Sunday, March 12, 2006

A moving experience

The problem inherent with moving anywhere isn't related to climate, topography, taxes or the number of pizza places per square mile of concrete.

The main problem with moving is moving.

Oh, sure, after settling in you have to deal with the social oppression usually associated with the stupid family next door who doesn't have the common decency to think exactly like you, the occasional vandalism to yard ornaments obviously no one else found cute, and wondering why these complete jerks have never brought over a casserole.

But moving all your junk from the place you live to the place you're going to live is about as fun as The Three Stooges-like power tool injury you're bound to experience during future home repairs.

That's where our friend physics comes in.

Moving, in the scientific sense, involves Basic Newtonian physics, which has something to do with forging someone else's name on your bar bill, then putting your body in motion and keeping it in motion until you've reached escape velocity.

However, moving in the literal sense involves Advanced Newtonian physics. This follows Newton's "inverse loser-friends law" which states that doubling the distance between point A and point B reduces to one-quarter the number of people who actually lift your things and carry them out to the truck. So, my advice is to start off by calling more than four people.

The breakdown takes the following into consideration: 1) The distance between your old home and your new one, 2) the number of friends and/or relatives you haven't tapped out for favors, 3) the amount of pizza and beer needed to coax these people into taking your stuff and moving it to an entirely different city, and 4) the desire to tell everyone to get the hell out of your house because your wife wants to do it with you in the new kitchen.
Not surprisingly, Advanced Newtonian physics is a lot more popular than Basic Newtonian physics.

But as Advanced told Basic to go stuff its gravitational pull in its ear, Quantum Mechanics told Advanced to take a closer look at the whole moving process, then flicked its nose.

Quantum Mechanics put a whole new perspective on the act of moving your stuff into a new house with the Drunken-Loser-Friend Uncertainty Principle.

It goes something like this: The amount of beer the loser-friend has consumed directly influences the subatomic particles of the box/dresser/wife's irreplaceable family heirlooms he's carrying. Since it is impossible to specify the position and the momentum of these particles, the relation of loser-friend's foot to the floor or just how loud the resulting crash will be, the likelihood of you doing anything in the new kitchen with your wife has been reduced to zero.

My wife and I recently moved into our new home and circumvented the entire problem ¬ we hired someone to move our junk for us.

Next week: Home repairs.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Book Review of “On Being Dad”

By Victoria Wilson-Addo

I've never been a father, dealt with giggling emergency room visits, a hyper-sensitive pregnant wife or worried about sending the kids to college, but Jason Offutt's On Being Dad transported me to a world where I was just the opposite of a twenty-something British girl; a forty-something American dad.
This book is an assortment of snapshots taken from life with Offutt's crime-fighting mutant son, vengefully peeing daughter, green poop pooping baby and hush puppy craving wife. It is so absorbing that I blame it for making me miss so many tube [subway] stops each time I read it. Even the introduction, an invention I tend to disagree with (can't books speak for themselves?) is entertaining.
On Being Dad should not be confined to the eyes of floundering fathers, but open to anyone, regardless of which role in the family you most fit. Every story has universally recognisable moments. Except perhaps, the one about t-ball -a game that may be exclusive to the U.S. (maybe explaining the rules of cricket would be a fair exchange). These are funny reminders of family life; the unit society is supposedly based on. Which if true, on reading this book is a startling, but encouraging thought.
These reminiscences are easy to identify with; whether you were the boy who discovered the Tooth fairy secretly uses Superman's baby teeth for bullets to shoot monsters without mouths, a girl who considers The Rolling Stones to be a boy band, a pregnant lioness who prepares for soon-to-be-born cubs by Christmas decorating two months early, or a Dad remembering the cardboard box that made his childhood Christmas' magical.
A warning before opening On Being Dad: be aware of your surroundings and just how many people will look at you strangely before edging away as you erupt with sniggers, cackles, guffaws and belly-laughter.