My wife and I are currently in the market for a new home. In fact, we just got back from a drive through some of our favorite neighborhoods, which is an activity both of us greatly enjoy, in spite of the fact that it makes us want to bulldoze our current hovel to the ground. I do not mean to say that there is anything in particular wrong with our current home – it’s a lovely, sensible house in a good location – just that, compared to the neighborhoods we like to visit, it’s the kind of dilapidated shanty that the Clampetts would’ve been ashamed to live in even before they struck oil. Sometimes when we get home from one of these drives we just sit in the car for awhile, too depressed to get out and return to our average lives. I don’t know why we continue to do this to ourselves, but it seems to be a pattern; every year the local Chamber of Commerce puts on a Christmas Parade of Homes, and every year we go and have very un-Christmas-like thoughts, in that we are coveting the holy heck out of pretty much everything we see. We may have even briefly considered having some of the homeowners whacked and quietly moving into their homes ourselves, at least until the property taxes came due…but then, given all the family togetherness and merriment, who among us hasn’t had the occasional homicidal thought around the holidays?
(Note to the Department of Homeland Security: Haha! I am kidding, of course! You guys are great! I love that thing you do – with the spying and the imprisonment without trial and stuff – keep up the good work!)
But dreaming of someone’s untimely death for the sake of getting their house for a steal from a grieving family can’t be that bad, right? After all, I have to believe that, had Moses been able to find some larger stone tablets, there would’ve been more space to elaborate on the commandments, in which case the last couple would’ve read more like this:
“Thou shalt not covet (whatever) – unless it’s is really nice, and then just a little, don’t go nuts or anything – sheesh!”
So I think I’m in the clear – and by the same logic, it stands to reason that the expanded version of the fifth would probably have said something to the effect of:
“Thou shalt not kill, unless the home is over 4000 square feet, or some moron really deserves it, and then only if you’re sure you can make it look like an accident”
Which both clears us on the whole “whacking the current residents” fantasy, and means that my occasional burning desire to run over cyclists that are riding too far out in the road – especially if there’s either nowhere to pass, or they’re wearing those stupid little shorts – is probably no big deal either. My feeling is that I am perfectly willing to ‘share the road’ with you if there’s a second lane in which to pass, otherwise you’d better be able to do the speed limit or you’re eating pavement.
But enough about me! This isn’t a confession! The point is, I need a new house, and it has to be one that is both in my price range, and loaded with the kind of necessary amenities that a man of my station expects; namely exotic hardwoods, a professional wine cellar, and a basement bowling alley. Also a secret passage or two would be nice, which means that it’s probably going to need at least a conservatory and study, though I would also settle for a Batcave. My current home boasts none of these items – which is killing its resale value – so you can see why I need to move. And I don’t want a ‘fixer-upper’, as my wife and I are notoriously slow home renovators. It recently took us six months to find a new welcome mat, and the trim around the garage has needed painting since the Carter administration. This has to be done before we can put our home on the market, and not even that has been motivation enough to get us moving. In fact, most of our conversations on this topic end with something to the effect of, “Hey, do you think the latest episode of Modern Family is out on Hulu yet?” So the process is not moving ‘quickly’.
However, we need to make something happen soon, because it appears that my neighborhood is descending into chaos, as criminals roam the streets at night looking for bicycles to steal. I base this on the fact that my personal bicycle was recently stolen, through almost no fault of my own, except that I might have left the garage door a tiny bit all the way open overnight…however, in my defense, have we really fallen so far as a society that a lazy suburbanite can no longer forget to close their garage door on a Monday evening without fear of some crazy escaped convict making off with the bicycle they bought in high school?! I am appalled at this personal violation and blame the cultural breakdown of the family unit. In the good old days, the criminal’s father would’ve beaten him senseless and made him return the bike with an apology – and then probably still turned him into police before shipping him off to the Army where he would have been molded into a respectful and productive member of society through a proven process of screaming, pushups, and mental abuse. It was a solid system. Unfortunately, the whiny PC brigade has essentially made this type of good old-fashioned discipline a crime in itself, and so we have anarchy – though I assume that whoever did this probably only sees his father once a month during visits to the state penitentiary – if he knows him at all. Regardless, I don’t think we’ll mention any of this in the listing.
I did get to talk to a nice officer, who took down all of our information as if it mattered without even laughing once. He didn’t say what would happen to the thieves if they caught them, but considering that they’re guilty of both theft AND trespassing – which I can tell you from accidental experience is a $300 fine, plus court costs and a wasted afternoon spent uncomfortably standing around with a group of people that actually belong in court – and I am not referring here to lawyers – I have to believe that if the justice system works at all, they’ll be facing either hanging or, for a first offense, a firing squad.
But there’s no time to worry about that now – I should really get to work on that trim, though it could probably wait until tomorrow… In the meantime, I’d kind of like to go for another drive. If you live in one of those huge, beautiful homes, could you please remember to leave all your interior lights on? And maybe open the garage door, because I’m in the market for a new bike.