Friday, November 11, 2005

Nice Jewish boy with a chainsaw...



I grew up in an apartment in Queens, NY. My parents both grew up in apartments. No one in my family had ever lived in a "house" until I purchased my first home in Rockland County. I had never heard of the expression "DIY." In my apartment life there was no such thing as "do it yourself." Instead, I was weaned on "calling the super!" The "Super" was the "superintendent"... The resident building handyman who lived in an apartment on the ground floor near the elevator, but was usually found in a creepy, disheveled "office" in a far corner of the basement, past the even creepier bicycle storage room. Window stuck? Call the Super. Radiator leaking? Call the Super. Toilet won't flush? Call the Super. Exotic reptile pet the kid brought home from summer camp missing from it's terrarium? Call the Super.

When I moved into my first home and experienced my first driveway and my first yard I was truly excited. I looked forward to the prospect of participating in the ancient rural rituals called shoveling snow and mowing the lawn. How nice it would be to spend early morning hours in Arctic-like conditions, braving frostbitten extremities in order to free my car, only to drive onto an ice covered street and slide uncontrollably into a similarly tractionless oncoming vehicle... How delightful it would be to spend an entire weekend day with a vibration sore rump from sitting on a riding mower, face, arms, and legs continually pelted with pebbles, twigs and grass spewing from beneath me, only to end the day green-stained, allergic and itching from head to toe, too exhausted to enjoy a Saturday night out... WHERE WAS THE SUPER WHEN YOU NEEDED HIM??? Alas, there is no Super in Suburbia...

So now, years later, here I am in Florida, where, thanks to an annual celebration called "HURRICANE SEASON" I have been forced once again to ignore my apartment living roots and fully embrace the concept of "DIY." Thanks to the local HOME DEPOT I am the proud owner of a gas powered handheld thingy called a CHAINSAW... and thanks to a former cartoon cave-dweller turned heinous hurricane (i.e. WILMA), I have become quite adept at wielding said chainsaw to free my humble and wind weathered abode from the numerous trees that took respite on my rooftop...

As they used to sing on Monty Python's Flying Circus... "I'm a Lumberjack and I'm okay..." Not bad for a nice Jewish boy from Queens. I think my Super would be proud of me.
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