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Epperson

Furniture should be sturdier as our weight increases

Jerry EppersonJerry Epperson
Chunky, big-boned, heavyset, hefty, obese, calorie-challenged, wide-bodied, porkers, chubby, bulky, plump, bovine, butterball, husky, solid, stout, brawny, dumpy, gargantuan, paunchy, porcine, rotund, elephantine, portly and the list goes on.
     I am so fortunate. I was a fat child and a fat teenager so I am comfortable being a fat adult. Since I am indeed fat, I can call myself fat, but others would be uncomfortable calling me fat to my fat face.
     In the 1980s I was with a good friend, Laurence Zung, in Hong Kong. The nice management at Universal Furniture had prearranged with a tailor to custom make clothes for their guests at a great price. While I was being measured for shirts, the tailor made a comment in Mandarin to Laurence and they both laughed. Later, I asked what the tailor had said and it was "I am going to lose money on this big boy."
     Early in the days of Asian imports, I was visiting B.C. "Bunny" Wampler, the great president of Pulaski Furniture. His office was tied up so we sat at a new dining table in his showroom to talk. After a few minutes there was a loud "crack" and I toppled to the ground. A chair leg had broken. Oops.
     I have told people I stay my current weight to test furniture. I have also told them that I stay heavy so the huge eagles at my beach home won't swoop down and grab me like they do other game.
     Fatsos used to be a minority but watch out; we are near being a large majority. Obesity is an epidemic if you read the headlines, and we have the weight to swing an election.
     Fat people know they are fat, and our furniture and mattress retailers are not taking care of us as they should. Sure, we offer "Big Boy" recliners, but there should be more furniture engineered for our larger population, including Rubenesque ladies.
     It is common today for office desk chairs to come with a weight capacity and that is needed for much of our dining furniture, residential upholstery and mattresses. Making the size of the furnishings larger is not enough if the internal construction is not adequate.
     In my opinion, having a weight capacity stated on the furniture and mattress would also give the consumer more assurance that this item, with its internal construction hidden from view, is made to a higher standard and that the inside is not just cardboard and string.
     Yes, this is a weighty issue, but we must address it. This consumer universe is getting larger every day.

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