The last time you went for a drive in the country, did you happen to notice the number of things that had been abandoned? Houses, barns, sheds, cars, trucks, tractors, and lawn mowers, to name a few. And not just abandoned. The buildings were all slowly rotting away, leaning at odd angles, covered in kudzu and ivy, roofs collapsed, all slowly heading into a permanent horizontal position. The cars and trucks were sporting busted windows and flat tires, along with weeds and scrub bushes, and tree seedlings that now made up the passenger list on a trip to nowhere. And all the other equipment lying around, that used to have a purpose, was now rusting away in silent protest.
What in the world were the owners thinking? Letting something of value, that could have been sold at a discount, rented, dismantled and recycled, or taken to the junkyard for even a few bucks turn into something of no value at all. And an eyesore to boot.
Let’s listen in for a clue:
Ma: Gee Pa, why don’t you repair the roof, clean out the snakes and mice, and rent out the old house in back? And get the ‘55 Buick running, the wreck the goat sleeps in?
Pa: Maybe later. I’m too busy watching Judge Judy reruns and plotting how I can go to law school and be on TV too. All it would take would be a detailed action plan and personal resolve. Besides, the old place reminds me of an Andrew Wyeth painting. It’s like a free masterpiece in 3D just beyond the fence line.
Ma: How about this? As you finalize your get-rich-quick plan number 514, we could apply for a tax deduction for having created the first ever landlocked reef to promote local flora and fauna in their natural habitat. You know, just like when states dump car tires into the ocean to attract fish.
Pa: So the more the old house collapses, even more plants and animals move in. Perfect. But wait, don’t we need some income for a tax deduction to work?
Ma: No problem. We’ll charge admission for people to see our Reef World. I’m sure Disney will even want in on the action.
Pa: I knew there must have been a reason I married you. Why don’t you hitchhike down to the 7-Eleven and pick up some cold beer to celebrate our new-found wealth?
Ma: Maybe tomorrow. I need a nap. Thinking wears me out.