The original concept was just a private little shack with an outhouse. Walls made of pallets were not out of the question. I was thinking about that this morning……as I used my brand-new $8 cutting brush to do something I moved out here genuinely intending never to do again, carefully painting door trim. The initial crudity of the frame and sheathing came back to haunt me when I put up the trim, which through no fault of its own is not nearly as even or symmetrical as trim is supposed to be. But the fact that trim even exists rather wildly exceeds the initial design parameters, so bite me.
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They say that Louis XIV had the inscription Ultima Ratio Regum cast into all the cannon of the French Army. It means “The Ultimate Argument of Kings,” and that always struck me as one of the most honest and up-front things any ruler or would-be ruler ever said. “We can dress it up prettier than this, but when it comes down to the unvarnished truth this is what it’s about: You’ll do as I say or I’ll send my goons to kill you.”
I thought about that for a long time. If there’s an ultimate argument, it seems only logical that there must be an ultimate answer. For years I thought the ultimate answer must be the bullets in my rifle, but it never seemed quite right. I’ve got bullets – he’s got frigging Cannon Balls. I mean, if there were three hundred million rifles throwing bullets at him, then maybe. But we all know that’s not going to happen. So if there’s an ultimate answer to his ultimate argument, it sure as hell ain’t bullets.
It finally came to me – and that’s when I abandoned the city and most of my stuff, and gave all that was behind me a good stiff Randian Shrug.
The ultimate answer to kings is not a bullet, but a belly laugh.
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