Batman vs. Ramses vs. Will Smith vs. Neil Armstrong vs. Hitler vs. Joe & Anne
Batman, Ramses II, Hitler, Will Smith, Neil Armstrong, Joe and Anne Cospito.
These revered, historical figures all have something in common. No, it isn’t that they all hate broccoli or resent rising gas prices (I hear your gripe, Ramses II. Even though our chariot mileage has vastly improved from your days, they still gouge you at the pump/stables). It’s not even the fact that they all gazed at the same moon (although Ramses worshiped it while Neil just walked on it – whole group snickers at Ramses.)
No, no, no. These historical figures share one common thread: they all have a house they built and call home. Their proverbial ‘crib’. A place of tranquility from which to save the world (Batman and Will high 5 at this point). Or in SOMEONE’S case (awkward cough as Batman, Neil, Ramses and Will all raise an eyebrow in Hitler’s direction) attempt to dominate the world. Or in Anne’s and my case from which to eat pasta and Google ticket prices to Disneyland.
So I decided to have these fellows over, put on a pot of coffee and do our own little version of MTV cribs. The room’s a little cramped right now, and Batman and Hitler keep giving each other the evil eye. Ramses is in the corner attempting to worship his mug of coffee, and we only got his attention back on the blog by telling him to stop by the shrine of Timmy Ho’s on his chariot ride home for a truly spiritual experience. Will Smith and Neil are arguing incessantly in the background about who is more awesome. No doubt a question for the ages.
So with no further ado, let’s go visit these guys’ pads, because they want to play some Wii before heading out. They each gave me a mug shot of themselves followed by the place they live in.
Unfortunately, Ramses had every photographer in his kingdom executed when the famine of 01 hit. He eagerly provided me with this......statue of himself instead. Ramses, might I recommend Gillette Sensor Excel for that goatee and a Wal Mart photo booth? No? Ok. I guess a 300 ton shrine to yourself will do as well.
Ok Ramses. We get it. You are awesome. Shortage of lumber in the kingdom back in the day eh? (Batman snickers and elbows Will Smith)
Batman, I can't even begin to imagine how long you stood on that rooftop waiting for these ideal photo conditions to occur for maximum awesomeness. You do realize that you still get wet even if you are carrying knives right? No bat umbrella or something? Mm?
Ah yes. The Batcave. Proverbial home of the Batman. What red blooded male hasn't dreamed of coming home from work and kicking back in the batcave? Like, hello! Mood lighting. Big screens everywhere. A freaking bat emblazoned into the floor. Ominous ledges galore disappearing into the shadows below. (Batman smirks and elbows Will Smith who just glowers)
The 'Kang' of cool. Will Smith himself. So, Willy, a few questions. I get the gun, but why are the top two buttons of your shirt undone and why are you gazing thoughtfully into the........WHO AM I KIDDING? WHAT'S WITH THE MACHINE GUN, WILL??? It looks like you just parked your car. Trouble returning something at Toys R' Us?
Not sure what to say about this. I at first thought it was a small town. It is in fact the Corporation of the Municpality of Will Smith. I mean, come on Will, your own backetball court, tennis court, swimming pool, but no statues like Ramses II?? (Joe and Ramses high 5, while Will glowers)
Ok, seriously man. We got to do something about that smile. And we need to get you out of those dictator scrubs and into something a little more personal. How about I lend you some PJ's and we play some Foosball to loosen up a little?
Hitler's Austrian pad - the Berghof. Or as I like to call it, 'the Berggy'. Hitler wined, dined and executed heads of state from this hilltop house of horror.
Unfortuntely, he put the place on Kijiji in '45 to try to make a few bucks for an escape submarine or some nonsense. The old lads in Britain happened to be surfing the Kijiji that day looking for post-invasion property in Germany. Her Majesty's 145th Angels of Death squadron was promptly dispatched and quashed any realistic hope of getting more than $5 bucks for the place. Should have kept the sale private man.
Talk about your fixer upper. Well Adolf, you might want to speak with Ramses II - he seems to have this 'durability' theme going on with his stuff. At least his place is still coverd by his Contractor's 4,000 year warranty.
For the last hour, this man has been bragging about that little moon walk he took in '69. We get it, Neil. You're the moon walker in the room. Ramses is sitting cross legged on the floor staring reverantly into his face, and frankly it's getting a little creepy. Sigh. Yes, Neil, it's your turn now. Here he is in his little outdated space ship from '69. By the way, Neil, your secret is out. We know you saw Transformers on the moon in '69 when you "lost radio contact for 20 minute" or some nonsense. Michael Bay told us everything. I even saw it in 3D.
The planetary base of operations for moonwalker Neil Armstrong is located in the distant, exotic city of Cinncianti, Ohio. Is that a launch pad or swimming pool in the back yard, Neil?
Ok, we got a ton of photos this time around, and I need to get it done before Will Smith strangles Batman for looking cooler than he does and whupping him at Wii Fit. I told Batman that he is not allowed to use his grappling hook in my place, but who am I kidding here, Batman uses his grappling hook as often as you and I put on pants every morning. We are on borrowed time, let’s get moving:
We decided to go for the "ocean" feel in our master bedroom. Our floor is ocean blue, and our bed is a replica of a Viking funeral pyre.....maximum peace garunteed every night as you drift off to sleep, dreaming of Valhalla and ancient warrior ballads. Maybe it's just how we relax.
The most important room in any Italian's house is this one right here. The cradle of life. The pasta nursery. The orchard of opulence. The grazing garden.
Now this was a treat! We hired my wife's cousins who have their own masonry business in Virginia to come up to lay our stone. Shocking fact: We purchsed their airfare, hotel, car rental, fishing license, and paid their wage for exactly half the price of what the mason in Dryden wanted. Dryden is 100 km from our house while Virginia is 2,480 km from our house. I am not sure what to say about that. Like what did that Dryden mason include in his price??? I mean REALLY? Perhaps he was to be delivered on a litter borne by bronzed servants in leopard print loincloths. Perhaps he accounted for a warm milk bath at every lunch break. Ramses just interrupted me and smugly stated that he built the pyramids of Giza for free. Uh, yeah, about that Ramses, we need to get you caught up on slavery laws these days. They've changed just a tad. But I appreciate the suggestion.
So let's introduce you guys to the guys! (poor Engleece there Joe??) This here is Lyndon. Master of the 45 degree corner. In Lyndon's manly hands the rock wall became soft and palpable, like putty, succumbing to his will. This stone laying beast ran purely on chocolate chip cookies. Fortunately my wife kept an unstemmable flow of the doughy discs flowing to the job site to power this machine.
Steve. Lot's of Steves working on our house. Steve stands for stability. For suitability. For style. For straight rows. Look at that pencil in Steve's hand, ready to do as the master bids. Rumor has it that this man was involved in the very invention of rock itself. Hearsay perhaps. Steve used the alignment of the stars to lay his stone. Hm yes. Stars.
Ah yes. The patriarch of the family himself. The relenless Roger. Or "Uncle Rogg" as I prefer to call him. This man was hired by the US government to fix a bad case of acne that sprung up over night on Mt Rushmore in 09. It was a treat to watch the precision with which these guys put brick up on our house. The brick was basically begging to go up in their masterful hands. A harmony of man and nature. I am nearly in tears.
Our Auntie Ruth got right in there as well.....mixing up the mortar for the boys. Just like mixing up some fudge in the kitchen with the Bosch mixer. Work it Auntie Ruth, work it!
The cousins also hired this stranger off the street to hand them stone. However, he didn't last long and was laid off shortly after this photo was taken.
Work = happiness!
And here is the finished product............took them 2 1/2 days, and we positively love it! Hey Ramses, how long did those silly pyramids take you? You should have sweetened the deal with chocolate chip cookies and fishing licenses rather than using the ominous shadow of death as the motivating force. Not once did we discuss death while working on our wall Ramses. Not once.
And here are the cousins, Uncle and Aunt with their very happy clients. Side Note: You guys have no idea how long it took to take this picture. Self timers are just ridiculous. It was perched on the cement mixer and my wife ran back and forth so many times I am sure she got more rushing yards than the New England Patriots are going to get all season long. I assure you, all our smiles are superficial.........we all charged the cement mixer in a blind rage moments after this picture was taken and threw the camera into the bush before another photo could be taken.
After the guys finished up, we took them out to camp for some general frivolity. Here we are sallying forth to wage our war of attrition on the fishies. Here fishy feesh.
We went to the falls and caught supper........this was one of those days where I was reminded of the spectacular beauty of where we live.
No Ramses, we don't worship these any more, but they do appear on our currency. Have another cup of coffee Ramses. Batman, put Will Smith down. Almost done now.
THE GERMANS!!!! Actually, come to think of it, I'm pretty sure our cousins are Germans. But they are the nice Germans.
Here is Lyndon mastering the "Tim Tam Slam". Hilarious good times. Basically, you take a Tim Tam, bite off a corner at each end and then quickly dunk it in your coffee and start sucking like its a straw. As soon as you taste coffee, slam the whole gooey, chocolatey mess into your mouth. Very narrow window before it turns to putty in your fingers. What's that Ramses? Do I have any more Tim Tam's?? How about you just sit tight Ramses, we are nearly done. Go back to staring at your coffee.
So we have begun to move stuff in earnest to the new place.......here we packed our Xterra so full we had to get creative with a few of the remaining bags we managed to stuff in. You know, looking right at turns is over rated anyways. Just honk and turn baby. Honk and turn.
Why there is my wife!! I thought I packed her in here too but couldn't quite remember. Looks like it is about time to honk by this rare view out the right window.
Friends, here is a very special picture………..I was really excited about this one. A picture of firsts at the new house:
Our first role of toilet paper in the new washroom. Very big day for us. This poor little guy is just hanging out over there all by himself, not to be used for at least another week or so. I smell change on the wind. And it smells good. I want to turn this picture into a 1000 piece puzzle and put it together with my son/daughter one day.
Finally my friends, we have reached the end of relevant photos. I could continue a relentless barrage of nonsensical photos, but it sounds like Batman is getting the best of Will Smith upstairs, Neil Armstrong has just discovered Google Earth and is bickering that the view of earth no longer belongs to just him, and Adolf is playing with our BBQ lighter. I better go get things back under control up there. Besides, Ramses and I want more coffee.
As usual……only the photo of my best friend in the whole world left to go……
Can you tell we love life?? Who is driving that boat by the way......?