Monday, September 01, 2008

Dear Charlie:

Okay, so I'm not the best at yard maintenance. I admit it. Sheepishly.

It's not that I don't like to mow the lawn. Far from it. I put on my headphones, set the ol' mp3 player on the "Mow It!" hard rock playlist, and it's grass-beware. And it doubles as exercise, so I don't feel obliged to do anything else for at least a day or two.

But it's been either monsoon-season raining or blisteringly hot lately, with nary an in between, and that makes it very difficult to keep up with that back half. I mean, the grass back there grows like Alice after her "mother's little helper". Stupid grass.

However, it's my curse, and I bend my back to it willingly. Thus, when I called my dad to ask if he'd help haul off a brush pile that my retired-and-have-nothing-better-to-do-than-lawnwork-and-snooping neighbors abhor, I didn't ask him to bring his lawn tractor.

Please notice that I did not say lawn mower.

Unfortunately, when he arrived and saw my back yard -- though, to my credit, the front is only in need of a trim, and that just since Tuesday, when I mowed it last -- he immediately asked why I hadn't asked for said lawn tractor. I told him I'd do the mowing myself. He laughed at me. Laughed.

Okay, so maybe it was a little longer than usual. Think "meadow". No, think "hay field". That's a little more accurate. Yes, some of that grass was thigh deep, and it grows as thick as a shampoo model's hair in places.

Dad, of course, decided that nothin' doin' but we're gonna load brush AND mow. The entire back half, which is basically half of three full city lots. Usually, that would only take me about an hour and a half with my old Wally World push mower. But that tall? Hell, I don't know if three evenings in a row would do the trick.

But I valiantly protested. I hadn't called him up to mow, because that's my job. I only called about the brush because, really, where am I supposed to put it? Can't burn it without a burn permit. Can't take it to the dump because it's only open weekdays (when I...ya and because I don't have a truck. Can't leave it there because I think Robert Frost was right about good fences making good neighbors. Guh.

Unfortunately, Dad would hear nothing of it and, as soon as the brush was loaded, he started in. I refused to let him shoulder the whole burden, though, so we tag-teamed that beast. It took us...and I kid you least four hours. Maybe five. I kinda lost track there for a while because the push-pull-push-pull-don't-kill-the-mower-for-God's-sake deadened most of my brain's electrochemical activity.

But, by gum and by Jove, we got the whole back half done, and if I could hire a baler to come and neatly wrap the piles of chewed-up grass we left behind, I could probably make a tidy sum on the day. Good grief. My only hope is that the heavy layer of dead grass will kill off any growth for the rest of the year.

Because, otherwise, I may have to look into napalm. Or, in a less extreme option, lots and lots of asphalt. I could charge the neighborhood kiddies (however few there are) a buck a week to let them sidewalk chalk it all up, then just hose it off for the next week.

Yeah. That's the ticket.


At 10:22 AM, Blogger writtenwyrdd said...

I know just the solution, which we were considering the other day due to my own laziness in the mowing department: A modest herd of goats or sheep.

I just wanted to let you know I'm having a contest in honor of my 2nd blogaversary and hoped you wouldn't mind spreading the word!

At 8:43 PM, Blogger GutterBall said...

About halfway through that mowing marathon, I seriously considered buying a herd of cattle. Guh. Never letting it get that long again. Yeesh.

And I will definitely drop on by, WW. I dunno how much word-spreading I can do, but consider what I can do done!


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