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Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Homeowner Gene

I rented my dwelling place for all but the last six years of my life. My parents rented (from my maternal grandmother) until I went to college. Yet, I thought I would automatically develop a homeowner gene. I developed a parent gene, after all, and I've been a parent for even less time than I've been a homeowner.

Allow me to elaborate on this devasting affliction:

The homeowner knows how to fix stuff. i don't know how to fix hardly anything. Can I change a light bulb? Well, sometimes. But there are two fixtures in the hallway, and on one, I turn the bulb. The whole fixture turns with the bulb, but the bulb never comes out.

The homeowner keeps the lawn neat and trim. I mow the lawn infrequently, and only because I don't want to hear from the neighbors. If it were up to me, I'd let it go wild. Or maybe rent a goat.

There is a point where if I am to cut the grass, I MUST cut the grass, based on the height of the lawn. This is because I have a push mower. I don't mean gas-powered push mower, I mean Roger-powered push mower. Last year, we actually bought a gas-operated machine, but returned it three days later when it kept stalling out.

Wthe grass in the front of the house grows mostly slowly, because it was dug up in to fix a broken sewage pipe that was backing into our basement. The attempts to regrow grass has been slow, despite mighty, enthusiastic efforts on the part of my wife and my mother-in-law, and less than enthusiastic schlepping on the part of their husbands. My vertict: Yeah! Less to mow.

I've noticed, and this is also true at work, that maschines just don't like me much. There is a schedule to replace all the computers in my office every few years, and I always screw up the rotation, because my computer has died first with some mysterious disease that even our fine techies cannot explain. I think my body emits some sort of field that slowly devastes electronic equipment.

The homeowner is clever. The first month we lived in this house (May 2000), I was clearing out the timber that was in the back yard. I stepped into the pile when I discovered a nail. Or rather, the nail discovered my foot, right through my Chuck Taylor sneaker. I pulled the nail out, then hobbled to the front of the house (because I didn't want to bleed all through the house). I hopped up to the front door and yelled, "Carol! Come here!" She said, "I'm upstairs!" I KNEW she was upstairs; surpringly, I didn't really care at that moment. She took me to an urgent care placewhere the doctor removed pieces of sneaker from my foot and gave me a tetanus shot.

There are other examples, but one does want to embarass oneself only so much publicly at one time.

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