October 24, 2004

Uninhibited Chaos

Shane and Erin: The Tinfoil Hat Brigade

We got a kitchen table for our house this weekend. It may sound like a rather trivial affair, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I sat down at home with friends and family around a table. As far as I can recollect, it was probably when I was living in Hood River last summer with Michael, Motoshi and Miho. Since then, I’ve been hunched over a coffee table or standing at a counter in the kitchen.

A kitchen table (with chairs!) is a lovely thing. Not only does it cure the intense lower back pain I typically associate with eating, but it lets us play card games as well. One thing that’s becoming apparent in this household is that all three of us are fiercely competitive, and we do not win graciously nor lose gracefully. Any competition, whether realized in pool, games or cards, will be met with equal passion on all sides, as none among us can stand losing. This makes for some intense gaming, and while we are all good to laugh about it afterwards, taunting, gloating and threatening are all standard fare in the heat of competition.

With that, we’re much more civil when we’re working or cooking or playing or doing anything more constructive than competing with each other. I love living here. We are by far the coolest house in the neighborhood. All the neighbor kids wanna come over and hang out with us, whether we’re churning up the yard with heavy machinery, throwing the football, or jibbing curbs on our bikes. Parents occasionally need to come by to round up their children, and in reluctantly leaving the kids often need to be reminded of their other family back home.

It’s the small things, too. One of our favorite household activities is making hot water. At first we would put the kettle on the stove and ask if anyone else wanted tea, but so often we found ourselves opting for alternative hot beverages (like cocoa or cider or meth) that we found it more fitting to just ask if anyone else wanted hot water. The promise of hot water is actually a very exciting thing for us. Don’t knock it, unless you want a knife fight on your hands. We’ve got four pumpkin carving knives and only three people living here. You do the math. Or the meth. Whatever.

We are all super-geniuses, too. When we went out for lunch with Erin’s folks, the three of us got children’s menus and crayons. One night while cooking up dinner we all made tinfoil hats. Shane and I steal junk from the vacant lot across the street to build rails and ramps for our bikes. Every so often The Combine makes an appearance and everyone needs to run for their lives.

There is talk of getting a hot tub and a plasma screen television once we can take a break from tearing up the yard, but so far the most exciting features of this household are three snowboard bum slackers that let nothing get in the way of a good time.