Want to see a guy wearing a wife-beater drop-kick a box of dishes down a flight of stairs?
Then your best bet might be catching Craig Budreau’s First Annual Movers Olympics.
Budreau, a retired mover who can tote an easy chair like it was a toolbox, plans to hold his games on Sunday afternoon, June 26, at Giddy Ups, the beer joint in Manchaca.
Finding a suitable location was tricky, since Budreau wanted a place where spectators can see the stairs the Olympians will climb up while toting heavy furniture for gold, silver and bronze medals. So he’s planning on building a outdoor staircase in Giddy Ups’ yard especially for the games.
“You know, like in ‘Gunsmoke,’ they can build a (gallows) to hang somebody in a 24-hour period, right?” Budreau said.
Budreau, 51, a South Austin guy who wrote a book on how to pick a mover called “Your Move,” says that he’s contacted moving companies around town and that they’re ready to compete. He says they’re lending him the supplies he’ll need to pull this off — including “the piano and the double-door fridge and the white African water buffalo leather triple-recliner sofa.”
The main event? How about team piano moving? “We’re going to have the upright piano; it’s going to weigh 730 pounds,” he said. “The task would be four men to move it upstairs, around a narrow landing switchback. Any damage to the piano or the floor will greatly diminish your score.”
At least one mover is excited about the chance to strut his stuff — or in this case, other people’s stuff. “Box races: with two people with a dolly,” said Tim Toomey, 34, who works for Aloha Moving here in Austin and plans to chase the gold. “On a whistle, they start going up the stairs; that’s compelling.”
Have you ever wanted to see a man carry a couch on his noggin? Well, here’s your chance. “The other freestyle event would be the sofa on top of the head, upstairs around switchbacks,” Budreau said. Sounds like Monaco, with cushions.
Carrying a sofa on your head is no big deal for an expert, said Toomey, who worked his first move at the age of 14. It’s all in the leverage and knowing where to grab. “Sometimes, we just wear furniture,” he said. “We don’t lift it so much.”
“Another main event would be the double-door fridge, up two flights, one switchback, one narrow doorway, to enter room and make the ice maker work,” Budreau added. The ice maker working is the tricky part.
Budreau has lined up six judges with a combined 150 years in the business. He’s serious about testing for skills. “We’re going to be grading these movers on dexterity, coordination and all these other things you have to do as movers,” he said. “Furniture nomenclature knowledge. Packing pallets. Delicate packing skills.”
To start the games, no one’s running down Interstate 35 from Round Rock to Austin carrying a flaming couch pillow. But there will be other Olympian touches. The judges “can hold up cards,” Budreau figures. So a mover could score a 6.3 while getting a hernia.
Not that it’ll all be heavy lifting. “We’re also going to have packing for each team, with fine china and stemware, And then we roll that down a flight of stairs,” Budreau said. “And points will be based on breakage.”