Useless Utilitarianism

About 12 years ago, when I lived in Eleven-Miles-from-the-Middle-of-Nowhere, I built a cabinet.  At first I thought it was the best idea – it held all my video game systems in one place and I could play any one whenever I wanted.  I hooked up my Atari 2600, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega, Game Cube, Dreamcast, N64, PS1, and eventually Wii in one place and hooked up to a (then) hi-def projector.  Admittedly, it was a childish endeavor.

I’ve done it again at my new house.  I’d like to say I’ve grown up, but there are a glaring number of similarities between creating a place to hold a bunch of video games and a place to hold a bunch of tools.

IMG_1873

This is where I go when I need to feel manly.  It’s also where I cry.

With the game cabinet: I am by no means a “gamer”.  I’ll play Dr. Mario or Zelda for about a half hour, but I’ve never played a God or War; I only know that a “MMOG” exists, I don’t know what it is.  Yet, I spent hours creating a cabinet, buying the parts, and figuring the logistics of connecting all those wires so that I had the option to play video games should I choose.  I rarely chose.

With the workbench: I am by no means a “wrencher”.  I’ll get an idea once in a while and spend an hour making a box or fixing a My Little Pony toy; I know that a “fuel pump” exists, but I have no idea what it looks like.  Yet I spent hours creating this bench, buying the parts, and figuring the logistics of what tools go where so that I can tinker with things quickly and efficiently.  I rarely tink.

I spent hours on the game cabinet knowing that I would never play an actual Nintendo game – you have to put the game in just right, you have to push it down, just far enough, and if that doesn’t work, you have to blow it in (put don’t spit in it, because that make it worse) – I just wanted to fulfill a childhood dream of playing tons of video games in the basement where no one can bother me.  Cuz no one understands me.  And Alice in Chains rules.

I spent hours on the workbench knowing that I would never build anything worthwhile – there’s way too much measuring, cutting, sanding, and staining to make it worth it; I can buy the same thing at Ikea for $59 (and it has a cool name like GRÖNKULLA) – I just wanted to fulfill an adult dream of fixing things in the garage where no one can bother me.  Cuz these kids today.  And Muse rules.

People don’t really change that much.

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