Chris Johnson

How about a lot with an Earth view?

Last summer, my wife yelled from the living room: “THAT’S IT!”

I figured she’d finally wised up, so I began to think about what I needed to pack. But, for once, her source of frustration had nothing to do with me.

For years, no one lived on the lot behind our house. Then THEY built a home. They erected a privacy fence, so we didn’t have to see them, although their loudmouthed voices carried over it quite easily. Then, they put in an above-ground pool and a deck around it. The deck was high enough that they could see over the privacy fence onto our property. Worse, we could see the folks on the pool deck.

“Look at that!” my wife told me. Sitting on the sofa, we could look through the glass door to our back porch and see a large, shirtless, hairy, beer-gutted fellow staring right back at us. Lovely.

Now, some folks’ response to this problem would be something subtle and reasonable — such as closing the blinds or sneaking into their yard at night and setting fire to the deck (my idea). But she decided the reasonable thing to do was to sell the house and build a new one.

Fortunately, we found the almost-perfect lot. It’s small, about a third of an acre, but there are dozens of acres of unbuildable greenspace and wetlands behind us. We’ll never have anyone living behind us who is not listed on a calendar of Georgia’s hunting seasons. As far as I know, that man who once lived behind us was never listed on that calendar (or we’d have never had to move).

I say it’s almost perfect because I just recently learned that there is a company selling acres of land on the moon, as well as on Mars, Venus and Mercury. Heck, they’ve got the whole ex-planet of Pluto listed for just $250,000 on their website, The going rate for an acre on the moon or Mars is just $24.99. And, Pluto is listed as — I kid you not — “in stock.”

Apparently, the only laws on the books about property on the moon or Mars or ex-planets is that nations aren’t allowed to claim land beyond Earth. That was the loophole this site’s founder needed, I guess. It might even be more official than when I’d paddle to little island in the middle of the Flint River and proclaim it “discovered” and named “CJ Land.” If Christopher Columbus could “discover” lands where folks had lived for a million years, Christopher Johnson can “discover” a 100-square-foot island of mud. Of course, when a cottonmouth would join me, I’d un-discover it pretty quickly.

Perhaps we should have considered buying our lot on Mars. I doubt we’d have any neighbors besides maybe Matt Damon. And it certainly looks easier to clear lots on Mars than the jungle of briars that have ripped my legs to shreds. Although, it’s been hard enough to keep the construction guys on schedule as it is. If they’ve got to go 34 million miles to put in a septic tank — I’m assuming Mars is not on city water and sewer — that’s definitely gonna delay things another week or two.

But at least we wouldn’t be able to see that guy who used to live behind us — not without a telescope anyway. Trust me, you don’t want to see that fellow with the naked eye. In fact, you don’t ever want to use the word “naked” and that guy in any context.

Of course, we probably shouldn’t rule out a place on the moon, where the gravity is just 17 percent of what it is on Earth. Not only would my doctor be pleased to find out I’ve dropped to 34 pounds, but with my vertical leap, I’d be the moon’s LeBron James.

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