Tuesday, March 02, 2010

How To Ruin A Perfectly Good Blog Post Before Typing A Single Word

My wife has been talking about chickens for I don’t even remember how long. And I don’t mean “Damn, I could sure go for some of that Top Notch fried chicken action about now.” No, I’m talking more like “Oh dear sweet husband, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have our very own chickens bok-bok-bokking about our back yard? Don’t you want to build me a chicken coop in which our chickens may live? What should our chicken coop look like? What kind of chickens should we get? Don’t you love the idea of a fridge full of freshly laid eggs? Aren’t chickens the best? Can we get them this weekend? Do you like this chicken coop design? What about this one? Yes, I’ll have the chicken enchiladas with verde sauce, please.”

Actually, that last one was just her order at Chuy’s a while back.

I don’t mean to make my wife sound like she was nagging me about it, except, reading that first paragraph up there, it seems like I sorta did. Sorry babe. I mean yeah, there was a lot of chicken chatter going on around our place (oooo baby, speak hen to me), but that was just a result of her excitement. I did offer up one design for a chicken coop, but in my zeal to provide privacy for up to four hens, it kind of ended up looking like a swastika. Ultimately, I left all the research and design up to her, as I simply was not as into it as she was. This was her project, but I would be available for any grunt work that needed doing.
Nice typo, loser

Finally this past weekend, we commenced with coop construction. I had not exactly been looking forward to it, but there really was no reason to put it off any longer. Things got off to a fantastic start. The day brought us gorgeous working weather, and before too long, we had the walls of the henhouse constructed. Now chickens are not what you would call high-needs creatures when it comes to their habitat. They need an outdoor area, an indoor area, a roost, a place to lay eggs, and protection from predators. They don’t necessarily need every corner to fit together perfectly or for every angle to be a perfect 90.0 degrees. And it’s a good thing too since most of my education in the art of construction occurred in a theatrical scene shop where it’s common to hear exchanges such as:

“These ends aren’t square at all.”
“That’s cool, that part doesn’t face the audience.”


“This board’s a little weak, should we reenforce it?”
“Nah, the only person that stands on it is that anorexic chick in the first act.”

So while my work wasn’t 100% perfect, I still strove to do a halfway decent job. I was enjoying the work of bringing wood and hardware together to create a recognizable and functional form. Plus, you know, power tools. Fuckin’ A. 

I’m going to write about this, I thought. How I wasn’t all that excited to build this damn coop, but then I got started and I began enjoying myself and getting into the satisfaction of a job done well or at least mostly pretty much okay and what a great day it was and how nice the boys played together while I worked and look how badass I am and here’s a picture of me with a circular saw. It’s gonna be positive and wonderful and I bet five whole people will read it.

All this wonderfulness? It did not last. 

This is where we get to the part about blog post ruination, because you see, the key to ruining a post like this lies in your ability to ruin your day. Somewhere in the afternoon, stuff started going wrong. We figured out that, surprise surprise, we didn’t have everything we needed and that a trip to Home Depot was inevitable. The boys stopped playing so nicely. Frustrations mounted. Alone, these things are not enough to ruin your day. In order to do that, you have to respond to them by losing your patience in the grass. You have to toss your sense of humor over the fence into the neighbor's yard like a toy dumptruck. You have to take every little setback far too seriously so you can get yourself good and pissed off. You have to yell at your kids. You have to let your entire mood go sour, and then you have to carry that shit with you on into the evening. That’s how you do it.

Guess I won’t be writing that happy chicken coop post after all, I thought.

All is not lost, however. The coop stands in the yard unfinished, not due to abandonment but simply because we ran out of weekend. We got as far as painting it with a color that I like to call taco stand yellow. We’ll finish the coop soon and we’ll name it something clever like the Henhouse de la Holmes or the Coop de Ville or Jurassic BOK! We’ll stand back and admire our work and hope that it’s up to the task. We will acquire our hens and bring them home to live in the lovely new home that we’ve built for them, and they will show us their gratitude by bokking out fresh eggs for us.

And it will all be okay.


Homemaker Man said...

I don't even know where to begin. I am simultaneously impressed and confused. Impressed with your gumption, drive, and aim to please your family, confused by the fact that it all leads to a chicken coop. That sort of discussion just is not heard in urban New England. Ever. Unless it's a metaphon for something else . . .

Jett Superior said...

Your coop names have me laughing SO hard.

The hippie has not wanted to build his own henhouse. Nay, fine sir: For the last three years he has been waxing rhapsodically about modding our old toolshed out back. He apparently wants the Bok Mahal.

I can only imagine the madness that will ensue when he actually gets around to the project. He's not the family builder, I am. While I have every desire for fresh eggs, I have none toward hen-tending.

And on that (those?) day(s?) I will have the chicken story to end all chicken stories, I'm sure of it.

Julie said...

I totally can't wait to meet your chickens. And I LOVED the part about conversations that go on in a theatre scene shop. Not sure if you are referring to the one at UT or back at your high school, but my favorite UT scene shop memory is when we had the scene shop head teaching us basically nothing for a whole 6 weeks (he'd hold up tools one at a time every class and tell us what they were). On the last day of class, we were set loose in the scene shop to build something. With absolutely no tutorials on power tools. I nearly got cut in half when the table saw kicked out a flying piece of Luon which I proceeded to turn into the wobbliest table you've ever seen. Another girl nearly got her hair caught in the drill. Good times.

TwoBusy said...

Your experience sounds like every home improvement project I've ever engaged in. Except for, y'know... chickens.

Dan said...

There is no finer animal on this earth than a chicken. They are just so bloody funny.

Try to get a breed known for it's tameness/domesticity. Three of ours follow me absolutely everywhere round the garden and are into everything. The kids adore them.

honestly man, you'll never regret it.

sybil law said...

I am so freaking jealous!! Seriously. I've always wanted a chicken coop, too. Please tell me you're gonna post pictures!!
Although chickens are dirty, nasty creatures. They eat their own shit.
But man, they sure taste good.