Thursday, July 22, 2010

out of the frying pan and into the fire

i hate doing yard work in florida.

i have recently taken up pipe smoking.

are the two related? hmm, maybe, maybe not. you get to be the judge. but if you study your psychology to any extent, you could almost say that "b" follows "a" like a connect-the-dots (so i guess that would make it "2" follows "1" but whatever.)

as i said, i hate doing yard work in florida. here's why. but get settled in, o beloved non-existent readers, get comfy. make sure you have your coffee or tea or tom collins or whathaveyou ready. without any further delays, here's why: the "grass" on my little sandbar of florida is a grass/weed hybrid that grows well on the sandy soil. as long as it gets regular water, and an overabundance of shade. anywhere else in the world, the shade would be doable, but since the only trees that grow on this spit of land are palm trees, and there aren't too many of those, the only part of my lawn that flourishes is the part that gets shaded by the three palms that occupy my yard, and the front, which is shaded by the house.

so when i mow, i am actually doing two things besides maintaining my rampant weed grass at an acceptable height (which, i can assure you, the beloveds, is a good two inches taller than your lawn, because if we cut the hybrid too low, it dies): 1) i am further killing the areas that don't grow well to begin with due to overexposure to the sun, and 2) i am kicking up an inordinate amount of sandy dust that sticks to everything on my person, mainly because it is already 95 degrees out at ten in the morning with a humidity percentage of the same, and i am already covered in sweat at the very thought of getting the mower out of the garage.

another disadvantage to doing yard work on a sandbar is the only thing maintaining ground stability is the aforementioned weed grass. anywhere that the "lawn" is not doing well is a shifting pit of sand. so turning a heavy lawnmower in these areas is extremely hard on my hands, shoulders, hips and knees.

now, for those of you, the beloved non-existents, who have been passing by this thistle bur lodged in the foot of the world wide web for several years (which i am pretty sure is absolutely no one anymore) or the ones that read my history to get caught up to date (which is one or two of you probably), you will know that i actually really like yard work. enjoy it. one could even say look forward to it. so, having said that, we know that it is yard work specifically in florida that i hate.

the yard needed some tending to bad though. so i set out. now, because it was already like a sauna at ten, this involved weeding the beds, and then coming inside for a half hour and drinking water. then going back out and edging. then coming back into the ac and drinking water. then limping back out to mow and sucking down clouds of sand whilst sweating gallons and damn near passing out from heat exhaustion as i finished up the last of the back yard. then coming inside, sitting for quite some time without moving much except to pour water down my unwilling throat. i didn't even have the energy to eat, though i probably needed it something fierce.

again, this is called heat exhaustion.

later on in the afternoon when the temperatures calmed somewhat, i was feeling better, and sat out on the front porch with a pipeful of vanilla cavendish. i took my time, savored the smoke, relaxed, beamed upon the hard work i had done and the fruits of my labors. when i was through, i tapped out my bowl in the corner of one of the flower beds nearest my chair.

our friends q n j came over to hang out with us, and we were talking and waiting for my wife to come home from work when the doorbell rings. it is one of the neighbor's teenage sons, and he says, "is your yard supposed to be on fire?"

yes, fire. yes, though technically not the yard so much that one small corner of the flower bed, which currently has a small, 8-inch diameter blaze spiking up redly from the mulch and a defunct sprinkler head that is now a black, foul-smelling wad of goo with a spring launching like a rocket from the center.

"umm, no, no it's not."

i douse the flames, and the mulch for a few inches around the burnt patch, remove the spring and melted head, and laugh with the neighbors about my bad luck.

the neighbor says, "i go out with kindling, starter fluid, dry wood, and a grill lighter and can't get a fire started, you tap out some ash, and poof!"


so obviously an ashtray is in order, is it not, o beloved non-existent readers?

what was funnier was that i was pontificating wildly with q n j about the bruiser of a reactionary tizzy that my wife would throw upon noting the burnt patch and discovering its origin. i opined that she would probably set an immediate ban on pipe smoking of any sort, and then proceed to stomp around the house and take several minutes to calm back down to her usual jovial self.

is it bad that i am just a little disappointed that she walked right past the still-smelly black patch without noticing, and then when i outed myself in a case of complete honesty and full disclosure her reaction was simply, "well, i guess you'd better start keeping a coffee can out there, huh? goofball."

ultimately, i am happy that no serious damage was done (though i am thinking i should buy a cap for the sprinkler head just in case anyone ever decides to turn the water back on), and that no one was hurt, and that i learned my lesson and my wife blew it off like water off a duck's back.

and thanks for letting me be the doof here and playing along.

also, my friend melly is doing as well as can be expected on a barrage of chemo, and is being well-taken care of. thank you to all of you who are out there and still read who might've sent positive energy or prayers or whatever communication with deity that you personally believe in on her behalf. or just in general, cause i believe that taking a moment out of your day to think, "man, i hope the people out there that are in need of comfort, love, health, and strength are getting their needs met" counts.

damn, now the back of my throat burns. i am such a bawlbaby.

darth sardonic

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Blogger Grit said...

setting the lawn on fire could be my next solution if the present one fails when we come to our senses.

is everyone going to hate me if i confess i have never cut the grass on our patch of earth since i had kids? i send them out there with nail scissors and tell them to get cutting. the best thing is, they do.

2:02 PM  
Blogger darth sardonic said...

lol nice grit

4:40 AM  

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