Today’s post comes to you from the I Swear I Am Not Making This Up files.
CURRENT DAY: The Farmer has decided we need a new television. He’s probably right. Our old TV qualifies as an antique. It’s not a flatscreen. It’s not digitally compatible. When the switch to digital broadcasting happened a few years ago, we had to get a converter box. Which meant more things to wire up and another remote control. It now takes 3 remote controls and much choreographed button-pushing to watch a DVD. But I digress.
The problem is not that the Farmer wants a new TV, the problem is that he wants one the approximate size of a drive-in movie screen. That wouldn’t be so bad except it obviously will not fit in our current entertainment center, which is a lovely oak and brass affair with glass doors and lots of shelves and cubby holes.
It will have to sit on top of the entertainment center, which will leave me and the Farmer sitting in our recliners, tipped completely back, feeling like we’re sitting in the front row of the movie theater, watching “King Kong.” (Which we did once, by the way. Let the jury note I am not a front row fan.)
While discussing this problem, the Farmer gave the entertainment center a calculating eye and said, “No problem, I’ll just cut the top off and drop it down.”
FLASHBACK: Earlier this year, I wrote a story for the newspaper where I work about an area couple who had remodeled their old farm home and done some rather spectacular stuff. During the interview, I commented (diplomatically, I hoped) on the rather odd configuration of the “old” part of the house. The home owners, son and daughter-in-law of the previous owner, laughed and told me the story.
Apparently this is well-known local lore but I live on the opposite side of the county so hadn’t been exposed to it before.
Fritz Kinzenbaw Sr. owned the rural Ladora farm, which included a barn, cattle sheds, machine sheds, tall trees and an American foursquare house built in the 1920s. In June of 1998, a straightline windstorm tore through the county and demolished nearly everything on the farmstead except the house. (This was the same storm that hit our farm which much the same effect.)
In the years that followed, Fritz Sr. cleaned up the wreckage and rebuilt the buildings. Then one day, he viewed the skyline of his farmstead and didn’t like what he saw. The two-story house now stuck up above all the other buildings and the few remaining trees. He felt this was not aesthetically pleasing. So he solved the problem in a very straight forward fashion.
He took a chain saw and cut off the second floor of the house.
His wife didn’t know what he was going to do until she heard the chain saw fire up.
I swear I am not making this up.
CURRENT DAY: So naturally, when the Farmer announced his intention to “just cut the top off” of the entertainment center, I immediately flashed to visions of Fritz Sr., armed with a chain saw, whacking away at the second story of his home.
I had a very brief freak-out. Having forgotten all about the Fritz Kinzenbaw story which I had regaled him with several months earlier, the Farmer misread my twitching and convulsions and thought I was against the new TV, which I’m not. I guess he forgot about the early years of our marriage when he used a chain saw to cut a hole in an upstairs floor to wire the kitchen ceiling fan. (It’s all good.) I am pretty sure he is genetically predisposed to solving problems with chain saws. Or maybe it’s just the Y chromosome. Either way, I'm not taking any chances.
Now we’re going to have the Farmer’s brother-in-law, who is a gifted woodworker, take a look at the entertainment center and see if it can be dismantled and re-configured into a pedestal for the new TV. Which we haven’t gotten yet, but there’s been a great deal of muttering and measuring and calculating going on.
Stay tuned for further developments.