Thursday, May 31, 2007

You Can Buy Land On The Moon!

This evening, Son, wriggling into his spiderman pyjamas in preparation for Dinosaurs and Dr. Seuss, voice muffled by the corner of his Winnie-the-Pooh binkie, spake unto me: "Daddy, I want to sleep in your bed".

This of course was uttered in the indescribable whine that only the parents of a two-to-five-year-old can come close to appreciating. Half of you know exactly what I mean. The other half have no fucking clue. Really. You think you know, but you really don't. Trust me.

A perverse compulsion, no doubt supernatural in origin, came over me, and I could not restrain myself. "Why?" I asked. Son gave me The Look. This was a look that seemed to say "What the hell kind of idiot are you?" He learned this look from his mother.

Too polite to express his low esteem of my intellectual gifts, the conversation proceeded thusly:

Self: Why do you want to sleep in our bed?
Son: Because I love it.
Self: But why don't you want to sleep in your own bed?
Son: Because I want to sleep in yours.
Self: But why? You have a very nice bed.
Son: But. But. But. I don't want to sleep in mine.
Self: What's wrong with it?
Son: I want to sleep in yoouuuurrrrs..

So of course I caved. I mean, really, who has the time? This, to me, represented a perfect tautology. Ayn Rand would be proud. A is A. Son, going on four years of age, has not yet learned the necessary skill of self-justification. He wants to sleep in my bed because that's what I fucking want! Why do I need a reason?

Prima facie, this phenomena seems confined to children and the insane, which would seem to indicate that the behavior that governs justification, or motivational invention, is either a learned behavior, or, if innate, is encoded in neural structures that, by age five, are not yet mature enough to allow the kind of profound self-deception the rest of us take for granted.

An adult, considering a change in venue for the evening, might concoct any number of inanities -- "Because the front room is quieter, darker, cooler, warmer, has better feng shui", whatever -- and convince themselves of that very proposition. This is not technically a lie, the master bedroom may possess any one of these many fine qualities and more, but the fundamental pre-linguistic, pre-justified motivation, rarely examined, is simple: I want it.

It's a funny old thing, the brain.

And on the subject of completely unjustifiable desire: I received spam the other day that suggested in bold type that it is now possible to -- I'm not kidding here -- buy land on the moon. Yes, you too can own a piece of our nearest celestial neighbor. Real estate speculators are apparently snatching up this valuable acreage in a land-grab that rivals that of the 1849 California Gold Rush.

This communique seemed sent from God himself, and spoke directly to the Sci-Fi centers of my brain.

As you may have guessed by now, I'm not really an expert in anything, and real estate is no exception, but as I put pen to paper to apply for the necessary mortgage, I seemed to recall some trite pearl of wisdom identifying the three cardinal rules of real estate as "location, location, location". Too, common sense tells me that one good reason to own land, aside from raising puppies or medicinal marijuana, is to build something on it.

These two basic tenets seem to diverge somewhat from the concept of buying land that's four hundred thousand kilometers from the nearest flush toilet, let alone schools, shops, and businesses.

I mean, think of the commute.

And so, common sense has weighed in, and I am swayed by it's persuasive arguments and feminine charms. Against the express wishes of co-workers and neighbors, I shan't be moving to the moon any time soon.

There are those, however, for whom proprietorship of a slice of the Mare Tranquillitas holds an irresistible allure. To such a visionary, I would wish the best of luck and ask that, fifty years from now, as they relax on the porch swing of their lunar retirement cottage, sipping their lunar lemonade and watching the earth choke to death on smog, drown in the "globally warmed" ice caps, and blog about American Idol, they try not to rub it in our faces too much.

Visionaries: click here. Realists: Have another drink.

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