Beware of free stuff or The Yaque Syndrome

Someone offered the Mrs a free set of ’70’s era patio furniture the other day. It’s made of steel and has a nice design but, as with all steel things exposed to the elements, it had some signs of rust and such. “But it’s free,” my wife kept saying.

“Yes, its free, ok. We cant pass it up.”

So last weekend I took the truck over to the house with the free steel patio furniture and loaded it up and brought the furniture home.

The cushions, however, were old and faded and a bit brittle and of course, summer is coming and some new cushions would “look great and be really comfy for lying around while enjoying the pool.”

“How much are the new cushions,” I asked.

“Just $300.”

“Three-hundred dollars? Are they crazy? That’s alot of money for “cushions!”

“But they’ll look really nice and we really dont have nice patio furniture and summer’s coming and…”

“Ok. Ok. Get the cushions.”

So, obviously, we got the $300 cushions.

I was originally going to give the furniture a light sanding and a fresh coat of paint but this is where the “yaque syndrome” comes into play:

“Are you just going to give it a light sanding and fresh coat of paint?” The Mrs asked me.


“There’s a few areas on the furniture where the old paint is chipped and stuff. Will that be seen after a new coat of paint after light sanding?”


“Oh, OK. Pero ya que we spent $300 on cushions, dont you think we ought to sand those down and make it look real nice?”

So, guess what I spent the weekend doing?

The total, so far, for that “free” patio furniture set:

$300 for cushions.
$44 for a sandblaster.
$20 for sandblasting material and sand.
$15 sandpaper.
$20 primer.
$35 paint.
$40 beer.

Grand total – so far – for that “free” patio set: $444.

I wont add up the backache, hurt fingers and sore arms and legs.

Beware of free stuff, friends. And always, always, take into account the “yaque syndrome.”

12 thoughts on “Beware of free stuff or <i>The Yaque Syndrome</i>”

  1. Val:

    And you think you are safely home already? Wait till the acquaintances who gave you the free patio furniture visit.

    BTW, I hope the $300 cushions are waterproof. Also, you could have bought cheap cushions and had your wife cover them in plastic. Then it could have been a family project.

  2. Paxety,

    Not only beer but a new sandblaster. I usually dont mind home projects and most of the time they give me an excuse for purchasing that “much needed” tool.

  3. $300 for cushions.
    $44 for a sandblaster.
    $20 for sandblasting material and sand.
    $15 sandpaper.
    $20 primer.
    $35 paint.
    $40 beer.

    Enjoying “Patio set that my husband put so much hard work into to make it better than new for us”…PRICELESS

  4. I think that $40 for beer should have been in the budget as soon as you agreed to go pick up the free furniture, in the loading and un-loading category.

  5. If it’s any consolation, at least you did not get some of that “free” healthcare they give you in Cuba. You’da bought them a new hospital and done surgery on yourself! With your own store-bought scalpel too.

  6. See, Mavi? Now that’s just plain mean….

    Since Ive painted the patio , i might as well paint the house and since we’re painting th ehouse, might as well replace those nasty old windows and YA QUE we’re replacing the windows, might as well replace the doors and YA QUE….

  7. I’m with Maggie on this one.
    She was just thinking of you, you know.
    She knew you’d be totally proud of the beautiful job you did fixing up that furniture AND giving you an excuse to buy $40 worth of beer.
    Brilliant woman. She is to be congratulated. =D

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