I've been married to the same woman for six years. She has always struck me as reasonably sane. But after living in apartments since we first moved in together eight years ago, we've finally decided to take the plunge and buy a house. We figure, what the hell, if the housing market's going to hell, we might as well take advantage of the low prices. So, we've been looking for a house, and after wandering through nearly a dozen we've finally found one. Or at least I thought we had. I was all ready to sign on the dotted line, but my dear wife made what I consider an unusual request: She wants an expert in feng shui to look it over.
I'd heard of feng shui before, assumed it was some kind of hocus-pocus racket that tries to pass itself off as ancient wisdom. But my wife, it turns out, is a true believer. And she says that if we're going to drop all this money on a house we should be willing to drop a lot less money on checking it out. I think she's nuts, but I told her I'd see what you think. What do you think?
Shui, No Shui
Shui, No Shui: What do I think? I think I need to move the chair I'm sitting on six inches to the left because, where it is now, it's blocking the energy that flows through the front door, up the stairs, past the bathroom and into my bedroom, where, between you and me, I can use a little more energy. There is, of course, both positive energy and negative energy, yang and yin, and I currently have all the furniture in the house arranged so that the bad energy collects in the living room, bounces off the mirror over the fireplace and lands in the neighbors' kitchen. They probably wonder why they burn their dinners all the time. Then again, our TV just went on the blink, so maybe they've got their own little force-field sabotage operation going. Live by the chi, die by the chi, I always say.
Chi, for those of you who've never had the pleasure or the pain, is the life force that runs through all people, places and things. And feng shui is the art or science (or voodoo, if you prefer) of arranging everything so that...well, so that the force be with you. Some of its strictures are just plain common sense - e.g., the use of potted plants to bring the outside in, get closer to nature. Others have a certain poetry about them that's hard to argue with - e.g., the use of wind chimes to make you stop and smell the roses, or at least savor that annoying tinkling sound. And others are - how to put this delicately? - pure bonkers. For instance, in order to hold on to your job during the coming recession, here's what you need to do: Set a large object made of stone on each side of your front door.
And you thought you were going to have to work more overtime! Feng shui has been around for a good 3,500 years, which is a good 3,450 more years than I have, so I'm not going to dismiss it out of hand. And if your wife wants to hire someone to inspect the place, rearrange the furniture, that seems like a small price to pay for some peace of mind. Just make sure the TV's in the right place. Otherwise, the neighbors will suck up your chi like a black hole.
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