Wednesday, August 31, 2005


We’re renovating our kitchen the old fashioned way – by calling in favors from friends and relatives, shopping for items on sale, and hoping that we don’t have the design vision of spider monkeys. It’s going well. There are several holes in the wall, the ceiling isn’t as crooked as we thought, and most of the outlets are actually wired-in. Also, half of the tile is up on the backsplash and we finally figured out how to wire the pendant light (pendant here referring to the little-known meaning from its Latin translation: fixture which is assembled by the spider monkeys who have more decorating taste than you.)

The electrical wiring in our house is like an artistic journey of expression. The wires are connected in a seemingly unpredictable pattern that can only be the work of an artist trying to articulate his confused mental state by making those who wish to run new wiring in our house equally confused. To this artist I can only say: you’ve succeeded brilliantly.

We began our journey toward a modern kitchen in the attempt to eradicate from it the fifty year-old lineoleum flooring with which the house came. We planned to rip it out and put down new flooring. We heard various comments on reconsidering the fate of this floor by people who had some kind of sad affection for old floors. Some thought it reminded them of the floors they grew up with during the Pleistocene era. There were those that found the unusual pattern of deeply impregnated stains of past generations unique and interesting. Still others thought that, like some garish old platter they saw on Antiques Roadshow, our floor must have value due to its vintage status.

When I called the Antiques Roadshow I was surprised to discover that vintage flooring is not exactly a field in which they employ an expert. It must, therefore, be an emerging field so all of you youngsters who don’t know what to do with your lives, take up antique floor valuing. You can right the wrongs of your parents and grandparents who didn’t invest in Microsoft in 1975 by lunging head-first into this sure to be lucrative field.

Anyone who is seriously considering a career in assessing antique floors can come on by my house and value my vintage floor because it’s still there under new vinyl. Although we attempted to rip it out, several hours, various scrapers and the removal of a mere two square feet later, we decided it was best to treat the floor like the lost paintings of masters and go over the top with something cheap and simple. One day when the vintage floor field is hot, our floor will be rediscovered and make bucketloads of money for whomever owns this house. This fortune might be useful in coaxing someone with both an electrician’s license and an art degree to sort out the electrical expressions to which we’ve added our unique signature.

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