The Dollhouse

On my tombstone, and it will be a magnificent one, will be written a very simple epitaph: Here lies Hossman. He kicked ass.

It will be a tourist attraction, a vacation spot for families trying to reconnect. And a Lemon Chill stand will be next to it. It will be the first Lemon Chill stand to earn a billion dollars. People will come just to picnic with what once was. Supermodels will erect a shrine of their bikinis and decorate it with tassels. Fathers will bring their sons and they will kneel. The son will say "Oh father, why have we come to this place." And the father will answer "Son, we are here for two reasons. First, maybe we can catch a glimpse of a supermodel in a bikini." And the son will nod in understanding. "But son, there is another reason." The father will tell the son a story.

Once there was a man named Hossman and he had two minions. Delightful little things that constantly strove to earn his approval and to break everything that they touched. The older one, Little Hoss, was growing up quite quickly and destroying things far more advanced than her age. She was playful and sweet and had her father's heart. Near Christmas one year, as he was sipping his evening brandy, he noticed how much hid daughter loved her dolls. How much she played with them and invented games for them. Games like "A hanging from a doorknob" and "You go to time out." He would watch her in wonder as she played with her dolls. He wanted to do something for her, something special. He decided to get her a dollhouse.

He looked for dollhouses and was disappointed in what he found. Flimsy plastic things with flimsy princess stickers. Overpriced molded dreams that would quickly become nightmares once those plastic pieces shattered under his daughters destructive hands. A broken hearted daughter would wail at her wrecked dollhouse. He could not have this. He could not give something to his daughter knowing that one day it would consume her with grief. He knew there was only one thing he could do. He would build her a dollhouse, one that she could not break. Hossman kicks ass.

He told Hossmom what he planned to do. A simple idea quickly became complex as is Hossman's nature when he builds little projects. The size and shape grew. It would be made out of maple or oak, doors would be cut big enough for any Barbie or stuffed animal. Windows would be made with curtains hand stitched over them. It would be a palace, one to make other dollhouses look like little serf hamlets.

Hossmom had been through this type of thing before with her husband. She knew his grand schemes. She placed her hand on his arm and said "Hossman, she's only three. Let's scale it down a bit. Remember, we are on a budget" Reluctantly, he agreed.

He began work the next day and allowed Little Hoss help pick out the wood. They took it back to the garage and turned it into a family project. Little Hoss would carry the pieces to her father while Bubba Hoss kicked at a bug. Hossman would cut the pieces and hand them back to his daughter. She would then put them on the floor and jump on them. Hossman didn't know why but liked to think she was in the quality control department.

For days they worked at the project. They cut the dado for the floors, they made windows for the attic, and they glued their fingers together because that is what happens when you build any piece of furniture with a 3 year old and a 2 year old. They cut the doors, each of which took at least 4 hours to complete. They used 4 different kinds of sanders and 3 different kinds of sand paper. They labored, together, a father and his minions. But finally, after weeks of half ass working on it, they put it together.

It stood 4 feet tall. The joints fit together so that nothing would slip, it was like a perfect jigsaw puzzle. But as it was his daughter, Hossman reinforced every joint to the point that Armageddon itself would not be able to break this dollhouse.

But quality control was still needed. So Hossman put both his children on top of the dollhouse and told them to jump. And they did. Gladly. He inspected every piece and nothing moved. It was the rock of Gibraltar of dollhouses.

And one day it was gone. Little Hoss went to the garage and did not see her dollhouse. She asked her father where it was. He told her that Santa came and got it so he could finish it. She was excited. Hossman is a devious ass kicker.

But he knew he had the bigger job ahead of him. He had to decorate it like a dollhouse. So he took the children to the craft store and turned them loose. "Go minions" he cried like a angelic general. "Go get stickers." And they did. It was a frenzy. 20 different types of flowers, rhinestones, wooden figures. They threw stickers that puffed up in the shopping basket. they threw pink felt paper in the basket. They threw other baskets in the basket. They threw half the store in the basket. Hossman went to check out with visions of the greatness in his head. The clerk rang up the purchase.

Hossman bought 140 dollars worth of stickers. No shit. 140 bucks. That's not a typo.

It was at this point that Hossman realized that he had indeed gone overboard. He had enough stickers to wallpaper his own bedroom much less a dollhouse. So he turned to Hossmom for help. "Um" he muttered. "I messed up and need help." Hossmom was patient with him. She knew this was coming. He told her how much he spent on stickers. She laughed. She laughed hard. Who in god's name spends that much on stickers? But Hossmom took pity on him and went threw every sticker that he had brought home and picked out what was truly needed. She reminded him yet again that she is only 3 years old and to scale things down a bit. Then, like a true hero, she went and returned 120 bucks worth of stickers. And never said a thing about it. Other than to tell all her friends so that they could all laugh.

Hossman was able to get back on track. He began painting the dollhouse while rocking out to Guns and Roses. Every night for a week he went down to the basement and applied the paint to get it perfect. Then he brought it up for the final decorations. Hossmom was again glad to help but said that hand stitched curtains would be a waste, the child is only 3. This time Hossman listened to her. Because he was very, very tired of the dollhouse.

Hossmom covered the attic in pink rhinestones. Hossman got stick on linoleum and made the flooring. They made a fishy room in the middle so if Barbie wanted something exotic, she could go there. They covered another room in blue rhinestones so Barbie could chill out in style. They made an animal room with a red floor because 3 year olds and Barbie love animals. But the room that was in Hossman's head, the one he wouldn't compromise on, was the Princess ballroom.

The floor had two red roses set in white like Princess Bell's. The walls he covered with silver glittering music stickers. And on the back wall, the one where Little Hoss would see, he placed Sleeping Beauty surrounded by more roses, flanked further still by blue hearts. To look upon it is to make one cry. The dollhouse was finished.

Christmas came and he gave the dollhouse to his daughter. She was very excited and told her daddy that she loved Santa so much because he finished her dollhouse. Hossman told her he would tell Santa that. Within an hour every stuffed animal that she owned had moved into the dollhouse like squatters. Little Hoss was happy. Hossman was happy because this is one dollhouse she would never be able to break. No matter what she did to it, it would still stand. It will remain long after he is gone.

This is the story that the father told his son. The son did not say a word as his father told him this story. The son felt closer to his father, closer to him than he has ever felt. And he will understand what his father was trying to teach him.

Hossman kicks ass.

And then they would go in search of the supermodels.


  1. It needs hardwood floors for the ballroom and carpet for the bedroom.

  2. Mr. Rogers would have made it a scale replica of an ancient castle. And it would have been 8 feet tall. Cause that is the way Mr. Rogers rolls.

    Impressive feat of carpentry.