April 11, 2011

Fort Pickens, Florida

Fort Pickens, Florida

A punchably positive viral video that popped up like a smiley-faced genital wart a couple weeks ago featured four chipper young SoCal Caucasians seeking seed money to help them skip merrily across America building forts with strangers.

That’s right”€”forts. With strangers, too!

While optimistically building their colorful forts with strangers, they planned to share powerful stories of empowerment while others swapped stories in return, then they”€™d share the powerfully empowering results with others online, culminating in an antiseptically orgasmic global moment exploding in iridescent soapy bubbles of shared power and empowered sharing.

By building forts where no forts need to be.

If you can”€™t stand the blinding gleam radiating from their teeth on that linked video, I”€™ve helpfully transcribed some of the more pertinent messages:

“€œCan a fort profoundly change the way you live?…interact?…share?…empower?…Could building a fort be the start of a conversation that grows you and your community into something exceptional?…Engage this wonderful and mysterious process that knows no national borders….”€

One would hope this is all a joke and this video is but a parody of mindless veggie-burping hipster zombies à la Portlandia, but at the moment it seems as if these bright little fort-building baby beavers are absolutely sincere.

“€œYou don”€™t build it to get closer to strangers, but to get away from them.”€

If so, they obviously have no idea why someone would build a fort. You don”€™t build it to get closer to strangers, but to get away from them.

I”€™ve spent the last three days making the house I rent safer from strangers.

In open sunshine last Wednesday afternoon, a group of burglars pried open the sliding-glass door in the back of a house two doors down from ours. It was the second time they”€™d busted into that place.

Upon hearing the news, I bolted upright with primal alertness and set about securing our house’s numerous entrances with the pounding, piston-driving ferocity of a Rocky montage. It was as if I”€™d chugged down a 32-ounce Big Gulp of undiluted testosterone in one swallow. I made numerous fevered trips to Walmart and Home Depot to buy sliding locks and chains and steel brackets and deadbolts and self-locking door handles and loop latches and hinges. I drilled and hammered and inhaled steel shavings and wood flakes until every possible burglar’s entrance was clamped down and locked in and slammed shut and forever impenetrable. After three days of screwing and grunting as if I was in a porn movie, I had placed a total of 41 new locking devices both inside and outside the house. For the wife and two-year-old son, I set up a concealed “€œpanic room”€ protected by multiple door layers.

My wife grew up here in Stone Mountain, GA, and the main reason we rented this place is because her gracious, helpful, and perplexingly inoffensive parents live only ten minutes away in the house where she used to live. Almost everyone else I”€™ve met in Stone Mountain is also cool.


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