The American Dream

By Paul Beckman

The koi pond I made is leaking and I have to fill it every day. The squirrels are eating the seeds from my bird feeders and nothing I can do will stop them. It’s costing me a fortune on birdseed. I trap at least one mouse a day in my home and the exterminator says if I get rid of the bird feeders I’ll most likely get rid of the mice. My light bulbs blow out constantly because of the frequent power surges that the power company can’t fix and my electrician can’t find the problem either, although he’s installed two costly surge suppressors. The skylight has a tiny crack in the corner and leaks onto the wall but only when there’s a nor’easter, which is not that frequent so there’s no sense in spending the money right now to replace it. The weeds are growing up through the cracks around the pool and I have to spray them constantly; speaking of the pool, the filter’s on its last season and the pool man told me that I’d be better off installing a new one now because you know the cost is going up next year. And speaking of cost, the oil company called and asked if I want to lock in fuel next year at this year’s price or take my chances, and if I want to lock it in to please send a check to cover the first five hundred gallons. Pollen is sticking to the vinyl on the north side of the house again so the power washing people will be out for their annual annuity. The refrigerator is making strange noises and the microwave only works intermittently and both are out of warranty. The carpet in the family room is starting to show its wear and the deck needs to be stained again and, while I’m at it, even though the house siding is vinyl the trim is wood and is a season or two past the needed paint job. A bird built a nest inside my garage door opener and I have to park my car outside and hose off the garage floor every day.

The newspapers and the TV news are constantly talking about all of the foreclosures going on. Some people don’t realize good fortune when it’s staring them in the face.


Paul Beckman is a real estate salesman, a writer, snorkeler, traveler and photographer. Last year his 105 year old aunt and his dog died but he has no current plans for replacing either.
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