Dreaming Of Walls For The Man Cave

by Kevin Burton

   I may live to regret this, but I’m going to lump myself in with Les Nessman.

   The issue is walls.

   Les Nessman was the clueless radio news reporter played by actor Richard Sanders on the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati. That was a solid late 70s early 80s sitcom with well-developed characters. I got into that one because it involved music and media.

   My interest had nothing to do with Loni Anderson. That’s not what I meant by well-developed.

   If you never watched the show, google “Les Nessman turkeys.” You’re in for a treat surrounding an American holiday tradition.

   Nessman didn’t have a newsroom per se. He worked in an open area with the other station employees. He put masking tape on the floor to simulate where walls would be if he had an actual office. He fretted because most of his colleagues ignored the tape and walked right through his “walls.” 

   Les Nessman, I feel your pain.

   I want walls too. 

   You see, the basement at my house is the man cave. It is a glorious place, the scene of the crime, the birthplace of innovation and merriment. 

   It’s dark and stormy when the Shockers lose, swingin’ when the rock and roll flows. It’s a fantasy come to life, with a fridge and a microwave.

   But it needs, I need, walls.

   We have masking tape in what I call the Shocker desk. All I need to do is put some on the floor in just the right places.  Surely my wife Jeannette will see it, recognize the genius in it and start looking up contractors.

   Getting fired up just writing this.

   The man cave has its distinct regions and functionalities. By all rights these would be separated by walls.

   There is a bedroom of sorts because we keep a bed down there.  That is where the fridge is, near the Shocker desk. There is a big old heavy dinosaur tube TV that I only use to watch DVDs.

   The most important function for the bedroom is the Bible study corner. Each morning I do devotions there. It’s where I go over memory verses.  Much of the Bible study material is there.

   There is a broken-down blue recliner I sit in. On it rests a frayed orange towel I brought from Ohio. That’s the towel I deploy to soak up any liquid spills in the man cave.

   There are file cabinets in there that need to be organized.

   Another bona fide room that needs walls is the music practice and production area. There is an extra couch in there right now. It’s old but solid. Let me know if you want it. My keyboard is there and my Mac computer, where I may or may not ever record things using Garageband. 

   I have a guitar there. It does not gently weep, but it gently snickers because I don’t know how to play it.  I have a harmonica that I play with great enthusiasm but no great skill.

   My road dog Rhodi is in the music room. You can see him in my Facebook picture.  He’s a stuffed wolf I got the year I played beep baseball for the Pennsylvania Wolfpack. His name is spelled with an H in it because I got him from the gift shop at the Providence Zoo in Rhode Island.

    Another area I guess I will call the library. I holds books and movies, but also the microwave, an exercise bike and the overflow of whatever else doesn’t fit wherever else.

   Probably need a different name for that. The foyer? What do you think?

   The one area that actually does have walls is the laundry room.  I’m not sure that counts as being in the man cave. It’s kind of a demilitarized zone bordering the cave.  It could maybe use a wall too, to separate the storage area from the laundry area.

   This is also the feeding and restroom area for my late great friend Mex the cat and my future cat Grace. We have picked out the name but not the actual cat.

   Just think how much more efficient I could be if I had walls. The separation of functionalities would enhance each of them.  The future cat would have a greater sense of mystery. Depending on which doors were open, the clutter would be much harder to see.

      If you recall, Nessman never got his walls on the show. But that was something to perpetuate for comic effect. My plea for walls is a serious proposal for the sake of productivity.

   So I’m taking the temperature of the room. If I am reading with accuracy, the reaction of my wife, my chances for walls don’t appear to be any better than Nessman’s    But a guy can dream can’t he?

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1 Comment

  1. I can really relate to this post. I am not into open concept housing either. I like walls and rooms. Quite a number of years ago, I did wall off a part of our basement to use as a study. We had one of Ann’s nieces staying with us for a few months, and she was sleeping in the bedroom that had been my study. I used my walled off basement area a lot even after my niece moved out and her bedroom just became a plain old guest room. Then I was transferred to Wichita for work, and Ann and I ended up living in two places, both Wichita and Topeka. When I moved back to Topeka and we combined our housing again, more than five years later my man cave study just became more of a store room. We are now looking at re-purposing some rooms again. Over the five years I was in Wichita much of the time, and including this time subsequent to my moving back, we have had a series of three friends who have needed housing for a while. Now the third one of those has gotten back on her feet again and has purchased a mobile home, so we are getting my old study/our old guest room back again. We have not decided what is going to go where, but we are trying to get the clutter under control so we can make better use of the space in our home. One thing I would suggest to you is if you put too many walls in your basement, you may need to make changes in your heating and air conditioning systems. We managed to avoid that with the little space I walled off in the basement, but more walls would definitely create am air circulation problem.


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