Thursday, April 13, 2006

Play Structure

I’ve been feeling more stress than I normally enjoy lately. It’s all about birthdays. Birthdays should not be stressful, but for me, this year, they are giving me stomach pains. They are an ever-present monkey on my back, and he’s whispering, “Move your fat ass, boy. There’s work to be done.”

It is not helping matters that Mother Nature is not cooperating, what with the suddenly near-freezing temperatures and all the F***KING rain this week. To top things off, my real job is busy now as well. It is staying dark a little later now, but that doesn’t help me if I’m stuck inside at work. What a drag.

You see, I am to be building a “play structure” in the back yard for the boys’ birthdays this year. The goal here is for me to finish said undertaking before May 10th, and to have the boys walk into the back yard and see it for the first time on their birthdays. What a Kodak Moment that will be.

Before I go on with my story, a slight detour. Why are they called play structures now? Why can’t they just be jungle gyms like they were when I grew up? Play structure doesn’t even sound like fun.

Jungle Gym? Fun.
Play Structure? Not fun.

Jungle Gym? Exotic.
Play Structure? Anal retentive.

Jungle Gym? You know, for kids?
Play Structure? You know, for sexually uninhibited, consenting adults.

I have the plans – bought ‘em on EBay. But not after agonizing over dozens of websites and magazines, and browsing the aisles of BJs, Lowes, and Home Depot. Did you know that for only $25,000 you could have a play structure like this?

I was violently ill with the thought of some jackass out there actually spending that kind of money on a toy. If I had that kind of available cash, I’d built a tree fort and start a club – Get Rid Of Slimy girlS.

I had the layout all planned, interconnecting it with the sand box and the other project I’m working on (more on that later) until my lovely wife decided it belonged in another corner of the yard (smile and say those two precious words . . . yes, dear).

So now, I don’t know where it’s going. I don’t know when I’ll be able to work on it – rain tomorrow, showers Saturday, Easter Sunday, and Monday through Thursday traveling for work. And I don’t know how I am going to deal with the stress of the possibility of disappointing my children on their birthdays.

But I do know that Pat McGee is playing in town tonight, and I’ll be there. Maybe good music and a beer or two will ease my pain.