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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

If You Make Things, You Are My Brother, Chapter XVII: The Roentgens Are Not Related To Me Or Any Other Regular Human Woodworkers

So my friend Gerard, who lurks in the opposite top corner pocket of the continental US, and imparts his English as he indulges in his pixel Jupiter Complex from there at American Digest, raining well-deserved bolts down on various varlets, sent this little trifle along. The Roentgen’s Berlin Secretary:

My old familiar Ben Franklin is erroneously credited with saying that beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Of course the actual quote, “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy,” is infinitely more elegant, but the point stands either way. What is the Roentgen cabinet in my email inbox proof of?
I make furniture, after all. That, that –that thing–in the video is just like furniture, in the same way that a Victoria’s Secret catalog is the same as a date with Tom Brady’s wife. Or as my other familiar, Samuel L. Clemens once observed, “The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” So I must struggle to find le mot juste, or more accurately, les mots juste. Here goes:

The Roentgen Berlin Cabinet is proof that God hates me, and that Gerard wants me to take my own life with my own hand.

12 Responses

  1. Stop. Stop. Stay thy hand oh Sippican. At least long enough for me to get to the other corner of the USA so I can comfort the widow in her bereavement.

  2. a geegaw that looks pretty but has no utility. really, ask yourself would you rather make something people use or look at. oh wait, you already have, when you chose to do what you do. why else would you distress brand new pieces…you still do that don't you?

    love that mark twain quote

  3. Hi Sam- I get out, but he keeps pulling me back in.

    Hiya Leon- Thanks for reading and commenting. You are correct. I don't play in that game.

    There are no bad Mark Twain quotes.

  4. The Metropolitan Museum of Art just had an awesome special exhibition of Roentgen furniture. The piece you feature was a highlight, but there were several dozen others, including a spooky automaton of Marie Antoinette. A tip of the hat to curator Wolfram Koeppe, who organized the show — it totally blew peoples' minds!

  5. It's good to be king.

    I especially like the easel for one's masterly painted pr0n…er intimate portraits.

  6. I built something like that the other day. I started with Canadian forest white wood that was so crooked that Home Depot marked it down 70%. I sawed the two-byes into wee short pieces and screwed them together with deck screws of various lengths.

    My finished object is just like the one in the video – it is very clever, and someday someone will remark "Why that thing is made out of wood just like The Roentgen's Berlin Secretary". Then they will fall over laughing.

    I consider that my gift to the ages.

  7. Looks like they are displaying the shop plans as well.. so there might be some hope for you to stay alive long enough to make Trump some of these lol Wonder what a brand new one of these would cost today? lol

  8. Well, sure, that cabinet is flashy and all…..but my table, made by your hands, suits me just fine. Nothing to keep oiled, no tiny buttons to fail, and especially no trick things that would slip my mind. Simply a beautiful little table!

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