Monday, February 16, 2015

The PM Precut House Postscript

Dear Son or Daughter of the Man Who Designed the "PM Precut House,"

Thank you so much for leaving your comment about your dad! My post from 2008 was just meant to be funny. But, I really did read the article about the house your dad designed in "Popular Mechanics," and I'll have to find my copy of that issue (it's down in the basement in a mouse-proof container) so I can take another look.

It's great to know that the original prototype house is still standing strong in the Poconos. I like the design and only wish I was clever enough to try to build one myself. In an era when there's a lot of interest in small house designs and modular kits (have you seen the ones at Tiny Tumbleweeds and Tiny House Listings?), I bet your dad's design would be very popular. It's not a "tiny" house, but it's a nice modest size with some great features. I have to believe that many people ordered your dad's kit and built houses. Those houses must be out there, all over the place! Hope you are able to find some.

I doubt you'll find your way back here. But, just in case. Any chance you still have any of your dad's kits lying around? Heck, maybe it's time for me to test my carpentry skills?

Here's to your dad!

All the best,
Sparkle Plenty


Dear Popular Mechanics,

I am pleased to place an order for your "PM Precut House."To cover the cost of the house, please find enclosed a personal check in the amount of $4,500. You will note that I have added the requisite funds to cover optional items.

At this time, I would like to express a few concerns and give you the opportunity to respond:

1) As an enthusiastic fan of indoor plumbing and warmth, I am thrilled that you have offered me the chance to purchase a separate "plumbing kit" and "winterizing materials." Just to double-check: Do said aforementioned "kit" and "materials" consist of a bucket and some wet-dog-smelling wool blankets?

2)I am hoping that, once constructed, the house will look exactly like the one depicted on the cover. There will be a cute little man in a windbreaker waving out front at all times, correct? And, the blonde on the porch with cool drinks is included in the kit? It seems silly to ask, but these are very attractive features that have drawn me to the house and, due to a traumatic incident ordering seamonkeys, I can take nothing for granted.

3) When you say the instructions are "easy," what do you really mean? Here, let me give you some choices: a) Easy! No swearing, no sweating, and you will not wish you were better at math because you will have hired a carpenter to interpret the directions and build the house for you! b) Easy! Easy Like Sunday Morning--a complex, mind-bending Sunday morning that leaves you contemplating the meaning of life and longing for strong drink. c) Easy! Easy like Easy Rider, in which everyone DIES. d) If you need to ask, you should not buy this kit.

Thanking you in advance for your prompt attention to my order,
Sparkle Plenty

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Please, No Autographs...Damn Pooparazzi!

Dinosaur dung sells at NYC auction for nearly $1,000

United Press International
Article Date: Thursday, May 1, 2008
NEW YORK (AP) — A pile of dinosaur dung 130 million years old sold at a New York auction Wednesday for nearly $1,000.

The prehistoric deposit fetched $960, said a spokeswoman for Bonhams New York. Its pre-auction estimate was $450.

The fossilized dung is from the Jurassic era, the auction house said. It looks like a rock on the outside and a colorful mineral inside.

The buyer was Steve Tsengas of Fairport Harbor, Ohio. The 71-year-old owns OurPets, a company that sells products to treat dog and cat waste.

Tsengas bought the dung in hopes of motivating his employees and using it as a marketing tool by displaying it at the company's booth at trade shows, he said.

"Poop," he said, "is a big business in the pet industry."

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Elderly People Say the Darndest Things!

My Aunt (by marriage): "So, it gets me so mad when I think about what she did."
Me: "Yep, it's kind of amazing. Do you think she's actually very smart?"
My Aunt: "Hmm, welllll."
Me: "Hmm..."
My Aunt: "Well, I think she's crafty.
Me: "Crafty?"
My Aunt: "Yes, in fact the more I think about it, the more I think she might be part indian. Because she's crafty."
Me to Myself: Uh-oh.
Me: "Crafty?"
My Aunt: "Yep. Crafty."
Me: "So, you remember that I've got some indian blood*, right? I must say that I show no signs of being particularly crafty. And I'm kinda old to learn new tricks."
My Aunt: "Yes! I know you've got indian blood. So do I!"
Me: "Well, that's great. I didn't know that. So, you're crafty?"
My Aunt: "Yes, I'm very crafty!"
Me: "Huh. I don't think that all people with indian blood are crafty."
My Aunt: "Well, maybe not. I just know that I am."

*This sounds like I'm a vampire and keep little Skippy peanut butter jars of blood around. I do not.