The house, the tree and an ending poetic

Like millions of Americans my house is in foreclosure, it is due to go under the hammer on May 6th I believe. Not much time left.

I should be able to say I will leave here with sadness or regret or at the very least mixed feelings after all this is the first (and most probably the last) house that I have bought in the US. With the exception of the two ladies, who I wished would have lived here, all of my children were raised in this home. We had some memorable and fun times here. But I can’t say that I’ll be sad; I’ll be glad to see it go.

More recently it has become the physical embodiment of my failures. The standing testament to two failed relationships, failed businesses and four years of financial struggle. Failure to support my family, failure to meet my responsibilities and failure to drag myself out of a dark, dark, brutal and ridiculously lengthy depression.

In the backyard is a maple tree, that my ex left unattended as it formed a huge cleft in its centre (effectively it is split in two). One day it will fall over, and its BIG. To prevent this from happening I bought a full reel of 400 lb rope which I have wound around and through the gap in the trunk in a figure 8 fashion, essentially binding it together. Despite this, I secretly hoped that the tree would topple into the house in the strong (50mph+) winds that tears through this part of the world every autumn and spring. The poetic symbolism of a ruddy great tree ( that had been split in two! – beautiful!) collapsing into the middle of the house, making matchsticks of it, would be priceless, and nothing I can think of could better represent the way I feel about this house and the past four years. Each time the wind howls I eagerly watch and wait for some drastic swaying motion, some slackening of the rope and a thunderous crack that would announce the end of the house, my grief and this awful period of my life. Alas, I did a really good job with the rope. Bugger.

Just when my hopes of a fitting disaster to mark my departure from this house seemed dashed, a strange and wonderful thing happened. A couple of days ago I was working away on setting up this blog with some much-needed improvements, when a jack-hammering noise began in my roof. A really, really loud noise that was disturbingly close. I marched outside and circled the property trying to figure out where the ruckus was coming from, there wasn’t a clue to be found. The racket continued unabated. I went back inside, made myself a cuppa while I pondered what could possibly be making such a massive hammering noise just above my head BRRRRRRRRRRRRR, BRRRRRRRRRRR. Then it dawned on me; it had been a long time but I finally recognized the noise – it was a woodpecker ripping into some wood. A woodpecker was destroying my house! Even better, much better, the little bugger had found a hole into my eaves and was attacking the trusses (I think). Most homeowners familiar with the destructive powers of a woodpecker are now absolutely horrified. I’m not. What resourcefulness! What a smart little guy!

My mate

If he’s successful in no time a section of my roof is collapsing – and none too soon! His timing is impeccable, the Gods of irony have looked down upon me and my plight and are grinning. My time has come at last.

Come down roof! Smash this bastard place to smithereens, set it ablaze.

Go little woodpecker go! Bring me justice I say!


Simon is seen exiting the property, he locks the front door as he leaves. He earnestly walks away from the house. There is a loud drilling, the sound of the woodpecker hammering away at the eaves. The noise gradually increases in volume as Simon walks away, finally reaching a crescendo; when… a section of the roof spectacularly collapses and a blaze breaks out. Simon does not look back and continues to walk. Suddenly the house explodes sending glass and debris showering around Simon who continues to stroll away unflustered. Neighbours come out from houses beside the burning house and from down the street, they hurry to douse their own homes, to protect them from the inferno. Someone points at Simon as he continues to walk, he quickly spins as he walks momentarily taking in the scene. A woodpecker swoops down past Simon’s shoulder. A huge smile creeps across Simon’s face. The woodpecker returns and circles him. We follow the woodpecker as it hurtles vertically upwards into a perfect blue sky…


How frickin’ cool would that be?

OK The last bit couldn’t be more corny (but we had to know the bird is alright. Right?)


About Simon

Simon Houghton creator of The Bloke Show started life as a baby, going on to become a boy and then a man, at which time he became an actor. As time passed he went on to be a director, later still he became a sales guy, then a business owner. Most recently he regressed and became a writer. Then a driver, then an actor again. Decisiveness is not one of his strong suits.
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