I remember it well. It was a bright summer morning, though it may not have actually been bright, nor summer, nor morning. I was riding with a friend and her family, or maybe just a friend, or maybe 2 or more friends through a residential area next to or just somewhat near a country club in or around Brownsville, Texas. I remember it clearly, looking around at all the fine somewhere-between-lower-middle-and-upper-upper-class homes in the neighborhood when one in particular caught my complete rapt attention. In the front yard of an otherwise modest house was a tremendous sundial. It was substantially large, built directly into the ground, potentially visible from space by a reasonably priced spy satellite assuming of course that said satellite knew where to look.
It was then in the car or truck or van possibly surrounded by other people that I realized this fundamental human truth: Money can’t buy you love, or happiness, or pretty much anything else a human might consider important, but it can buy you stuff that makes you more eccentric than the guy living next door.
Yes it was in that instant that I knew that to be truly eccentric you must be truly wealthy. And as this revelation took root with me, I realized a particular corollary, the other advantage to wealth is the ability to afford to make people do things they would not do for free. In other words, I realized that I wanted money so that I could willingly live a life others would not envy and pay people to live a life they would not otherwise choose. And almost that quickly, the impetus for my dream house grew to consume and illuminate my desire.
First, outside my house are an array of pink flamingos stuck in the ground. Not the fake plastic ones, these are real, honest to goodness pink flamingos with one leg tied to their body and the other buried in the ground. Since their pink color is derived from the particular components of their environment in the wild, they need extensive care and grooming. For this highly specialized task, I have in my employ a flamingoherd. I demand that this critical element of my eccentric brand of eccentricity be dressed as the Crocodile Hunter, the safari get-up he used to wear and not the suit I assume he was buried in. And thus begins our adventure through Casa del Fuwjax, an eclectic mix of absurdity of situation and occupation.
As a wealthy land owner, it is my solemn duty to have a limo and a driver. For my ride, I will only be seen in a canary yellow stretch Geo Storm circa 1992 complete with hot tub. The driver’s uniform is the “Gemini” costume which the artist now known as the artist formally known as Prince wore in his Batdance video. You might remember it as the half Batman, half Joker suit. I require that the driver always face me with the side that I want to see at the time, and yell at him if he isn’t psychic enough to know which side that is. There’s just something inherently appealing to be complaining at a cocktail party with all my fellow eccentrites that just the other day my driver opened my door as Joker when arriving at my great grandmother’s half sister’s nephew’s funeral when clearly it is a Batman occasion.
But enough with the lawn and the car, we’re here to get a mental image of the house proper. And so we enter the main foyer and turn left to the formal dining room. A delightful room meant to capture all the pleasantries and accoutrements of a Neolithic Era cave complete with fire pit, animal bones and “running water”; a well-fed trickle that flows down the north wall. But no need to be afraid of that fire pit or the neanderthal working the pig-on-a-spit. That’s a fake fire, nothing more than a box fan and some crepe paper streamers a la high school drama. The pig too is a fake, a plastic pig on a plastic spit with a plastic apple in its plastic mouth. The neanderthal is also fake, depending on perspective, I pay him to wear his fake fur and fake beard and turn the fake pig on the fake spit over the fake fire for the amusement of my dinner guests. I figure if they’re going to dine crouched over fine granite rocks on fine clay floors, they might want a little ambiance to complete the mood.
But we will not dine on Neanderthal cuisine! No, I have a kitchen stocked with every ingredient imaginable. A short walk from the dining cave through a wine bar leads to the doorway to the kitchen. And from this exact spot, you may notice that the kitchen is decorated in black and white checkerboard. You’ll also notice some discomfort though as you realize that this checkerboard is actually an optical illusion, the kitchen is actually painted with odd shapes so that from the perspective of the doorway, it appears that the kitchen is instead a solid checkerboard wall. You’ll notice too that the chef is not wearing traditional white, but is also clothed to blend in with the rest of the pattern. Oh, you didn’t notice the chef there? Well, that’s because he is paid to hold the exact position required for him to blend in whenever I stand at the doorway. In hindsight perhaps I should have picked a color scheme that didn’t require him to stand en pointe for the half hour or so it takes me every night to decide the dinner menu.
Next, to the rest and relaxation room. In designing the house, I realized that there were large amounts of water in a pool, and large amounts of water in the restrooms of most normal houses. I decided that it would make more sense to have all that water in one location. And voila, the rest and relaxation room was born. You’ll notice the predominant fixture is the two story waterfall which serves as both a filtration system and a shower, the rest of the room being a lazy river of sorts. Since everyone just relieves themselves in the lazy river, there is no need for toilet facilities, though for those needing a little more privacy, there is a small cave behind the waterfall which serves nicely. You’ll notice the man over there in full scuba gear holding a goldfish net. I’ll leave it to your imagination as to exactly what his job entails.
The final stop of our tour is the master bedroom. I have grown weary of having anything in my bedroom other than the bed, so you’ll notice that aside from a single end table, there is only the Texas King size bed. Oh, yes, it’s not a standard size; I guess you could say it makes a California King look like a California Queen. And I suppose it is somewhat difficult to determine exactly what size the bed is, since there is ceiling to ceiling sheep skin covering the entire room. I had all the furniture moved in and then a giant sheepskin draped over the entire room, covering the furniture and walls. Basically, to go to sleep, you just climb into bed and pull over a fold in the sheepskin as a cover. Terribly comfy but just as difficult to keep clean, so I’ve got someone on staff to clean the sheepskin top to top everyday with a fine toothed comb and a soft bristled toothbrush.
This concludes our tour. Perhaps one day you could come back for a look at the game room, the gardens, and the guest house. Until then remember, everyone has a price, and if you have the funds to cover the expense you might as well get what you pay for. The decorum of eccentricity demands it. Feel free to take a lap around the lazy river on your way out.
Aren’t we all just resourceful poor? For the record, I would totally pay someone to spin a fake pig on a spit made out of beer cans over a fake fire made of license plates.
But, Mike, sometimes the most eccletic people/places I know are those who, in their need to use every available resource to it’s best function, cover houses with old license plates and make hats from smashed beer cans. Not the rich, but the resourceful poor.