austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Who needs a house out in Hackensack?

To talk about moving, I have to first be clear what kind of moving I mean. I don't mean getting up and going out; that kind of moving most everyone can do, by walking, or crawling, or pushing the chair over, or if nothing else works trusting to continental drift. You can pretty well trust in continental drift. Even if everything's going wrong today take comfort in the fact the Atlantic Ocean is wider than it was a century ago next Tuesday. If you can't take comfort in that, maybe I presented the idea poorly.

The moving I mean is the kind where you throw out or pack everything you own, transport the packages to a new place, and spend five years unpacking and looking with wonder at what you didn't throw out, like the carton the old-old cable box came in or the bag of four-inch-long string fragments. The first response to finding something like that is to want to throw it out. Then realize you must have had a good reason to save it, and decide you shouldn't throw it out until you remember the reason. It must be important or else why would you keep an unopened bag of those little toothpick paper flags used to impale finger sandwiches or to decorate restaurant ice cream sundaes? The answer is that you didn't save them. Your friends slipped them in to confuse you. They're a fun bunch, your friends, and gifts like that help you appreciate moving away from them.

The quickest way to move your home starts with transforming yourself into a giant several hundred feet tall. Then carefully lift your old home. You may need a shovel to break it loose, and you should gigantify that along with yourself. If you try at gigantic size to undo the hook holding the shed's door closed you'll look silly. You'll need to prepare, such as by taping down all the loose items in your home, and affixing aircraft warning lights to your head. This will make you look silly, so put them on moments before gigantifying to reduce the time people will spend pointing and laughing.

There next big problem is the surprising flimsiness of ordinary objects at that scale. Proportional to their diameters, a soda can has thicker walls than a jet airplane has, which is another reason not to rip the end off an Airbus A380 and try to drink the contents. Airbus has enough problems without you starting something. This has nothing to do with moving your home. When you set it down in the new place and un-gigantify you will have, for the average home, easily four or five wires and pipes and tubes and things that have to be hooked up just right. Guests in your new place, however gracious, will be cranky if they turn on the hot water and get three-phase alternating current instead, and your washing machine will be completely unreasonable about most everything. Worse is if you rent an apartment, as it may be the other people in your building don't want to go where you're going, and it just won't do if you move the building to a new place and then they wait until you're done, gigantify, and take it right back again, and you know they'll blame it all on you to the landlord, who may have different ideas about you moving too. It's usually better to trust in continental drift.

Trivia: Alfred Binet, inventor of the IQ test, researched the question but could find no direct causal link between playing chess and going mad. Source: Living Dolls, Gaby Wood.

Currently Reading: Empire Express: Building The First Transcontinental Railroad, David Haward Bain.


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