I was looking at my horse trailer the other day, parked in the yard, doing nothing. It cost me as much as a car and gets used less than once a week – and less than that in the winter, when it functions solely as a vacation resort for squirrels. My Scottish Presbyterian roots cringe when something that valuable is being underutilized, so I’ve been trying to come up with some alternate uses for the thing.
My first thought was to live in it. When I was single, I had an apartment that had cool stuff in it. Stuff that I liked. Stuff with Tiger-Cat logos and pictures of hockey players. Once I got married, and moved in with my wife, I found out that most of my stuff was crap. She said that it “isn’t really the motif that we’re going for,” but I know what she meant. Periodically, I get out my Wendel Clark bobblehead and we watch the game together like the old days, but he has to run and hide when we hear her car in the driveway.
Over time, all of my stuff has been gradually boxed up in the attic, given away, or sent to the dump when I wasn’t paying attention. What’s left would easily fit into the horse trailer, with plenty of room left for a cot. My personal space in the house has been reduced to the part of the bed that Krista and the dog don’t want, along with a 1×1 square foot space on the corner of a dresser, so living in the trailer would actually be an increase in my living area, and I could go back to using team flags as curtains.
Even if I didn’t actually live in it full-time, I could use it as a man-cave oasis. Now and then, you hear about a guy who decides to spend his days hiding out in a storage locker, away from his family, happily reading, or watching movies. My dad used to hide in the barn, inventing jobs to do, just to avoid being in the house. Some guys go ice fishing alone. I used to think that those guys were crazy, but now that I have two teenage kids and a wife in my house, the idea of hiding out in a trailer parked in the driveway, actually sounds pretty sweet. I could mount a flat screen TV on the tailgate, install surround sound with an iPod dock, put a bar fridge up by the hay nets (which is now filled with Doritos), run an extension cord out from the house, and I’d be living like a king! A king with my subjects a reasonable distance away, which is the unstated goal of any king.
And why just park it in the driveway? What I’ve described sounds like a pretty inexpensive RV. We could be like those happy, smiling families in the “GO RVing” commercials. We could become a travelling band – going from town to town, playing our music and solving people’s problems. Sort of a cross between The Partridge Family and The Littlest Hobo. Maybe we could sell some sort of tonic or cure-all to the local rubes – call it The Breen Family Travelling Medicine Show. I’ve been working on a mixture of Zev and NyQuil for treating the common cold, due to the shortage of old fashioned Buckley’s Mixture – I could bottle and sell that.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Doug, think of the smell, the dust, and the horse hair! This would be a legitimate concern, if 25 per cent of my house wasn’t already filled with the smell, the dust and the hair of horses. There are days when I think living in the trailer couldn’t possibly be any worse. There’s less tack in the trailer than there is in my living room, and it gets swept out more often than the kids’ rooms do. It would be a smaller space to heat in the winter, and is nearly as well insulated as our 150-year-old house – which is to say, not insulated at all. Really, the only drawback is that I’d get evicted every time we actually used the trailer to move horses.
And there’s the rub. Would the obvious advantages of having my own man-cave/RV outweigh the inconvenience of having to disassemble it regularly for horse shows and such? The jury is still out on that. Perhaps it would be easier to rent a stall at the barn and set up my man-cave there? Or I could just wait until one of the kids move out and take over their room – which is a great way to ensure that they don’t boomerang back to the nest. I have some decisions to make.