I am sometimes accused of failing to think things through. This is because I sometimes fail to think things through. The downfall of the dollhouse table/complex today was not such an instance, however, and I will explain why.
- The table was structurally unsound. It was 12 feet long, supported by two spindly legs at each end, and those legs were linked by a single shaft of wood attached to each leg by–I am not kidding–a one-inch dowel and some wood glue. As a consequence, it fell off every time the table was moved and the result was a balsa wood (again, not kidding) table top that was supporting 100 pounds in its center with no central anchor of any kind. The legs themselves had been visibly re-nailed on several occasions in an attempt to salvage the structure. This was a little like putting duct tape on the deck of the Titanic. When I tried to slide the table at all, the legs on the far end (whichever it happened to be) bowed outward like a door swinging open. It was when this happened the last time that I made my decision.
- The table was too big to be moved, and yet people move. I measured it as five feet by twelve feet; that is ridiculous. It was also too flimsy to be moved except by professional movers, and I don’t have any of those in my employ. It was meant to stay in my grandparents’ house and never be moved. After its third move it was ready to collapse.
- What was lost, and what the impossible table was necessary to preserve, was the landscaping around the dollhouse. All of that–the trees, the bushes, the yard works, even the grass–had been blasted away by the moves and my children. The once-intricate dollhouse complex had been reduced to slabs of plastic screwed to a table and covered in a thin coat of pseudo-moss. There was no future there, table or no.
So now the table is gone, the dollhouse is mobile and, I believe, salvageable, and the nursery/playroom just added 20% to its square footage. I was right. And I only chopped my leg once during the melee.
Look how absurd it was:
And now, perfected:
In March 1945 Gen. Eisenhower ordered Gen. Patton to bypass the German city of Trier because four divisions would be required to take the city, and Eisenhower didn’t have them to spare. Patton responded in a telegram thusly:
Have taken Trier with two divisions. What do you want me to do? Give it back?
I expect a dressing-down from the Empress for this, but I exercised command as I saw fit given the circumstances. Trier was there for the taking, and I took it.
The blue thing embedded in the table is my axe, for those who don’t recognize it. The dollhouse is fine, by the way. Turns out I can move it by myself after all.
All the carpet and foam carpet padding has now been stripped, rolled up, and transported to the garage for gradual but irreversible expulsion as trash can space permits. I applied stain remover and will wait until it is dry to begin the next phase of operations. After lunch I expect to sand down the floor, a process complicated by the intransigence of the dollhouse, bed, and dresser, as well as the numerous carpet staples and nails I invariably missed in my initial sweep. Once the sanding is complete I will deploy the leaf blower, propelling the sawdust, plaster, and filth into the air and out an open window, and also into my hair. These sandstorm tactics have been applied successfully in the girls’ room and the office; importantly, using a leaf blower in the house is awesome. The dollhouse itself is secure under a tarp, not that it matters.
I am cleaning the walls this morning, and once they have dried I will be better positioned to decide what I would like to have my son staring at while refusing to take a nap. I am, as usual, inclined to repaint, but I recognize that I have a pro-paint bias. The Empress and I discussed the possibility of a wallpaper solution last night and that is certainly on the table as well. The cleaning has to go forward in any event, and perhaps I will find inspiration while I work. I must remember that I have many deer heads and deer antlers passed on to me by the previous Brinkley, so if we go with a death and dismemberment theme we’ve already got the supplies.
Reagan’s room is clear except for a dresser, the bed, and of course, the dollhouse. Here it is from the threshold:
I will probably move this dresser,
complete with Jenny’s labeling victory, into the hall tomorrow, but it would block passage needlessly if moved today.
The dollhouse, while structurally intact,
appears as though it was struck by a hurricane, with everything blow-downable blown down.
The dollhouse is the Maginot Line in my Fall Gelb. The French High Command believed that the famed line of fortifications was impenetrable and that any direct attack against it would fail. The German High Command agreed with that assumption, but while the French concluded that an attack would therefore never be made, the Germans concluded more sensibly that the inevitable attack would simply have to fall somewhere else. Like Guderian and his Panzer Corps, I will simply have to go around the dollhouse. I don’t care if it ends up exactly where it is so long as I can get the carpet out from under it and a new floor securely in place. Germany had the Ardennes; I have some felt pads to go underneath the furniture. I expect just as decisive a victory.
The invasion of Reagan’s old room has begun, with clothes and toy carcasses largely cleared. Years of unspeakable depredations followed by a forced retreat left behind a ghastly moraine of heads, torsos, arms and legs, along with a surprising number of dried-out magic markers. Most of it has been removed now, filling five large trash bags. There was a blasted-out My Little Pony treehouse that kept singing and chirping at me; it got the hammer, but I experienced some inadvertent thumb-crushing during the battle. The offensive will continue into the afternoon. Yet the dollhouse itself remains, impassive and impassable. Today’s action will serve to bring the great redoubt into full relief, but I cannot yet see how such a fortress is to be reduced. Hopefully not the hammer again.