They’re locked into his head as “man moments” for all eternity. He’ll fondly recall them often and without prompting, over and over again for the duration of his lifetime, likely expecting his feats to be carried down as oral legends on through to future generations.
Over two thousand years ago, these moments would have been something akin to Alexander the Great breaking the back of the Persian Empire at Gaugamela. Now, they’re more likely to be finding a quick route to a party around massive fourth of July fireworks traffic (WHICH I totally did in 2002 by parking across the Sea Bright bridge in the Holy Cross parking lot, walking across the bridge to the fireworks on the beach, catching them, hiking back over the bridge, hopping in the car and taking the back route via Seven Bridges Road to get to my friend’s party in Long Branch in 20 minutes instead of the TWO HOURS it took anyone else to make it to the party. IT WAS TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!!!).
I bring this up because I’m currently being put to my greatest man challenge of all time. The wife, having existed in the world of Japan for most of her life, is now trying to adapt to life in the States. I’m constantly posed with problems that require on-the-spot man solutions.
Perhaps my crowning achievement was my solution to the air conditioning problem yesterday. In our transitional period, we’re staying with my ‘rents, who love a constant stream of cold air at a temperature that would kill most Japanese people.
The wife was slowly dying, so we taped the vent shut, closed the door, and opened the windows to the hot and humid world outside, allowing her to live like a shut-in hikikomori in relative comfort, packing on Mt. Everest expedition winter gear for journeys to kitchen and bathroom.
But alas, the tape was no solution. Condensation was gathering on the tape and dripping down the paint, an event that would drive my mother, a member of the Martha Stewart Army of Perfect Household Percetion, completely insane.
What were we to do?
Like the great Alexander, it was time to put up or shut up. While my dad unscrewed the vent and peered at it in desperation, wondering how equilibrium could be achieved between two womens’ warring viewpoints, we were starring at defeat without a single solution to save us.
That was when I saw it…
Recently unpacked and laying on the ground, was my magical soccer ball, sitting there, waiting for its epic glory, a perfect sphere. The vent was cylindrical. Like two pieces of something important, I looked to the circular vent hole and back at the spherical soccer ball. Then, like a two-year old sticking cylinder shapes in the cylinder holes and triangle shapes in the triangle holes, I quickly (and without a lot of practical thought) picked up the soccer ball and jammed it in the vent.
I struck a pose like Napoleon standing upon a mountain of victory.
Due to the beauty of physics and scientific shit, we later kinda guessed that the air in the ball was the perfect buffer between the warm, humid air and the cold air coming from the vent. I can’t say I really thought about that at the time, but I will say I’d thought of it in future re-tellings of this tale (Hint: Eventually the vent will be a tiger’s mouth).
The wife is now marginally surviving her borderline hikikomori life, the mother is kind of, somewhat able to deal with the vent not being on the wall, and Alexander the Great can eat a dick, cause I’m fucking amazing!!!!