Back in 2001 we still lived in the UK in a rather uninspiring “executive” home in Newcastle. Not very much happened until one day, the postman delivered a Census Form. It was the first time I remember it happening, or at least the first time I got to fill one out as a real live adult. The man of the house, so to speak.
Now perhaps I should have taken it a little bit more seriously because in 200 years time when my distant descendant looks me up on whatever Ancestry.com becomes, they’ll see that I put down my official religion as Jedi Knight.
I am, if I admit it, a little bit of a geek. Not a huge one. For example, I don’t have the secret Jedi name of Lenai-tan, or a special robe for the weekends. I did download the Light Saber App for my iPhone, but in my defense, so did a few other people and it was entertaining for about 2 minutes.
But the real reason I claimed to be a Jedi Knight on the 2001 UK Census was because lots of other people were doing it in an attempt to have the British Government officially recognise Jedi as a religion, that sounded like a bit of a laugh and secretly, I knew I had real Jedi powers. They were just locked away really deep inside.
Of course, there will be people who mock and ask me to levitate a small green goblin. That’s not real Jedi power. It’s made up for Hollywood stuff. The real Jedi power is all in the mind.
For example, my favourite part of Star Wars is when Obiwan says to the imperial guards “These aren’t the droids your looking for” and gets the guard to repeat it and let them pass. That is way, way cooler than levitating goblins or X-wing fighter spacecraft. For years I practiced that trick.
On my parents:
“This isn’t the gift you’re looking for”
On my missus:
“I’m not the stench you’re looking for”
On my mates:
“You will buy Stephen another round”
On my boss:
“Give Stephen the raise he’s looking for”
Unfortunately, many of these efforts passed unrewarded and fruitless. My vast powers somehow couldn’t penetrate the murky depths of the minds around me. I see now it’s because those needs just weren’t important enough. Then today I had a breakthrough. In my last post I explained some of the problems we’d been having getting the right levels and grades for the foundations of our new house.
Today I met with Dave The Man and the grading engineer Jamie (nice chap, needs to eat more pie). Things were not going particularly well. Jamie wasn’t happy about the depth of the house, especially around the walkout basement and Dave The Man’s suggestion of bulldozing half a field to terraform the land into compliance wasn’t meeting with much enthusiasm by anyone.
Seeing the prospect of our build costs and schedule spiraling out of control in the first week, I did what any real Jedi Knight would do: mind tricks.
“These aren’t the grades you’re looking for.” (said in a Jedi undertone to Jamie)
“Huh?” said Jamie but already I could see I had him.
“The door shall be moved, master engineer.” (this time said in a firm Jedi tone)
“Move the door? Hey, move the walkout basement door! That should solve all your problems!” exclaimed Jamie
“What a fine idea, let’s move the door!” agreed Dave The Man.
My exultation had to be kept under wraps you understand. It doesn’t become a Jedi Knight to be seen capering about in flip flops on a building site. But I was dancing inside because in one stroke, my Jedi powers had turned the conversation from an inevitable “computer says no” conclusion, to “Hurray, we’re all happy and slightly embarrassed not to have thought of this sooner” situation.
So, we have the green light to proceed at the foundation depth and grade we want; we have minimised the amount of fill we need, kept the gravity fed septic field and walkout basement, eliminated the need for crushed gravel under the footings and got a better position for the walkout door too. There might need to be some extra paperwork with the city, but in summary, that’s what I call a result.
The moral of this story? Never give up on unleashing your Jedi powers on unsuspecting and uncooperative people when you think you can get away with it. Oh, and don’t mess with my original plans, even if you are a qualified designer. I have Jedi powers.