The Papa Files by Vincent Cardegin
Not long ago, while watching T10 Cricket in my office-garage with Senor Cargador, my wife came out and wanted me to go buy lottery tickets. One of the games had amassed a great deal of money, she proclaimed excitedly.
I know you can’t win if you don’t play, and someone always eventually wins. But I look at it from the other end: how many people lost? And if you believe as I do that the jackpot represents only half the money collected, then there are actually twice as much going to whatever bank is receiving it. And not a lot, or none, is being used to repair our infrastructure or fund our schools as the promoters promised way back then.
So I was reluctant and told my wife I’d get her tickets after the game. (T10s are less than three hours, and it was in the second inning.)
To entice me to remember, she said, “If we win, I’ll build you a shed in the back where you can write and smoke and drink your beer.”
I said, “Screw that. If we win, I’m buying my own house.”
“What?” she said, aghast. “You’d leave me?”
“No, no. You can come live there,” I told her.
“You just can’t bring your pets.”
She stared blankly at me for several seconds and finally chanted, “No, no, no.”
“Yes, yes, yes,” and I pointed at the ceiling with raised hands. “This will be Zoo House.”
“No no no no” she mumbled as she went through the door into the kitchen.
Yes yes yes yes” I mumbled back.
I think it’s a great idea! She could work at her house, previously known as New House, and now Zoo House, and spend the night with me at My House, where I wouldn’t have to worry about tripping over big cats and little dogs and all their toys, or smelling cat poop or walking on scattered litter in the laundry room or garage. I could actually go barefoot in My House, though I think my toes wouldn’t like it, especially the pinky piggies.
My wife could move her art room into Zoo House’s living room, and use the master bedroom for storing all her tubs of holiday junk. She could also let her dogs out to free-range poop. I’ve actually suggested that many times over the years (so I could use it as an excuse to never go outside) but she’s insisted her dogs only need a small, fenced-in area to do their business—so that she only has a small, fenced-in area to clean. I think that’s very selfish of her.
I’d probably go over to Zoo House now and then to help with her garden, but My House wouldn’t have one. I can live on Chef Boyardee for the rest of my life, you know. And my master bathroom would only have the seven items I need, not the 82 she has crowding on the counter. And yes I counted them, but I didn’t look in the drawers or the cabinets, so I don’t know the real number, and I don’t want to; I’m afraid.
Oh, wait, if she spends the nights with me, she’ll need all her stuff. Well crap, okay. But I could have my office in the living room!
Although I guess if I won enough money, I could build a Perfect Abode. There would be a nice big room for her hobbies, another big room for her pets; a central area off-limits to cats and dogs that includes the kitchen, dining and breakfast rooms, TV room (living room), and master bedroom; and in my side, also restricted to humans only, I’d have my office, guest rooms, a woodshop, and a three-car garage. And a bathroom every seven feet. That actually sounds pretty good.
But until Our House is finished, I would still buy a My House, and she can pursue her pastimes in Zoo House.