[Authored by Robert Sands]
Demolishing things seems to be hardwired into our society’s DNA. Demolition derbies showcase wanton disregard for the driver’s car as well as the victim’s vehicle. YouTube is filled with videos of buildings being taken down, imploding in a matter of seconds. The same can be said of the favorite part of HGTV house rehabilitation shows, such as Flip or Flop and Fixer Upper. “Demo Day” has entered our home improvement lexicon and due to many of our short attention span and penchant for destruction over knitting, we now can’t wait to see cabinets flying off the wall, counter tops chunked off with a 10-pound sledge, drywall and plaster (if there is any ripped from studs and floors) shoveled up. Naturally, for as little time as a Demo Day involves, the time it takes to rebuild is considerably longer.
I admit, here at PRISC and our Rose Haven project, we are no different; we have advertised three “demo days” for volunteers to take part, two of which focused on the inside of the house and the other on the landscaping. We made huge strides with the removal of wall board and plaster, and clearing the overgrown bushes and shrubs that encased our project house in a deep dark claw. Each day has been a success, given the near-full (third) roll-off dumpster and the huge pile of shrubs and bushes we have left for the City to pick up. In fact, we are planning another demo day on September 23rd, to finish the “gutting” of the house interior and finally clearing the fence line of what Monty Python referred to as “shrubbery.”
At some point, we will run out of Demo Days because all that will be left is to rebuild. We won’t lose the need for our growing legion of volunteers, they just won’t need to bring sledge hammers. Instead they’ll need to get their upper body Cross-Fit on somehow else; maybe we can socially connect more with them as we measure and trim and plane and occasionally use a rip saw. There won’t be flying pieces of plaster and dry wall to occupy our minds and keep our limbic system on high alert for the manic swinging of crow bars and sledges of those close by, or the need to dig out the dust and other particles that escape your breathing mask and clog up your nose.
Actually, now that I put it that way, I can’t wait for Demo Days to end. Rebuilding sounds so much more appealing; but I won’t bring knitting needles … they have sharp points.