If Present Carter really wants to get the housing business on its feet, I think he should talk to me. No matter where I seem to go on vacation, they start building a house on the next lot.
I don't know where they get the information, but I suspect the contractors have a nationwide computer that tells them where I'm going to rent a house for the summer. As soon as the word is out, they buy the lot next to the house and start constructing a home, a garage - or if that fails, a new sewer.
This year was no different. I rented in the woods. There wasn't another human being within three miles, when I signed the leased. The next morning two, bulldozers arrived and started smashing down all the trees. Three men were studying blueprints.
"How did you find me? I asked.
"It wasn't easy," one of the men said. "We were told you rented the Fainsod house and we started building across the street. We had the home half finished when we realized we made a mistake, so we dropped everything and came out here to build this house first,"
"Why me?" I asked desperately. "I only get a month off. Do you have to build a house in August?"
"It's nothing personal," one of the other man said, "We always build houses when people are on vacation. it's the best time of years to hammer."
"But nobody can get any sleep."
"Look, mister. Everyone dreams of having his little vacaton home by a rippling brook or next to a blue lagoon or on the side of a mountain. But somebody has to build it. When it's built, another person comes along and says, "I'd like one just like that." So he buys the next lot ands starts building his dream house. The guy in the first house goes bonkers while the house next to him is being built. It's happening allover the country. The hills are alive with the sound of wood saws, electric drills and dump trucks full of bricks. Do you think you're special?"
"But I rent," I protested. "I should get special consideration."
All three men laughed and one said, "That's why we're here. You renters think you can get a quiet vacation because you don't own a house. Well, you're living in a dream world. We'd rather start a house next to a renter than an owner any day. An owner will put up with a certain amount of hammering and sawing because he'll be there forever. But a renter has only three weeks or a month and we can really run his time."
"I've never done anything to you. "I protested. "Why do you want to build a house next to me at this time? Can't you wait until September?
"It's no fun in September," one of them replied. "The only enjoyment workmen get in the construction business is waking up everyone on vacation in the mornings. My men would just sit on their duffs if they didn't have to incentive of keeping the guy next door from enjoying the few weeks he has off.
"As soon as they see someone in a hammock taking a snooze or sitting on his porch enjoying a beer, they go ape with their hammers. When they know they aren't disturbing anyone, all they do is sit around and talk about the Red sox." "Then what you're saying is that no matter where I rent a house you'll follow me?"
"Those are our orders," one of men said. "When a man goes on vacation we have to start building a house next to him. You'll have to excuse us now. We're bringing in the chain saws to cut up the trees."
"How many trees are you going to cut up?"
"How long are you staying?"