When my buddy Stan’s bathroom was built, plumbing was a new idea and now that his fixtures have come back into style, he has decided to demolish it.
We started by tearing out the old claw-foot bathtub.
“Where are we going with it,” I asked as we lugged it down the steps.
“To your truck.”
I tried to protest.
“You must know someone who has a trash pit on their farm,” he said.
“Beats paying for a landfill,” he said.
There isn’t much use arguing with Stan, So along with the bathtub, we tossed a toilet, a couple of iron towel racks and a shower stall into the bed of my truck. Later that afternoon, I got to throw them all into the pit.
I bought the pickup to haul things around – but now I regret it. The irony is, for most of my life I got by hauling things around in small cars.
I started out with a VW. That little bug could carry anything.
Every time Stan and I got kicked out an apartment (we liked to party) we piled all of our belongings on top of my VW and puttered across town to our new place. We had it down to an art.
We first formed a base of box springs on the roof of the car. Next, we layered our mattresses over the springs and slid an upturned table on top of that. We cradled the couch between the table legs and secured it all with twine. Once the pile stopped wobbling, we balanced the dressers and end tables any place that looked good. It was a point of pride to make it all in one trip and we never once lost anything of value along the way.
After I got married, I bought a Honda Civic hatchback. We called it The Egg because it looked like an egg and wasn’t much bigger.
Regardless of its size, the genius of this vehicle was that Honda placed the wheel wells precisely 48.5” inches apart which meant the car willingly accepted 4′ X 8′ sheets of plywood or Sheetrock.
It may have been almost impossible to squeeze my wife and two kids into it – but once you dropped the tailgate, you could load all the lumber, plywood and Sheetrock your heart desired – at least until the bumper touched the ground. At that point, you usually left a couple of sheets on the curb to keep the sparks from flying.
I remodeled an old farmhouse and built a cabin in my woods using that little car – but then I went and bought a pickup truck…
Allow me to insert a little wisdom here: “Demand will always exceed capacity”
Let’s say you go out and buy a new refrigerator because the old one is too small. Within a week, you will find the new one holds less than the old one. It is no different when you get a pay raise. By the end of the month, you will have more bills than pay.
We rarely anticipate the obvious. We move out of tiny starter homes into a suburban mini-mansions then act surprised when our three car garage fails hold a single car – and things we never knew we had flow out of our basement and flood into the guest room.
Why is this?
Blame it on normal.
Since the dawn of time, it has been normal to never have enough. So every time we got more of something, normal simply adjusted itself to our new circumstances. Normal is constantly shifting in a never ending quest to keep us wanting more – because (duh) that’s normal.
So me owning a truck simply meant that I had more stuff to lug around – and to prove the point, after I came home from the farm pit, my wife told me she needed the truck.
I handed her the keys and she sped off trailing a cloud of dust. About an hour later, the dust cloud returned.
“Help me unload the truck” she said and there in the bed of my pickup truck was an old claw-foot bathtub, a toilet and a couple of iron towel racks.
“I spotted them in the farm pit and got a little help loading,” she said, “won’t they look great in the garden filled with flowers? So if you could just haul them over there…”