insurance design

Smoking Charges Ignite

Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...

[ Swap Article ]

Sad Child

Mimicry

Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Car radio

Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise

When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...

[ Swap Article ]

ad-sample

Advertise Here

Since moving to Portland, OR in August, we’ve been trying out several new stores for grocery shopping. Sam’s Club doesn’t exist in Portland. No results within 100 miles of our zip code. (Probably too many Walmart execs left their engines …...

[ Swap Article ]

Re-gifting

Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...

[ Swap Article ]

A Reasonable Explanation

Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....

[ Swap Article ]

That's a Mouthful

Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...

[ Swap Article ]

Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right

I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Deadly Donuts

The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...

[ Swap Article ]

When Did I Become a Pushover?

I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...

[ Swap Article ]

As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

[ Swap Article ]

0
wand gold sparkles 1

Filed Under , on October 17th, 2015

Boxed Magic

By Seth Kabala

Since moving to Portland, OR in August, we’ve been trying out several new stores for grocery shopping. Sam’s Club doesn’t exist in Portland. No results within 100 miles of our zip code. (Probably too many Walmart execs left their engines idling while the draw-bridge to City Center was up and were subsequently blackballed.) So we went to Costco. I don’t know if the store has always been the same size or if corporate expanded it over the years, but the store dwarfs the parking lot, or at least this was my impression upon first arriving.

With people and cars pressed against each other like cheese to the meat in a Philly, oxygen was in short supply, so I added a trip to the medical supply store to our itinerary. Even if my initial impressions of size were incorrect, an estimated 200,000 people are projected to move to Portland over the next two decades, per Mayor Hales. At that point, a secondary breathing apparatus will be factored into the price of a membership. So how do you solve this parking lot dilemma?

Counter conceptual to the skinny house that is so popular here in Portland, a mythological fat house is one room in depth and 18 rooms wide. You run into awkward situations with needing to go through the bathroom and everyone else’s bedrooms before getting to the kitchen, but just consider this to be training to become a good public speaker, conditioning your nerves from all manner of unpleasant and unexpected moments that may happen whilst you’re on the throne, er, behind the lectern. 

In a fat house, the driveway’s width is inversely proportionate to the house’s width. The wider the house, the skinnier the driveway. When you get the primo deluxe fat house, you’re only allowed 12″ of space for your driveway. Why 12″? T.I.P. (this is Portland). How, then, you might ask, do you park a vehicle in a driveway that is 12″ wide? Easy. You employ The Night Bus’ squeezing spell from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. 

My son, 9, and two daughters, 8 and 4, have gotten into the Harry Potter series, books and movies. In addition to supplying daily nostalgia from my own experience with the series, it has provided a frame of reference to explain the solution to the driveway inversion problem. One quick wave of the wand, and your six-feet-wide gas guzzler becomes exactly 12″ in width. Hilarious Side-Effect Alert: a good chance exists that you will emerge from this spell looking like Mike Teavee upon his emergence from the taffy puller. Just a little adventure in 2D. No biggie. However, one moment under a handy-dandy ACME anvil will have you back to normal proportions. Probably. 

I’m convinced the Costco parking lot is the original installation of the fat house. As such, it has the Portland-mandated inverse width requirement on driveway and (since this is covered in the commercial side of the code language) parking lot space. All the problems with traffic backups associated with getting wedged into the driveway and subsequently extruded into the parking lot, only to be vacuum-sealed into a parking space could be eliminated by speaking some mumbo-jumbo and waving a stick. 

Harry Potter purists will castigate me for stating you could cast this magic using just a wand and incantation, without The Knight Bus’ magical assist. 

But, hey, if gas can see two-dollars per gallon, and 1.5 lbs of pepperoni snack sticks are, like, ten-bucks, anything is possible.

FacebookGoogle+PinterestRedditTwittertumblrEmail



Leave a Reply





Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 Comments Load Comments


Im your king

The Privilege of Decision

I delivered the speech below as project #6 in my Toastmasters journey to earning my Competent Communicator award. Wish you had been there, dear reader. Someday. For now, here's the text: ...

[ Swap Article ]

Addicted

Constant Friend

Numbers. ...

[ Swap Article ]

One unique pawn on top of common pawns

Pawned Irish

I looked up to the right ...

[ Swap Article ]

Seditious Youth

Seditious Youth

Few things bring as much joy on a Sunday ...

[ Swap Article ]

mind control

Dream Control

My newfound dwelling is dense and thick ...

[ Swap Article ]

Black hole in space

Celestial Deadline

As agreed, your first day of work will be on Monday, January 1, 2018, 6th floor of the Burnside Building on N Sycamore Ave, which is two blocks from the State Capitol building. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Mr. Know-It-All Name Badge Customer Support Help Service Assista

That Guy

"A lot of 'ums' today. Lots of opportunity to use the squeaker. Just saying." ...

[ Swap Article ]

Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, GA

Driftwood Dreams

The Toastmasters gift keeps on giving. Here's Project #5, delivered this past Thursday. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Group of black wooden frames on old painted  wood panels wall. Gallery, retro style

Walled Open

Is it a puzzle? he wondered, staring at the empty space on his office wall. If so, how do I solve it? He stroked his chin with the thumb and index fingers of his left hand, repeatedly pinching from a width in line with the corners of his mouth to the center. Then tapped with the pinched digits at...

[ Swap Article ]

Mountain Everest outdoor adventure insignia. Climbing, trekking, hiking, mountaineering and other extreme activities logo template.

Everest Rising

I arrived early to scope out the place. Posters on the walls outside, weird designs, bucket of paint here, tip-of-the-brush-stroke there, indicative of too many illegal drugs, digital drafting programs, and rancid dreams of escaping this old town!; vagrants camped on the sidewalk; vicious shouts...

[ Swap Article ]

lawyer

Dandy

I'm becoming a Dandy. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Beautiful orchid flower background with copy space

Orchids and Oracles

Playing cards were scattered across the floor, appearing in odd locations, seeming to buck the expectation to follow a trail. Whose expectation? The one that said certain random cards, if claimed with haste, and if said cards matched the house's hand, could lead their bearer to a reward. The players...

[ Swap Article ]