BUILDING A MYSTERY
- •STEP 1Drive to your local big box hardware store. You are going to need a huge car, or a medium car with a trailer of some sort. A flatbed is fine, but take lots of straps to strap things down. Time is of the essence, but don’t go any faster than the speed limit on your way over. Getting a ticket isn’t going to get this thing built any faster.
- •STEP 2Find two employees. Big box employees work best in pairs. Save time by finding one first and asking them to follow you while you find another one. Once you have two employees there with you, ask them both in a slow and clear voice where the restroom is. They will disagree at first but you can wait patiently while they work together to come up with the correct answer. “Walk through plumbing and turn left at the end of the water heaters,” they’ll say. Thank them. Now, go use the restroom.
- •STEP 3Get a cart, preferably the wide flat one. Make sure it makes either a tremendous squealing noise or a thunderous whumping as you push it. This might seem annoying at first, but trust me, everyone is going to know exactly where you are for four aisles on either side of you and no one will be crashing into you when you take a blind corner by the roofing materials.
- •STEP 4This is the most important part: Load up on supplies. Be sure to get a good variety, like big heavy sheets of raw material, some curvy things, electrical stuff, pipes. Grab a handful of brackets. Wood will be helpful. Keep loading your cart, stacking things carefully to maximize space. When you can’t stack anything else on your cart, then you’ve got enough. But try to keep your expenses reasonable – Let’s say between $300 and $500, because it’s not like you’re not building a yacht. Or are you?
- •STEP 5Start building. Your work style should be furious, your pacing reckless. Your engineering should be bulletproof. For instance, are you building on top of a precarious layer of permafrost that could gradually turn to thick mud as a result of decades of climate change? Try sinking pilings deep into the ground and then build on top of that. Focus. When you think you’ve reached the halfway point, take a step back and look at what you’re building. Is it a treehouse? If it is, you're doing it wrong.
- •STEP 6You should be finished. Turn it on. Does it work? If not, you may have forgotten to get electrical stuff. If it is working, does it smell like burning? If so, you may have gotten too much electrical stuff. That’s ok! Electrical stuff is hard. Shake off your failure, list this thing in the free section of Craigslist and start over with the right amount of electrical stuff.
- •STEP 7If it’s working and it doesn’t smell like burning, go ahead and get inside of it. Do you feel safe? Is it warm? You shouldn’t ever want to leave.
- •STEP 8Lay back in your seat. You should be flush with nostalgia, remembering every beautiful fall day when something good happened to you. Do you feel on your lips the tingle of every kiss that ever meant anything? Your clothes should fit you perfectly for the first time in your life. You should have the satisfaction of striding away from a perfect job interview and you should be looking into the eyes of your newborn child. Is this happening? Good. Now press the button that makes it go forward.