Now that the presidential race is over, we can get back to life
Now that the presidential race has been inadvertently forfeited and the casting of ballots on or before Nov. 8 a formality to remind us that truth, justice and the American way is oftentimes a long foggy road that sometimes winds through the swamp in the dark of night but has thus far always circled back toward home after we’ve set aside our pride and pulled the map out, we remember that our weekends are to be anticipated more than for just the Sunday morning headline stories in The Washington Post and the opening skit on “Saturday Night Live.” Yes, the process is rigged, but the rigger is on our side. “In God we trust”; we didn’t come up with that short prayer just to protect our money.
I admit it; it’s no fun arguing with people who have come around to see things more my way. While the most adamant Trump supporters aren’t admitting their former candidate was a total misfit to be considered for holding the highest office in the land, the fire is gone from their defense of him and they are back to preferring to argue about college football rankings.
With the time freed up from not having to worry about the rise of the reincarnation of Trump tower in the form of a buffoon, free time is back to being an opportunity to enslave ourselves with little things around the house that have needed to be done for longer than we can remember. For me, that was replacing 20-year-old carpet in the bedroom that began with a life expectancy of 10 when it was installed brand new. And as long as I was going to do that, I figured I might as well re-paint the walls in the place where my eyes are closed the vast majority of time I spend there.
I neither have the ingenuity nor the proper tools for such an undertaking, but I have friends who do. I hold the most over my brother-in-law so I can use his stuff anytime for as long as I need without guilt for not returning it quickly and getting it back in his barn as neatly as I can, but he lives in the fabled wide open space of this world, which is all good except when you have to drive out there to pick the stuff up.
Bill lives next door, and who would I be if I didn’t do my part to be the quintessential meddlesome neighbor who adds the spice to his idealistic slice of Americana. He’s also a builder and his selection of tools is complete and mostly up to date. For the sometimes small price of listening to his life philosophies budded from stories about growing up in America’s heartland and the values learned working at his parents’ diner, I figured I might be able to borrow his tools over the weekend when they would be sitting idle. Bill works hard during the week, but he works harder on the weekend playing golf.
Bill and I are members of the high school football chain gang for what is stretching on for more than a decade. Driving to the Hickory House before Friday night’s game, I tried coaxing some hardwood floor installation advice from him and ended up getting the slogan for the t-shirt that will become so famous that he won’t have to work anymore: “Builders — you can’t go home without us.” I assured him twice that I got the double entendre but he wasn’t convinced until I referred to it as a pun.
“You wouldn’t last an hour trying to follow me around on the typical day,” he bragged as he made the point about how necessary tradesmen are compared to people like accountants, whom he said the world would actually be better without, by the way.
All I could say was, “Would we be walking or taking a cart?”
“Think about it,” he continued. “All people really need are food and shelter. The only necessary jobs are farming and building.”
“I’m thankful for clothes, too,” I had to throw in.
Patience for that exchange in the car ride in for our pregame ritual, 18 hours of the nicest weekend this fall, and whatever cash the wood cost, which I can’t remember because it’s been sitting around acclimating in my bedroom for so long, was all it took to get the new flooring in with low to medium quality craftsmanship. I even got some good free advice from Bill, who checked in a few times just to make sure I was taking care of his tools.
Roger Marolt is happy to be doing the accounting for a few builders and a farmer. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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