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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

Great Moments in Maine Real Estate. Part 3

Well, it’s time for another installment in our ongoing series of Great Moments in Maine Real Estate. Buckle up, cowboys.

Of course it would be fair to observe that my own house would have made a great entry in the Great Houses series. For instance, here’s a bedroom at our place, just as we found it:

But honestly, just because one wall in your house would make a pretty fair Max Headroom backdrop, you really shouldn’t enter your pad into the sweepstakes, and I know it. There’s some tough competition out there in Maine.

By the way, doesn’t it bring a tear to your eye to remember Max Headroom? Well, back then, it seemed a minor scandal that Max was a real person being presented as a computer-generated bot to fool a gullible public. Things certainly have come full circle, ain’t they? Now all we need to find are singers who aren’t auto-tuned or lip synching to finish the transformation.

But I’m getting off the beaten path here, and in Maine, the path takes quite a beating as it is. So on to the real estate!

See, this is what happens when you fire your interior decorator before the job is complete. She would have made you paint the closet bifold doors and the window sash gray, too. Never interrupt a visionary when they’re really percolating.

Maine has bears, and likes bears, and this bears repeating, has bears.

Some folks are Stoics. It’s a popular ethos these days. I espy people reading dogeared copies of Epictetus in coffee shops, and wearing Marcus Aurelius slogans on their T shirts, although these folks generally look more like “Neiman Marcus Aurelius” than true believers to me. Devout Catholics are no longer thick on the ground, but you can usually find a quorum in church on Christmas and Easter. Maybe they know a little Tommy Aquinas by heart. Millions of people quote Nietzsche on the internet, and I’ll bet several of them actually understand some of it. You can examine your yins and yangs during your hot yoga class if you like, at least if you’re flexible enough to see your own yang without a mirror.

But let’s face it. Plato, Kant, Descartes, Mill, Foucault, Sartre — the whole lot of them, can’t compete with the concentrated firepower that Carly Simon brings to the dining room.

I’m trying to remember the name of the book. Something about the “madness of crowds.” It was a dusty old tome, written by some cranky periwigged guy I’m sure, trying to explain why everybody seems to do the same crazy things all at the same time. This kind of behavior usually burns itself out after a short, frenzied period, usually until the public is whipped into a frenzy about the next big dumb thing. So we won’t dwell on this overlong here.

But I have to ask one question. Why, all of a sudden, does every shelter show, home center, and plumbing supply manufacturer want every homeowner in America to come downstairs in the morning and be greeted by a sink that’s giving them the finger?

Ah, this is one of my favorites. This is a “bonus room.” It’s the payoff for building a snouthouse. If you’re not familiar with the term “snouthouse” it refers to the architectural practice of stapling your actual house on to the ass end of your garage, instead of the other way around. This room is generally unfinished space over the garage, but these fine folks have certainly finished this one off, haven’t they? Cheery, ain’t it? The layout, the hominess, the color scheme, and the finishes seem familiar, but I can’t quite place them. Something is missing.

I know:

Open the garage bay doors, HAL.

3 Responses

  1. We’ve got lots of bears here in Wyoming, including black bears and grizzly bears. But I’ve mostly been disturbed by other kinds of bears.

    There’s the “boulder bear”, which you see when you’re driving along a road and spot a bear off in the distance. You’re not sure it’s a bear, but you pull off to the side of the road (if it has a shoulder, if not, just put on the four-ways and sit in the middle of your half-lane), get out the binoculars, and verify that it’s actually a sort-of-bear-shaped boulder, and not a bear. This isn’t too bad, unless a logging truck or impatient fisherman happens to come down the road at warp speed. We’ve also got boulder elk and boulder big horn sheep.

    But this doesn’t compare to the bear you find in the middle of your campground. This is the bear you encounter while you’re making the 2 AM trip to the outhouse, and pass by a spot that was completely unremarkable in daylight. There, off to the side of the single-rut path leading to the outhouse, is an ENORMOUS bear, silently rearing upright and ready to eat you). Once your heart rate drops back down into the middle one-hundreds, the adrenaline drops to less than 50% of your bloodstream, and you’ve shined your flashlight on it, you realize that it’s actually just a stump doing an imitation of a grizzly bear. Also, you may no longer need to visit the outhouse.

    Stump bears have probably caused more cardiac arrests than the real thing, and why somebody would put them in their front yard mystifies me.

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