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Then one day not long ago, it hit me that the last letter had come over a year ago and there was still no sidewalk. Week after week went by.
Finally, I said to myself that they were clearly never going to come, and the front of the yard was looking very shabby by then, so I went out there on a Saturday and pulled out weeds, and replanted the bare spots and made it look really nice and then, the Monday after I had done that, I came home and they had excavated every square inch of lawn along the street, and, just to make doubly sure I understood who was in charge, they summarily slapped an outhouse down right at the entrance to my driveway.
Now, there's a long stretch of roadwork going on as they put in the sidewalk, but there's only one outhouse and they chose to put it in front of my house because I write for The Rhinoceros Times.
I will say that it at least makes it easy to give directions. If I have company coming over, I say, "You just come down the street and my house is the one with the outhouse out front." And the person is like, "Excuse me?"
And I say, "The outhouse – just look for the outhouse next to my driveway. You can't miss it."
And it does make it easier when you have a party and have a lot of guests over because they may say, "Can you please tell me where the restroom is?" and I say, "Sure, please use that outhouse out front."
Or, I might say, "Oh, didn't you see the restroom when you pulled in?"
But then, after that occurred to me, I had a thought: I myself haven't even been in the outhouse or used it yet, so I'd better not send any guests out there without checking it out first.
Heck, I thought to myself, I don't even know if it's unlocked. And wouldn't that be just like the city to put an outhouse on your yard and then lock it so you couldn't use it. Wouldn't that be choice?
I wouldn't put it past them, so I went out there to make sure it was available for my guests, and to make sure that the sidewalk workers have kept it clean in case I have a party.
Not exactly what I had hoped. I have to say, it's really not very clean and the smell is not pleasing at all.
But, anyway, now I've finally reached a point of acceptance of it all: waking up at the break of dawn to the sound of jackhammers and giant trucks backing up, the coming parade of riffraff up and down my front yard at all hours of the day or night when decent people are in bed sleeping – as well as the unkempt outhouse that the city will no doubt leave out there.
Even after the sidewalk is built, they're probably going to leave it there permanently in case all of the people walking on the sidewalk need to use the restroom – so that means I will have a public bathroom at the entrance of my driveway, and that can't possibly increase curb appeal.
But let me remind the city people of the law: After seven years of open and notorious possession of any thing, an item becomes yours whether it was yours to begin with or not.
And, with the modern internet, I don't imagine it's that hard to sell a used outhouse, so at least I am likely, seven years from now, to get something from the city's mad passionate love affair with sidewalks, so maybe I should quit complaining about it.
After all, who am I to stand in the way of true love.