Sal and I built to the 30 year rule and we started when I was 55. Whatever we built only had to last as long we were likely to last. And most people are lucky to see 85. Ergo – the 30 year rule.
They may still be here breathing but having good vision at that time is not a given (so they don’t see 85 as it zooms like a comet right by them). Very few see 100 even fleetingly. Time flies after 65. The 30 year rule seemed logical at the time. Hell, I even added supports and extra reinforcements on most things we constructed and so we probably made the 35 year rule without even knowing it.
A little maintenance and we might make 40. Me? 95? I don’t think so.
Problem: we are 11 years into it. And I can still do the math. We are working to the 20-ish year rule right now and, of course, there’s a certain chill in the air when I think about that. So, I try not to.
Mind you and ironically, this is when I decided to make things out of heavy metal. And make no mistake – when I make something out of metal, it is heavy. My new funicular cart will be pushing 700 pounds. My guess is that it will easily achieve the 300 year rule. It is mostly heavy, double hot-dipped galvanized angle steel and it seems, at times, virtually indestructible. Did I mention ‘heavy’?
In other words, I may be entering some sort of welding influenced denial stage in my life. I’m not sure. I could build this damn thing out of Styrofoam (with epoxy and duct tape) and it might last 20 years! Seriously, a cedar-strip funicular cart would definitely make it. What am I doing?
My kids will inherit after the last of us pass but, with Sal, that could be a long time. She’s got genes and she knows how to use ’em. Still, they can at least count on a double-hot-dipped funicular to comfort them when that time comes.
“Geez, Dave, why so morbid?”
Not my fault. I blame Mike. He’s 30. He comes by and borrows tools now and then, talks, laughs at my jokes. We’re friends. Somehow the 30 year rule came up. “I’m 30!”
“Yeah. I know. Seems like a long time, right? Well, I am already down to the last twenty of MY 30. You can see the math, right? You just lived it. Now imagine that you only get that same amount back. Scary, right?”
Mike cracked up. “You gotta do stand-up! Man! You are funnn-nneee. Who talks like this?”
“Old guys talk like this. Then they die. Then there’s a bit of a lull and then you start talking like this. Trust me, man. Death is just around the corner.”
“So, does that mean I don’t have to bring your hammer-drill back?”
“Only if you want to meet him a lot sooner.”