Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Pretend Homeowner

For the last year and a half or so, I have been living in a house all by myself, totally alone unless you count my two cats. They're pretty good as far as cats go, but cats in general are pretty useless, unless you need to have some small animals partially eaten.

So here I am, pretending to be domestic. You don't really have to be domestic when you live in an apartment, because all you're contractually obligated to do is try not to burn the place down. Or if you must burn it down, at least, for God's sake, be quiet doing it. I've become just domestic enough to make people believe I actually live there, but not quite enough to stop myself from leaving socks all over the place and eating over the sink.

How about a tour? Come with me. We'll start out here in the yard, in front of the house.

This is my yard with sticks in it, and that up there's my roof with sticks on it. I have a garage that sticks sneak into, and if you'll follow me inside here, I'll show you my rug in front of the door that sticks end up on. Waving my arms in a confident, ownerly circle, I indicate rooms in the house that the cats carry the sticks to. I sheepishly point out one or two little mounds of cat barf with pieces of sticks in them that weren't there this morning. This must be a good area for sticks to settle down and have families. There's a lot of them around here.

As long as we're here in the doorway, let's make a quick detour to our left, and stomp down into the basement. I've been playing host to an entire population of moron spiders. Apparently they believe they're going to catch flies down here, or else they'd just live inside my router, where it's warm. But no. These developmentally disadvantaged arachnids consider it a life well spent if they build a web in the dark between a rafter and the lightswitch pullstring, then sit in it until they die. There must be thousands of ghost spiders in that basement, all getting their jollies when they watch me walk face-first into one of their stupid webs.

When you're all done shreiking and pawing the invisible web bits out of your hair, follow me back up the stairs. Watch out for that cat barf. Wow, they work fast.

Alrighty! This is the foyer. That rug there with the sticks on it is supposed to be right in front of the door, but the cats keep using it as a runway, so it gets shoved into the kitchen. Let us go there now. The kitchen's a good place to start your search if you're looking for caps from 2-liter soda bottles or this little pile of twisty-ties that I'm saving for some reason. This DustBuster vacuum cleaner has been here since before I was tall enough to see the top of the counter, and it's probably full of ghost spiders. I leave it alone, and I advise you to do likewise. Over here is the electric stove with cat prints all over the glass top. No, they're not stupid enough to go up there when it's hot. There's a light, see, that lights up when the range is hot. Duh.

And don't touch none of those crumbs. I'm saving those for people I don't like. I plan to put them in their Mountain Dew.

Oh, speaking of sody pop, I have a fridge over here with the oldest tube of sausage goo in America in the freezer. Why don't I throw it away? I dunno. I read somewhere that that stuff never goes bad. They buried mummies with sausage back in Olden Days, and I think it's still good. It has something to do with spices or ions or something. But I keep sody pop in the fridge part, on the shelf above the brown lettuce. I never use it fast enough, and it always turns brown before I can. I should probably stuff that in the garbage disposal.

I love my garbage disposal. Best appliance in the house, right behind the Xbox 360, when it comes to entertainment value. Come over here and take a look. All garbage disposals have this little rubber sphincter thing in the drain they hide under so you can't see what's going on in there. It's probably supposed to keep stuff from falling into it, but isn't that kind of the point? I hope someone would put me out of my misery before I turned the thing on with a big ol' spoon sticking out of the drain. Anyone have any suggestions for things we could put in it now?

Carrots? Don't have any. A couple of paper cups? Good idea, but I don't have any of those either. Just something here in the kitchen. No, I want to keep that box of toothpicks. I like picking my teeth. Anyone?

A potholder? Well, okay then. Let's give it a whirl. You have to turn on the water, or else they burn out. Yeah, the faucet leaks around the part where it meets the sink. They all do. Yours doesn't? I'd get that looked at if I were you. They're supposed to.

Wow! That was certainly a spectacle. Everyone smell that ozone? That means the disposal is doing its job breaking things down. You know. Like chemicals and enzymes. My washing machine makes the same smell because I use detergent with enzymes in it. And it's a good thing I'm in the habit of running the water when I use the disposal, or that fire could have gotten out of control pretty fast. If you'll all follow me this way...

This is my living room. I call it my "living room" because I don't like the word "den," even though that's what this room is really called. Dens are supposed to be underground, and this room's on the same floor as all the others. Calling it a den is stupid. Makes it sound like there should be bears in here. No bears. Just cats and spiders.

And my couch. The upholstery is the same color and pattern as a pair of old boxer shorts, and I've covered the bottom cushions with an old blue sheet with lots of tiny cat claw holes in it. This was a good idea for up to two reasons. Firstly it covers the cushions and prevents them from disrupting the flow of light around the room with their plaidish horrors. Secondly, it shields the cushions from farts and cat hairs. Otherwise, they'd absorb them and every time someone sat down on the couch, a cloud of hairy farts would whoosh out and make them never want to come over again. This way all the cat hair and farts stay on top, where I can keep an eye on them.

This is my entertainment center, of which I am very proud. This little computer here is what plays my movies. It's really convenient. How? Well, I'll explain how it works! Have a seat. You can have the armchair behind the couch here. Yeah, just move the cat. He'll climb up on the back of the chair and chew on your hair, if that's cool.

Okay. I have a second computer in the basement with a bunch of hard drives in it that doesn't work all the time. Those hard drives have my movies on them. It's connected to a network switch that doesn't work all the time, and this computer here, next to the TV is also connected to the switch. It doesn't work all the time, and it has playback software that is kind of glitchy and it plays my movies and TV shows! But not all of the time. The quality is good, though. Nice and smudgy. You folks like smudgy? Hell! I should have you over sometime when you've got enough time to wait for me wrestle with the computer hardware, get frustrated, give up, drive to Blockbuster and rent a movie for us to watch! We can crash on the pootcouch here and I'll make popcorn for you to drop between the cushions.

Just down the hall here is my bedroom. I'm obligated to say something like "this is where the magic happens!" so I will go ahead and get that out of the way. That loft bed over there with the oversized sheets and the 15-year-old comforter with the faded colors and the cat claw holes is where the magic happens. If the woman doesn't mind climbing the ladder on the back of my ridiculous bed and the risk of bonking her head on the ceiling, which as you can see, is right there.

Yeah. I've had that comforter ever since I was a kid. And that itchy wool blanket used to be my grandfather's Army-issue. Cool, huh? That might be a bayonet hole in it, too. That's pretty exciting.

My favorite feature of the bedroom is the wallpaper with the little duckies on it. That certainly can't hurt the chances of magic happening here, huh? You there. Come over here so that I may nudge you with my elbow and wink in a suggestive manner. Oh, the things I could mean by that!

Moving on down the hall, we come to my office. Careful where you step, because the floor is covered with computer parts and random envelopes and old audio cassettes with Super Nintendo music recorded on them. Yeah. Super Nintendo music. I used to consider it an extremely cool trick to hook one thing up to another thing and record output from the first thing. I have videotapes of my brothers and I dying repeatedly in Super Mario Bros. too. Indeed! When we were 10 years old or something, we taped ourselves making Mario walk up to a hole, stand there for two minutes, and then walk right into it.

Yes, we considered that fun. Why do you ask?

This desk here with all the paper and re-recordable DVDs on it is my desk. This is where the digital magic happens. The computer here has a quad-core processor in it, and I call it The QuadFather.

No, it's not lame. I think it's rather waggish. Yeah? Well, you can let yourself out. Just follow the sticks. Good day to you.

The QuadFather sometimes doesn't work. I built it myself, too, and I'm very proud. It's really fast. Games? No. It's not very good at them. If I wanted to play video games on a 20 inch monitor in a room full of pointy metal parts and sheets of mystery paper, I'd bring the Xbox in here. Did you see the big TV in the living den? It's big. Better than this monitor, which as you can tell just by looking at it, is smaller.

Oh that? I don't know what that is. It looks like a computer part, but it's all charred and full of melted plastic. "ThinkPad" you say? Well, that's interesting. I have a ThinkPad. Nice machine.

Anyone seen my cats? They like to chew on power cords.

Well, that pretty much concludes my tour, unless you want to see my bathrooms. Usually when you take a tour of someone's house, they show you their bathrooms. But nobody cares, really. Have any of you ever really lusted after the chance to see someone else's bathroom?

Girls do? Well, hell. That's weird.

In conclusion, having a house to yourself is definitely nice, especially if you have an indulgent father who lets you pretend it's yours as long as you let him come over occasionally to poke the electronics. This is an incredible deal, since a lot of the electronics are his to begin with. The computer network and the video game consoles are mine, and the only ones, other than me, interested in touching them are the cats. And they only want to put cat prints on the shiny stuff.

Now why don't you all git? I've got some sitting around to do.


Anonymous said...

I like the fact that you have sticks all over your house/yard. it gives the kitties something to bite on.

I don't like the word "den" either.

how did putting the pot holder in the garbage disposal go? was it fun? should I try it next time I am around a disposal?

well I think I have left you enough.

I like this and it is very funny.

Jacob Nordby said...

this might be the funniest damn post I've ever read.

(no offense, Stupid. no offense, Pickle Weasel.)