When you see the words “joint” and “compound” in association with me, admit it, the first thing you think of is Reggae Night at the Bunker. And it’s true, the Party Wing, as we call the southwest section of the Compound, which features three bars, a heated indoor pool with jacuzzi, a mini-soundstage and dance floor, full home theatre and various comfortable “conversation” suites, has seen it’s share of smoke filled, bass and drum thumping, dreadlocked free-for-alls but, in this case, it’s not what I’m referring to.
No, this is that other sort of plastering I’m talking about. As you might know, The Compound is always in a state of ongoing renovation. It’s never quite reached a state of construction that I’m completely satisfied with so I tinker and adjust and add and remove all the time. Recent example, the combat cage I assembled in the basement in what is now the Thunderdome Room, which those of you who attended that post-apocalyptic, post-punk theme party in August are probably still having nightmares about.
What you might not be aware of, however, is how much of this work I do myself. Yeah, it’s not easy, I know, considering the near limitless demands on my time as writer, editor and manager of one of the world’s most powerful, influential news organizations, but there are times when a man just has to get in there and get hands on with his shit. So yesterday, before I ever sat down to compose a single line of text, ol’ Ken had the putty knives, the drywall saws, the joint compound and plaster and all necessary implements out and was bearing down on a remodel of one of the common dining rooms here.
What it will be when I’ve finished, who knows. Not a dining room, that’s for sure. Possibly a room full of shelves for the various collectables I’ve accumulated in my years of world travel. Gorman Moloko tells me that, if it looks good, I can put his entire action figure collection on display. Fuckin’ fabulous, Gorm.
Anyway, it’s not that I don’t trust contractors to do the work. Sure, they’re overpriced, lazy, most of them are addicted to prescription pain-killers and would otherwise be hopeless indigents if they didn’t know how to pound a nail, but they’re essentially good guys. No, it’s just a matter of pure Ken Socrates pride. The feeling of doing the job yourself and getting it done right is almost as good as publishing the latest scathing expose on another Republucan internet porn scandal.
It was about 11 pm last night, then, that my helper and I finally finished grinding out our workday and only then, after most of the dried spackling was washed off, was I finally free to sit down and put pen to paper.
And you wonder why I’m essentially a hunchbacked, worn down, pain wracked nub of a human being these days.