Do any of you remember the TV show from the 70's called "Zoom"? It was a PBS show produced by WGBH in Boston and it was the first television program hosted entirely by kids.
Anyone remember it? No? Damn, I'm getting old!
When I was a little boy, "Zoom" was one of my favorite TV shows. One episode, in particular, made a very memorable impression on me. In it, the "Zoom" kids went to visit a man who had built these incredible treehouses in the forest, all of them on different trees and connected with one another via an elaborate system of planks and walkways. It was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen and, from that day on, I became obsessed with treehouses.
Sadly, I never got my treehouse. Instead, I scoured the streets looking for people who had bought new appliances and were throwing the boxes away on the street. Back then, finding a refrigerator box was a huge score. I'd drag the box home, carve out some windows with an Exacto knife, paint the sides, and throw in my sleeping bag. Voila! Instant treehouse! Once finished, I would hole myself inside the box for days with my collection of comics, my baseball cards and my Encyclopedia Brown books. Ahhh...good times, my friends. Good times.
Anyway, in the latest of my "Only in New York" series, I've discovered that one of the latest trends in local parenting is to have a professional architect build your kid's treehouse. According to this NY Magazine article, some of these treehouses are going for prices well over $100,000!!!
Here are two examples of what you get for your money...
How amazingly cool is that? Man, I'm 37 years old and I'd STILL love to have a treehouse like that. In fact, that one treehouse on the right looks bigger than my first apartment in Manhattan. And I'll bet it doesn't have crack whores living next door either!
Now, I know some of you are going to rant about the moral depravity involved in dropping that kind of dough on a fucking treehouse. After all, the disparity beween the rich and poor in this country is growing faster than Rush Limbaugh's rap sheet. The number of CEOs making over $20 million per year has increased exponentially over the past few years (even as the companies they managed went bankrupt) and more and more people are struggling like hamsters in a giant Habitrail just to maintain a middle-class standard of living. Our national and personal savings accounts are the lowest they've been in generations. Our health care system is an Orweillian nightmare. And the paltry amount of money spent on education in this country seems likely to ensure that future generations will probably be woefully unprepared to compete in the global marketplace.
Now, many of you know I don't like to discuss politics on this site. However, I will say that I'm generally in favor of capitalism. As Dennis Miller once said, all the other systems have worked out about as well as a Lee Greenwood booking in Baghdad. My only beef with the system is that it puts a bunch of crusty old rich guys on Capitol Hill in charge of determining how best to allocate resources so that we have better schools and social programs to help those who are less fortunate.
Besides, let's be honest. Who among us doesn't want to be rich? Who hasn't bought a lottery ticket when the jackpot is over $200 million? Who doesn't want to never worry about providing for one's family? Nobody should feel guilty about it. Trying to get rich is practically our national pastime.
It's heartening to see guys like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates give away the vast majority of their fortunes in order to improve the betterment of mankind. I hope they motivate other rich dudes to do the same thing. However, if they'd rather spend their money on treehouses that cost $100K? Well, God bless 'em. Who are we to tell anybody how to spend their own money? Sorry. It doesn't work like that, comrades!
Anyway, I'm babbling. I'd just like to end this by saying that if any uber-wealthy readers out there would like to buy my family a $100K treehouse, we'd be more than happy to accept your largess.
Alternatively, we'll also take any empty refrigerator boxes you might have.
(By the way, on the off chance that there are any "older" readers out there who, like me, fondly remember the TV show "Zoom," then check this out.)