Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jungle Balcony.

I love a good patio.

It offers a sunny refuge from dark and cramped apartment living, allowing a breath of fresh air to calm and relax the nerves.

Some balconies suck. It's the way it goes. I refuse to take part in that, though. You're not guaranteed a shimmering oasis while hunting for a place to live, so when life gives you a lemony, outdoor balcony, you make lemonade outdoor balcony. I'm sorry, I suck at anagrams. It's called an anagram, right? ENOUGH WITH THE NUMBERS LET'S MOVE ON.

You know what I mean, though. If you're like me, you enjoy a solid sit outside every so often to break up the monotony of sitting inside, most likely in front of a computer or TV. So we escape to our summer fortress, our humble, nature filled hideout. We like to think, drink a cold beverage, annoy the neighbors with the constant strumming of an acoustic guitar.

My balcony/patio/haven is gated by a large, stucco wall. It hits right above the waist and overlooks the middle of the complex, so I'm completely sealed off from the rest of the world if I decided to sit down on the floor or, coincidentally, take photos of all the crap you're about to see. I have a few chairs, a washer and dryer behind closed doors and spider lights from Halloween three years ago. This is where it all began.

Normally, and originally, I wanted the "tiki" theme. It's a perfectly acceptable theme, but through the years I've never managed to actually do it. Call it procrastination, but I guess I'm unwilling to buy bamboo and hula skirts and hang them on the wall. I tried a Halloween motif, with glowing spiders and billowing ghosts, but why would I want to mirror what was already going on inside my place?

These days, I've created my own version of the tried and true "Hawaiian" theme, but with a little more creative flair. Through manipulation of the objects around me and the continual lack of any direction, I've created The Jungle Balcony.

I do like tropical and I do like Halloween, but both don't involve clever recycling of soon-to-be-trash.

You see, what I have now is a quick and easy way to involve both leftover fake plants from an old roommate and all the dinosaur toys a grown-up doesn't want displayed in his apartment. Also involved: cigarette butts, bottle caps and the occasional, lone sock. I'm a mess.

So let us journey through my own "Jurassic Park," my very own secluded wonderland where I can do laundry naked and spy at all the pretty girls down at the community pool.

That was probably the creepiest thing I could have ever said.

Ahh, yes! The journey begins! What we have here is the entrance to the jungle, loaded with ferns and dinosaurs and nothing that would ever be found in a jungle. Will there be a gorilla involved? What about a tiger? Here's a hint: NO.

Blue Dinosaur guards the entryway, arms in attack position, eyes aglow with either hate or confusion. You're new to him, so he's still a little wary of your presence. He's also at a loss as to whether he's to scale with the rest of his surroundings, or one of those tiny dinosaurs that attack a little girl in
"Lost World." He is, altogether, quite confused on a lot of things.

What lies beyond? Who claims the two white-tipped feet? And is that a green dinosaur?

Surprise, surprise. The greenest and the meanest.

I got this at a swap meet. Rather, Davey got it at a swap meet and I either bought if from him or stole it. Whatever the case, it's now a part of my world and will be a constant reminder of "Roseanne," where you can plainly see a Godzilla toy, much like this one, behind their couch in every episode. You don't have to watch all of them to know what I'm talking about, though, just watch the one's that count. Which is all the Halloween specials and the era of Darlene as a comic book writing, flannel wearing rebel.

Past the G-Man is...well, another green dino, accompanied by a hula-girl much intended for the dash of my car and not an empty pot. It was another "one of those things" I never got around to doing, and instead chucked it outside to rot. There is no sadness in this, because I'm sure if I had a dancing, wobbling toy to stare at while driving, I would surely crash and die in a ball of flames.

Oh, and that thing! The thing next to it! My battery-powered fountain!

This was a daring purchase at Walgreen's, and I only use the word "daring" because it's an astoundingly boring story if I didn't. You shove in a few batteries, add a cup of water and press play, allowing the shock and awe of a serene, bubbling geyser to wash over you. Not literally, but figuratively. I hate being wet. And so do you.

I think I've only seen it in action once, but boy, was it beautiful. It now remains as a silent, stoic statue, imagined as a shrine to the part in "Temple of Doom" where Indy and the gang, in the jungle, stumble upon weird statues...covered in blood. The entire scene was horrifying, and has always been a constant image in the back of my mind. I mean, geez, you try to adventure and explore and you're hit in the face with blood-soaked totem poles. Nothing says "bonerkill" like blood soaked totem poles.

I think I might paint streaks of red over it, for the full effect. Or dribble a bit of maraschino cherry juice over the top.

Unfortunately, Jungle Balcony has come to an end. I hope you had a good time, and cordially invite you to any Saturday night parties or holiday themed jamborees to check it out for yourself. Will I really invite you over for fun and games? Do I dare propose my home as your own?

Here's a hint: NO.


  1. You should put batteries in the fountain and fill it with fake blood, that would be boss.

  2. I thought you were married? Women are supposed to put a stop to shit like this.

    However, there is one exception: If the patio is 'your space', then feel free to decorate it with scaly creatures and ogle women from afar (where are those pics, btw?)

    I have the garage, even though my wife parks there, and occasional custody of one of our spare rooms upstairs. She already kicked me out of one of them when our son was born, so now she's threatening to kick me out of the one I moved my junk into so that she can turn it into a 'guest room.' I've only got one spare room left, then I get to build a workshop!