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By Jason Offutt
The shed had to go. It stood in our backyard like an ancient shrine from a forgotten civilization that worshipped moldy plywood.
Well, the shed didn’t actually stand, it sort of slumped. Its use as a shed had been limited to housing whatever yard tools I tossed into it and never retrieved, but its use as a bathroom for all the neighborhood cats must have been legendary. I’m surprised I never saw a line of them outside with little newspapers tucked under their arms.
I never really had a negative feeling toward the shed. I mean it was like having my own personal inter-dimensional garbage disposal. I threw things in and they never came out. But during the two years I’ve owned my house this building has gone from a friendly unlimited storage chamber and feline Porta Potty to something wicked that might swallow my children.
As the only man who could take care of the shed without expecting money, I had to destroy this menace before it destroyed me. Which I did, with nothing but a crow bar, a sledgehammer and my own teeth.
There’s something about demolishing a house (albeit a house the size of a minivan) with a sledgehammer that gives a man a feeling of accomplishment, and makes him crave bacon. But just like anything fun, destroying a shed doesn’t come without a set of problems.
Problem 1: a massive increase in testosterone production.
Problem 2: the desire to kill zombies.
Problem 3: the urge to wrestle in the WWE.
Problem 4: my doctor told me not to eat bacon.
OK, so Number Four is the only actual problem. The rest of these are just part of a guy’s ideals that we’d like to live our lives by. Unfortunately, for the average guy, society has turned men into people our forefathers would have made fun of. For example: Teddy Roosevelt delivered his “It takes more than that to kill a bull moose” speech in Milwaukee on Oct. 14, 1912 after being SHOT IN THE CHEST. Compare that to a husband being proud he came home from the grocery store with everything on the list.
The most an average American can do to feel like Teddy Roosevelt is to tear down a shed, which I so did.
Of course, the day after the shooting, Roosevelt probably drank a quart of whiskey and punched a bear in the face. The day after being the Shedinator, I had a hard time tying my shoes.
The trouble with tearing down a building is that once you’re finished with the demolition the building is still there, but instead of being in one piece, it’s in thousands. To finish the job I did what generations of men did before me – own a truck.
My backyard is now child-safe, and is for some reason littered with tiny tents and candles. I think the neighborhood cats are holding a vigil.
OK guys, what have we learned today?
1: Own a truck.
2: Be Teddy Roosevelt.
3: Kill zombies
4: Eat bacon.
My work here is done.
Jason Offutt’s column has been in continuous publication since 1998 appearing in newspapers and magazines across the United States. Follow Jason on Twitter @TheJasonOffutt.