, and feel the smooth, soft feel of expensive indoor fabric on my idle outdoor buttocks.

But, of course, my wife, Marge, the little woman, my better half, the yin to my yang, the chow to my mein and the toodle to my loo, tactfully mentioned that it rains in Oregon every 45 minutes and that maybe I could come up with another idea that wasn’t “totally whacked.” I said, “Does whack have an H or not?”

Well, I thought over the whole rain-ruining-nice-indoor-fabric issue for a while and concluded that I could somehow outsmart the rain, the fabric and the little woman. I just needed to think it through. Of course, that immediately presented another dilemma. I don’t think that well. And I’m impatient. Not the best of exactas, my friends.

So, I get on the Internet and Google outdoor furniture covers and re-upholstering and rainproof fabrics and Do Hooters Girls Like Owls (sorry, that was not a recliner-related search) and I come up with a number of solutions. And some of them would actually work well, except for a couple of things. They’re too damn costly. (And I’m too damn cheap.) And it would take too long to get them. (And I’m too damn impatient.) And redundant.

So then I say to myself, so what if it rains on the recliners. They’ll get wet, big deal. All I have to do is buy a raincoat and rain pants and I could sit on the wet recliner chair in my wet raincoat and rain pants and life would be good. Damp, but good.

But I do not do that. For some reason the word “whacked” seems more appropriate than it did earlier and I’m feeling like the little woman, the yin master, just might hose Mr. Yang down with a fire hose if I carried out this plan.   

So, I rethink it. And as I’m rethinking, the little woman, the Jacko to my lantern, says, “You know, even if you sit on a wet recliner in your wet pants, the recliner will eventually rot from being wet and fall apart and be all shredded up and the springs will stick into your idle buttocks and the recliner will smell like an embalmer’s

T-shirt and our neighbors will laugh openly at you. And when they’re tired of laughing at you, they will mock you. You know that, don’t you?” I replied, “Of course I do, Little.” (It always pisses her off when I call her by her first name when we argue.)

So, I pop over to this big hardware/army surplus/espresso-latte place they have up here. And I buy a couple of nice-looking tarps (That’s a phrase you’ve never seen before, huh?). And I come back to my deck and I put a khaki-ass green, rainproof tarp over each little delicate flower of a recliner and violà, paradise has been rehabbed. It really turned out well. They’re featuring it next month in Better Homes and Hovels.

It’s perfect, baby. When it’s sunny, I just pull the flap back on the tarp and drape it over the back of the recliner. And me and my buttocks sit down on nice indoor-quality fabric that we enjoy and that we both deserve, and when it rains we just drop the flap back down and tell the rain to kiss our tarps.

So far it has worked great. I just sit there in paradise, smoking rum-flavored cigars, listening to my iPod and have Lyle Lovett tell me “if I had a pony and I had a boat, I would ride my pony on my boat,” and I’m snacking on a few cherries and, OK, maybe wiping my cherry-stained fingers on the nice inside fabric of my recliner every once in a while to keep myself neat and presentable. And, OK, there are a couple of cigar-ash holes on one of the arms on one of the recliners — but hey, you can’t worry about everything. 

And it really doesn’t matter that much. When I’m through with a reclining session in paradise, I just stand up, brush off any recliner arm ashes, look for any renegade cherry pits hiding down between the cushions and then I do what? I tarp it, baby. I just flip the flap down. Tarp money well spent.

And then I leave paradise and I go inside the hovel and I say to the Goldie of my locks, the French of my dip, the three little words she loves to hear: “Where’s the remote?”

Jim Laris is a former publisher and owner of the Weekly. Contact him at jimlaris@mac.com.