Destruction is the answer

Destruction is fun. If you donít believe me, just follow any two-year-old around for a while, and youíll see what I mean. Iím guessing that there isnít a two-year-old on earth who can walk past a stack of blocks, a pile of books, a newly folded pile of clothes or any other neatly stacked array of objects without feeling the overwhelming need to knock it down. And once they do, itís all smiles and laughter.

Itís fun for adults too. Iím just figuring this out myself, but after I had the opportunity to smash some old shelves with a large hammer, I figured out why kids like to destroy stuff so much. Itís fun. Honestly, I was looking around my house and garage for other old things that needed to be removed, just so I could swing that hammer a few more times. (For the record, putting up the new shelves wasnít nearly as amusing.)

Now maybe this means Iím unstable, and need to find a constructive outlet for my anger, but I think this could present a solution to some of the unsightly problems we have in Chenango County.

If you drive around the county on a regular basis like I do, youíve probably seen a lot of dilapidated houses that have been left unoccupied and abandoned for years. It seems like theyíre everywhere. I canít think of a town that doesnít have any. Some of the houses were abandoned after fires or other disasters damaged them, but several have just deteriorated over time to the point that there is no longer anything that can be done.

I see two possible solutions. Either we could all make sure we take care of our own properties, tearing down those that are beyond repair and keeping the rest up to par so they donít eventually become the uninhabitable messes that litter the country side. (Doesnít sound like much fun, does it?) Or, we need a lot more people like me, with that 2-year-old attitude toward destruction, to take matters into their own hands and start knocking things down. I came to this brilliant conclusion after watching demolition of a burned out house at 49 Front Street in Norwich on Tuesday. Honestly, it looked like a lot of fun, and I thought, I want to do that.

Now before people start calling and writing to tell me about the legal issues with my proposed idea and the possible risk of bodily injury, I should point out that Iíve taken all those factors into consideration, but after giving it some careful thought, Iím pretty sure my idea is better than the alternative. If you have to wait for someone else to do something, youíre left looking at a horribly unattractive house that is only going to get worse over the years, becoming more and more unstable and enticing more and more adolescents to enter the house and go exploring. (Few things are more exciting than an abandoned house when youíre a kid.) If the house is left to fall down on its own, who knows where all the junk is going to end up, or who might be injured in the process. If you do it yourself, you have complete control over those factors.

Maybe itís unlikely that my plan will ever work, but after seeing so many abandoned, deteriorated houses, itís probably a lot more likely than the idea that every property owner is going to do the right thing, clean up the deteriorated homes and keep the rest from getting that way.

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