Thursday, December 22, 2011


Do you remember the game, Blockhead, from back in the '70s and '80s?  Players would take turns stacking colorful blocks of various shapes and sizes in such as way as to balance their blocks on the sometimes tottering stack, while at the same time making it difficult for the following players to find a spot to successfully position their own blocks.

Apparently it is still available, but not with the cool '70s look I remember.

Blockhead was fun as a game.

But when we're talking real life, and the constant state of one's countertops, tabletops, and any other horizontal surface in one's home, life can get a bit dicey.

I've learned to live in a state of heightened awareness of the potentialities such a situation affords.  I'm always cautious of how I set something down, lest it start an avalanche that will pull over the last several months' worth of debris, and cause the contents of an entire countertop to slither and slide, and tumble and rumble, quickly to the floor.  This morning I saw something that might have brought a more timid soul to her trembling knees.  I, however, am thoroughly acclimated to living within this constant state of, uh, expectancy.

One of the places in our home that seems to constantly build up clutter and then also consequently have that same clutter tumble and slide to the floor is the half-wall that divides our upstairs hallway from the stairs to the basement.  The stacks in this location can get a little more precarious than those in other locations, since the tumbling papers and toys and books and other miscellany pose an additional risk to any poor unfortunate who might be walking up the stairs at the moment an avalanche occurs.

And yet, still we stack.

Today, as I was walking from the kitchen to the living room, walking along that previously described half-wall, I noticed the all too familiar, precariously stacked oddments along the top edge of the wall.  But then, shudder, I saw a disaster of worse than usual potential, just waiting to happen.

Now picture with me.  The heap of junk that is sitting upon the top of the wall consists of several layers of books, papers, magazines, notebooks, puzzles, and games, among other sundry flotsom of life with ten kids.  Each layer gets a little wider, so that along the top of what is a mere seven inch horizontal surface, the pile that accumulates is perhaps a foot high, but might also be a foot wide or even more.  The edges hang over the hallway floor, but also teeter dangerously above the stairway.

This morning, as I passed this jumble,... there... sitting upon the top of everything... as nice as could be... only slightly askew,... sat one of Joe's pint jars that uses for drinking glasses.. serenely waiting there... with about three inches of coffee in the bottom.  There it sat, just looking for an opportunity to creep off at the slightest nudge.  Just waiting for one of the overhanging edges to get bumped or jostled.  Just waiting.

Heavens to mergatroyd!  I grabbed it quickly. 

A disaster dodged.  Am I ever glad I saw it when I did.

No comments: