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[Tidbits] House

Here’s the thing of it. You’re living in ancient times. You’re
walking along the street. You hear a child screaming bloody murder.
Nobody is paying attention. The child is being walled up alive inside
of a new house under construction. Conversations go on in the street
as if nothing is happening. You stop at the local produce market to
buy some staples. The sounds slowly dim as the walls go up and there
is no longer any room for noise to escape. You go home to feed the
family. Tomorrow is another day.

A life is sacrificed… a life is saved… for it is said that
anyone crossing the threshold of a new home will die. The system now
in place prevented such a catastrophic event. Wall up a child in a
house under construction… and one can now enter freely without
fear of death. Man’s logic knows no bounds.

Modernization eventually ended this level of barbarism when it was
discovered that the blood of a male goat or a rooster sprinkled
liberally about the newly built premises served just as well in
preventing death to newcomers. I heard matzoh balls would also do the
trick … but only when sprinkled by a bald, seven foot tall,
circumcised eunuch. Clearly… for these things to work one must
always pay close attention to even the most trivial details.

But once again… modernization reared her pretty curls… and it was
decided that a little food buried in a corner of the house as it was
being built would also do the trick. Out went the walled up child.
Out went the goat’s blood. Out went the matzoh balls. Food in a
corner was in.

Then came the cornerstone. Man had progressed… as he is wont to do.
After a cornerstone was laid… the eldest daughter–hopefully
comely–would tap the stone three times and then kiss all the
workers and the house would then be “safe”. I imagine this last
ritual heralded bigger and better things for future generations. Damn
the matzoh balls and full speed ahead, I always say.

There are/were many other rituals created to save potential visitors
from death and calamity. Bury a pitcher containing a virgin girl’s
blouse … and your house will not catch fire. This was good to know
during a period when the science of fire retardants was still in its

There’s more. Yes there is. Much much more. But I will spare you the
burden of having to read about man and the machinations he went
through in the interests of safety. Let us celebrate the fact that we
live in an age of enlightenment… where we no longer wear amulets
for protection against life’s dangers…do we? And now mes amis… do
I have a house for you.

Raymond C. Yard was the jewelry salesman for John D. Rockefeller at
Marcus in the early years of the 20th century. So impressed was John
D. with Yard’s knowledge and integrity that he told Yard that if he
opened his own business he (John D.) would buy all his jewelry from
him. I’ve written about Yard before as his work related to his
Bunnies. But today’s topic is house… and Yard built a house to beat
the band.

It is a house made of diamonds with a gold roof and a ruby chimney.
It has a green enamel lawn and carved emerald shrubs. There’s a gold
picket fence. The tree is of diamonds and emeralds and sapphires and
rubies. It’s a brooch to be seen. And the best part… no children
walled up in it’s golden structure. You wanna see?

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Current Tidbits… and you will get to view a house and a half
created by a man called Yard.

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark