Anyone got a few bricks I can borrow?

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     My grandfather, on my Dad’s side, was badly crippled with arthritis his whole adult life.

     I can only guess at the amount of pain he lived with—-pain made visible in the gnarled fingers that could only sort-of grasp the ever ready cane at his side.

Just a few bricks short----among other things     I have to think that his occasional short temper and sometimes “crotchety” nature were in part a reflection of this pain he lived with on a daily basis.  There were six of us kids growing up in the big, old, two-family farmhouse—-and there was always one of us that was deserving of one of his favorite admonishments, “Use your head for something besides a hat rack.” 

     Now, none of us kids would have ever been “clinically” considered to be, “A few bricks short of a full load.”  In fact we all had to carry our bricks with pride.  I like to think this was just his way of pushing us kids to perform even better—-when we would occasionally not quite meet his expectations—-or trip over his cane chasing each other around the house.

     I got to thinking about this the other day in relation to people being “smart,” and what it means to be “smart” as opposed to “dumb-as-a-bag-of-hammers.”

     One would like to think that people that break the law are some how less “smart” than the rest of us.  I had something occur at an inspection the other day that made me think about this in a different way.

     I tend to think that really smart people can still do really dumb things—-perhaps no different than my grandfather used to point out some 55 years ago.

     Try this question out on yourself—-would you have thought of this?

     The house I was inspecting had been vacant for 9 months.

     Would you have thought to use the address of this house to have a “mystery package” delivered to it—-in order to avoid having it delivered directly to your own address?”

     My grandfather would have still said, “Use your head for something besides a hat rack.”  

     I found it very clever—-

—-if not “smart.”

Charles Buell


Seattle Home Inspectors, ASHI Home Inspector, Licensed Home Inspector, Structural Pest Inspector, Charles Buell Inspections Inc, Seattle, WA


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