22 April 2010
The Tree House
More about the current setup, and more importantly about the tree house.
Wings owns an acreage out in the bush here. It is a straight up, in line, three-bedroom ranch-style house. Wings is a former newspaper man now collecting unemployment as so many former newspaper men are now. However, his main source of income is his internet farm auction site, midwestauction.com. Runs it out of his house, although he used to maintain an office in town next door to mine.
Wings has his own style of living which we could call anything but neat. It is basically a style endemic to aging bachelors everywhere. I was compelled to wash a stack of dishes and work on the kitchen when I first took up residence in the Number One guest bedroom. It is an operational kitchen now once again. Beyond that I have simply done some loads of wash and cleared a path through the living room, which required a surreptitious trip to our old office building's dumpster in town and to the recycle center with the empties. Not bad really.
Wings himself is almost 49 and reminds me of a small Buddha. Nonetheless, he is a great golfer. I first met him when he came to me for legal help in 1999 when he had two women pregnant at the same time. Moreover, one of the women was carrying twins. We had to sort out that child support mess. We have been friends since. To his great credit Wings has been an active father with these three boys (all of whom are essentially the same age), and he has been a very entertaining friend for me.
I am able to live here with the guy for a short time without any great problems. However, I can certainly see why those women who have tried to cohabit with him in the past all walked away shaking their heads. Still, we have good crockery, good cookware, and good furniture, particularly the beds, all compliments of his mom. Which brings me to this goddamned tree house.
The acreage has a tree house, and it has been there for years. Wings has wanted it down since he moved in here three or four years ago. The bid that he got for professional demolition of it was apparently some serious money, although everyone has been a bit shy about revealing the figure to me. When I took up temporary residence here, I told him that for my rent I would take it down.
The thing about this tree house is that one has to wonder what kind of a maniac constructed it. It is as solid as a house. The studs look like they were brand new 2X4's when the frame was first built. They are about two feet on center. Everything is nailed together better than most house frames are nowadays. The bastard who built it obviously had a nail gun.
The heavy duty floor is bolted to the tree and the outside end is supported by suspension cables and a 4X4 treated wood beam. It had a corrugated metal roofing nailed on with those ribbed roofing nails that are sons-of-bitches to pull out. It was fully carpeted with two nice windows on the front that opened out with a lever. Here is the kicker. It is sided with aluminum siding. I don't have a ladder of sufficient height to get at that siding from the outside, which complicates my whole demolition operation.
I thought about dynamite for a time, but I was afraid it would damage the tree.
The only thing this young father scrimped on was interior ceiling tile. I am surprised that the dumb ass did not wire the thing for electricity and install plumbing.
What kind of a kid would enjoy a tree house like that? When you were inside, it simply seemed as if you were in another room of the main house. The two windows were too high for any kid to see out. Your usual kid enjoys a tree house that feels like a tree house. At least I did when I had a tree house. This structure, properly speaking, is not a tree house. It is a house built in a tree. Then again, if the kid was same sort of compulsive wienie that his father was, maybe he loved the place.
I have been slowly pulling it apart with a small wrecking bar, and it is hard labor. Just been pecking away at it while I stay here. The roof is off. The front wall is off. Early next week the other two walls will be off. Then Spike and I are going to unbolt it, snip the cables, and knock out the 4X4 support beam. The theory is that the front end of the heavy floor assembly will then crash to the ground where I can knock it apart more easily with a maul.
Dropping that floor assembly will be the grand finale of my visit to the United States of America. We will video that for you. It should be a spectacular show.