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Monday, December 21, 2009


I lost my faith three times today over an ironing board.

My wife's been out of town for the past two days, and I've kept the apartment in a livable condition. This is not to be confused with an enjoyable condition. Shacks are livable, leper colonies are livable. An apartment where the floor is visible is enjoyable. While musing over some of the finer intricacies of these two words, I noticed with dismay that the ironing board was still in the middle of the living room floor. There it stood like some make-shift bar. I considered placing a couple of drinks on it for kicks, but then thought it in poor taste.

As soon as I turned the board over I realized why I should have gotten an engineering degree. The undercarriage of this simple device may has well have been a description of the process of nuclear fusion written in Sanskrit. Clearly, a lever was protruding from the board's innards,and my inner Sleuth told me that this ligament must serve some mechanical function. Then again, it may have been an aesthetic choice of the architect's, or some witty comment on the gender of the board. Perhaps it was even a jab at sexism; the tyrannical ironing board, effete symbol of woman's suffrage, ironically-endowed with the very feature it was supposed to serve. Meanwhile, as I became lost in thought, the board remained inert, and I grew concerned. Surely I, a man with a liberal arts degree, could crack the code of this common household aid.

The thing may have been fool-proof, but it wasn't philosopher-proof, and I lost a few of my heavenly jewels to that two-legged,gray surfboard. By the time I had worked up the courage to sheepishly inform my wife of this most-recent defeat, the understanding voice that met mine on the other end of the line made me feel even worse.

One day, I must build something. It must be something in the most literal and tangible sense of the word. Whether this something is of any intrinsic or utilitarian value is a matter of supreme indifference to me. But it will prove to me that it is possible for me to contribute something more to this planet than vain speculation, and complaints....

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