I don?t generally watch the glitzy Hollywood award shows on TV, but I happened to catch the final half hour of last weekend?s Oscars. I quickly became aware of two things.
First, my tastes in cinematic excellence must be way off, because while the Academy honored depressing film after depressing film after deeply and horrifically and bone-chillingly depressing film, I?m rooting for ?Olaf the Snowman.?
Second, the reality that I live in is not the reality of the A-list personalities on the screen.
I don?t say that in the sense of ?those Hollywood nut-bags are a bunch of self-absorbed, whiney, entitled sissies who need to stop playing make-believe and get a real job.? You know, if you can?t say something nice….
What I do mean, though, is this: Here are all of these talented people dressed elegantly and celebrating the highest performances in their industry, while I?m sitting in my sweatpants with a can of Diet Coke celebrating the fact that?at least for now?my basement floor is dry.
The weekend before, wife Hanna?s aunt and grandparents stopped by for a few minutes. This was the grandparents? first time seeing our new home, so while I sat in the living room keeping everyone distracted, Hanna was scurrying around the house, picking things up before the inevitable Grande Tour would begin.
I believe we were discussing how to change the size of icons on a desktop computer (Answer: you google how.) when Hanna walked into the room and, smiling, said in the sweetest voice, ?There?s water in the basement, honey.?
This quickly explained the concerned look the cat had been giving me all afternoon. A tiny canoe was docked next to his litter box under the stairs.
Luckily the water was clear and the carpet was easily rolled to higher ground and a Shop-Vac was only a phone call away.
Once the floor was dried again, I naively thought we were in the clear, which is why the next morning, for literally only the second time in the six months we have been in this house, we stupidly ran both showers at the same time.
This time the backup water wasn?t clear. And it wasn?t all water.
After I was done with the Shop-Vac, I made a trip to the store for latex gloves, plastic putty knives and a cheap dust pan, though I?ll leave the intended use to your imagination. And then I burned my shoes.
Plumber Matt arrived the next day and, using a contraption he must have ordered from the Columbia Pictures ?Ghostbusters? prop surplus store, rooted out our pipes, and all has been well since.
Yet in the back of my mind, even while watching the Oscars, I?m still worried it?ll happen again.
Though Robert de Niro?s speech to introduce the best screenplay nominees did catch my attention: ?The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing. Isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination and consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that?s on a good day.?
That might explain this column.