Thursday, July 29, 2010


(this sweet little sketch came from somewhere on the web. Claim it, so I can thank you for it)

Vildy wanted a shed. We call it a "Man-Barn"; a place to house the ugly, the smelly, the broken and the filthy. Our garage, already full-up with the boxed, the moldy, the half used and the I'll-get-to-its, made it only sensible to build a giant outbuilding. I think V wanted the structure for the practical reasons, but also because he'd impulsively bought a giant framing nailer at a yard sale. The gnarly thing fires long nails into wood with a shuttering, cannon-like report. I think the purchase of this tool and subsequent project was a little like buying impractical shoes and then throwing yourself a party so you can wear them. So Vild went to Home Depot and bought a bunch of 2x4's and about three dozen clips of ammo for his big, loud, nail gun, then threw a party for himself and his giant tool.

He built the shed in a weekend, complete with shingled roof, never asking me for help, except to hold a wall vertical while he nailed it in place. He painted it barn-red, yes, and it was perfectly excellent, sitting there at the top of our driveway. We filled it with all sorts of crappy stuff, and the man-barn kept it all warm and dry.

Then we got a letter from the township.

The Man-Barn was sitting too close to the property line. This is stupid for two reasons. One, we live between a cow flop and a soy bean. A drunk guy fires guns next door from his barcalounger for heaven's sake. No one would notice or care if I rode my lawn mower naked, streaming flypaper, while belting out the Ride of the Valkyries. The other reason its stupid is because we own the adjacent lot, a big wooded hill that would be ridiculous to build on, ever. So they were siting us on a technicality. He'd built something too close to a property line that he shares, with himself. Ah, bureaucracy, you never disappoint.

But sometimes you must genuflect to the Man in all his stubborn, paper-pushing, poorly attended, micro-power, minutes taken, triplicate-filing, fees paid wisdom. Vild attended the zoning board meeting.

Fifteen minutes later he stormed out of the zoning board meeting.

He had to move the Man-Barn twenty feet.

The following video explains so much about why I love Vild, and why you can live in a place if you have someone like this living with you.

Hey Zoning Board, guess which finger I'm holding up.


  1. Holy shit! You guys moved it? You guys get the "I have more balls than city hall award."

    H Martin

  2. i love this story so much. i get a real kick out of watching bureaucracy in action. go schickel/vilds!

    Joanna D

  3. You just know they'll pass an ordinance siting "hilarious moving of structures down driveways to alternative locations" without necessary permits and fees attached thereto endangering something or other."