(Hum the Twilight Zone theme music now. Do this for at least 10 seconds, until you really have a feel for today’s blog)
Imagine, if you will, that a lone woman finds a chair in the hallway at the office where she will soon no longer be employed.
The chair is for sale. But at what price? A fantastically low price, it turns out, because the office is ridding itself of its old furniture.
Now imagine that the woman, a person who has never built more than a 2 layer cake with food colored frosting, takes it upon herself to build a table suitable for said chair and 3 of its identical friends.
First, she draws up a plan based on the work of pros she’s witnessed on HGTV.
Her plan looks nothing like what the pros draw.
Blissfully naive, she takes a trip to the hardware store for supplies and hopefully some advice from people with a clue.
Once she’s obtained her necessary parts she sands the pieces of her table She starts to think that this was neither the cheap nor easy solution she’d had in mind. Perhaps she should have just caved and bought a damn pub table like a normal person would have.
But then she starts to glue the pieces in place. At this first sign that the finished product might not be a pile of future firewood she smiles a little to herself and thinks that maybe, just maybe, all the sawdust nestled in her nasal passages is worth it after all.
Now imagine that the woman assembles the 2 pieces of her pub table (which can also be separated to line up against the wall like a bar or counter). It looks something like this: And with that level of accomplishment our intrepid furnituriere (this is most likely not an actual word) runs back to the hardware store for a paint brush, wood stain and some sort of polyurethane protective coat. Oh, and something to put on the bottom of the table so it can move across the floor without that annoying wood-scraping-the-floor sound.
The table darkens (but not ominously): And that is when the woman realizes just how much work and nefarious odor is involved in making a table.
Days pass. She leaves that table outside in the driveway and checks several times a night to make sure its still there. Not that someone would steal a half finished table. Any thief with a clue would wait until it was done and then swoop in to lift the goods.
Slowly, slowly she learns a good old fashioned Michael Landon type lesson on the virtue of patience and persistence as the table comes together.
Stain turns to polyurethane which turns to a headache borne of fumes and dehydration. She learns another lesson about why you should drink water instead of beer while working outside in the sun.
And so, once done, and with dark and oily rain clouds racing toward her barely dry table, she moves it inside the house where it emits the sweet stink of still drying polyurethane.
She wisely seeks the opinion of the deep thinker and excellent judge of craftsmanship, Bing Bing, to find out if her table is worthy of the home it resides in.
Bing Bing thoroughly inspects the table from every angle and possible scratching position all the while humming the Inspector Gadget theme song to her little kitty self.
And finally she is satisfied. The woman breathes a deep sigh of relief.
But has our neophyte table maker learned anything? Has this experience made her grow as a person or changed her in any way?
Imagine if you will that our heroine serves a dinner to her man at the table, satisfied that she has made something that doesn’t break under the weight of ordinary housewares and familial expectations. Isn’t that enough for you people? Or does everything need a greater lesson and be full of implicit meaning?
In that case she learned a lot about working with wood and how to really nail things. She learned that its the glue that holds things together, not just the promises and good intentions to get things done. Oh, and that a cold beer after manual labor really is one of the better things in the world. There, are you happy now?
Rod Serling is off on a much needed smoke break.
I hope you learn something today too. Or at least have a good one.