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Friday, May 27, 2005

This Perfectly Good Apartment

Fixing up old homes has turned into a major industry in America. From This Old House, with the preternaturally cheery Bob Villa, there has spawned dozens of spin-off TV shows and magazines dedicated to destroying your weekend with chores. From a casual glance of the TV guide and the magazine rack you would think that we are a nation of handyman wannabes, but what about the rest of us? What about the people who wouldn’t know a miter saw from an electric toothbrush? For these people I will be airing my own TV show.

Instead of This Old House, my TV show will be called This Perfectly Good Apartment that I’m only Renting so Why Should I Bother to Lift a Finger Around Here to Fix Anything? In the first episode I’m lying on the couch downloading pirated mp3’s when I notice that the there is some sort of leak coming from the unit above me. I make a mental note to tell the apartment manager but I unfortunately file this mental note in the same mental folder where I keep my knowledge of college calculus, which means I will never again have access to that information.

In episode Two I am looking for the cheese grater to make nachos when I discover that one of the drawers in the kitchen is extremely difficult to open. After a pitched battle with the forces responsible for the drawer being stuck I finally pry it open. I make a mental note to tell the apartment manager of this problem. I now use this stuck drawer as a sort of safety deposit box to store important papers. It turns out that the cheese grater was lying under a stack of dirty dishes in the sink.

My show will teach you how to avoid spending your Saturdays at Home Depot and instead waste them watching a Patrick Swayze Movie marathon on TNT. This Perfectly Good Apartment that I’m only Renting so Why Should I Bother to Lift a Finger Around Here to Fix Anything? will instruct you on kitchen remodeling techniques not explored on those other programs. If you are dissatisfied with your kitchen simply go out to eat every night. You will save a lot of money in the long run and you won’t run the risk of rupturing a gas main and leveling five city blocks because you wanted your dining area to be more “open.”

One of the most useful home improvement techniques you will learn on my show is simply to ignore problems around the house. Let’s face it, you are just too busy to fix that broken overhead light in the bathroom. You still have eight beers from the case you bought yesterday, that doesn’t leave you much time to find a ladder and risk electrocution. Besides, there is another light in the bathroom. Just get a brighter bulb for that fixture and the problem is solved.

The final and most useful hint you will learn from me is this: If you don’t like where you live now, you can always move. It’s not like you are married to that dump of a house you bought. Learn to embrace your inherent laziness and give up on the idea of home improvement. There are things in this life that you cannot change and maybe not having a deck on your house is one of them.

Remember that we live in a world that is highly specialized. Carpentry is a very specialized skill and you can’t be expected to master that sort of expertise. You are probably good at other stuff like remembering arcane baseball statistics and the lyrics to crappy pop songs. If God wanted you to be a carpenter he would have made tool belts big enough to fit around your waist. Enjoy your weekend.

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