Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Why FedEx Cannot Find My House

I own a house, or, at least, I live in a house and pay the mortgage, though not to the bank where I got the mortgage, but to someone who bought it from someone who bought it from someone who bought the mortgage from the bank.  Nevertheless, since I do all of the maintenance before paying someone to fix the maintenance that I do, it's my house.

Frankly, I never really imagined owning a house.  An apartment was one heck of a responsibility and one that I don't think I really lived up to.  Nevertheless, I love the house, and I bought it for a pretty nice price.

The house, however, has two significant problems.  Now, because it was built in 1940, it has lots of little problems, but I've decided that these are charming idiosyncrasies that I can live with.

(I'm pretty sure that's what my friends think about me, by the way.  I've always been lucky in my friends.  After all, they could decide that I either need to be torn down, remodeled or sold to someone unsuspecting.  Instead, they endure or even embrace my nonsense.)

The first problem is the kudzu.  Somehow, when I bought the house, I missed the fact that the kudzu-infested lot it sits on would be mine as well.  No, I was enchanted by hardwood floors and a roomy basement, and completely missed the giant mounds of kudzu climbing over the invasive bamboo, artistically enhanced by the English ivy, poison ivy, wild thorn bushes and wisteria.  I've been fighting foot-by-foot, injury-by-injury, expletive-by-expletive and have reached a kind of d├ętente for the moment.  But resumption of hostilities is due in March.

The second problem is that house's street address is not actually on the house's street.

Go ahead; read that sentence again.  I'll wait.

Understand?  The house is located on, say, Caprica Street, but the address is 540 Tauron Drive.  (For non-Battlestar Galactica fans and other aliens: no those are not real streets in my city.  If they were, I'd definitely live on one of them, but they're not, so don't worry about it.)  You see, the house is on a corner lot, and the address of the lot is 540 Tauron Drive (again, not really), but the driveway is actually on Caprica Street.  The house also faces Caprica Street and is directly across from another corner lot, one with a house and driveway on Caprica Street, but with a Caprican address.  Those are my beloved neighbors, those lucky smegs, and it must be said that they treat me like any other Caprican, politely ignoring the fact that I'm really a Tauron.  And they always have a Guinness for me in the fridge. 

Meanwhile, if the trees have leafed out and/or the Bamboo-Kudzu Alliance has regained a foothold in my territory, you can't even see the driveway from Tauron Drive.

So in order to get to my house, you need to follow the directions that I give you.  They're good directions, too, with both street names and landmarks, so no matter which species you belong to, you can understand and follow them.  Unfortunately, just because people can do things doesn't mean that they will.

Most people, when I start to give directions to my house, nod politely and ignore me.  And while this is an appropriate way to respond when I start whining about how annoying plastic covered paperclips are, it's not an appropriate response when I'm trying to save you from wandering around and around Lake Sagittarion, searching for an address on Tauron Drive that does not appear to exist.  But, you see, those head-nodders are thinking, "Yes, yes, that's all very well, but I have technology!  I don't need maps and directions, for I have a GPS!"

Poor, poor fools.  You see, GPS is like the Deep Thought computer; some gps devices do bring their owners safely to my house, but others, many others, do not.  Instead, they bring their owners to a wall of trees and invasive species bunkers where they pause, back up, go forward, circle around, and, eventually, curse expressively, especially if they didn't bring the phone number that I insisted they take in case they got lost.  Because they knew they wouldn't.  Because of GPS.  Which basically spat "42" at them and left them stranded, none the wiser.

The strangely fascinating part of this problem is noting which organizations can find my house and which ones can't.  The city can find me; so can the gas company and UPS.  But FedEx, AT&T and the cable company are completely flummoxed.  I don't feel guilty about any of this; I didn't designate the lot Tauron, nor did I build the house like a Caprican.  And I do give directions.  I even explain about the failures of GPS and Deep Thought; it's not my fault that FedEx doesn't hire more Douglas Adams fans.

I do worry about the pizza guys, though.  I keep imagining them weeping on the shores of Lake Sagittarion while the large pepperoni slowly congeals.  Tragic figures, those pizza guys.


  1. Maybe you should try pouring some Guinness on the kudzu. If it doesn't kill the kudzu(a high probability if you ask me)then maybe it would create some kind of Sci-Fi creature that would become a good drinking buddy.

  2. I smiled through this whole post! You are wildly entertaining! Just so you know, or I hope you would have reasonably guessed, I will NOT ready any other professor's blog....OR add their blog into my Outlook RSS feeds, as I have yours, so I can instantaneously see when you do your blogging...You make me chuckle.

    Stacey L.