I think I have a bit of a problem.
My other child has become wild, unruly and has shown an inability to play well with others.
Plus it has crabgrass.
I’m not sure at what point I lost my mind, but I think it was somewhere around the time I bought a home. With only a handful of calamities that my homeowner’s insurance is willing to throw a check toward, I’m responsible for the rest.
And I’m not what you’d call a handyman. I’m more of a Google-how-to-fix-a-faucet kind of guy.
Thankfully, I was thrown into manual labor of the landscape kind as a whiny youth. So I learned the finer points of yard work magic at a fairly young age. Through bouts of lawnmower tantrums and hiding behind a shed in my parents backyard to get out of cleaning up the elephant-sized craps of my canine housemates, I came out the other side, ready to do battle with all things plant based.
My first role as an adult was to build up my cadre of tools, equipment and masculine accouterments. Being genetically half-hippy on my mom’s side, I chose to get an electric lawn mower. My thoughts danced toward a stunning green lawn, saving the environment, and telling the oil companies to kiss my butt. It sounded perfect.
Word of warning: If you buy a lawnmower, and you really need it to be electric, then make sure it’s cordless. It might be an extra hundred dollars or so but it’s worth it not to deal with that satanic orange extension cord that will snag, grab or envelop any object that will hinder your ability to cut grass. This in turn will always stoke an almost murderous rage, which has been expressed by the absolute destruction of three extension cord reels. Last rites were duly given.
Another thing about power tools: The fun that comes with cutting, pruning, destroying or maiming these chubby green yardlings is quickly ruined by the arduous task of cleaning said carnage. Bagging and stacking yard waste makes me want to punt a bag of kittens.
I even hired a guy to weed my front and back yard. I vacillated between ecstatic exuberance and horrifying timidity because I felt so horrible that some poor guy had to spend eight hours preening my yard because I was a lazy jerk. My wife and I peered intermittently out of the shutters because we were terrified of being seen.
The thing about owning a home is that the word “mortgage” always seemed like something my parents talked about. I never thought that someday I’d be that guy telling the neighborhood kids to get off my lawn and to stop climbing my tree. But I’m that guy. Somehow the color of my lawn and the shape of my hedges has become some sort of twisted competition. I’m two seconds away from becoming both my dad and a sitcom cliche. And I’m oddly calm with that scenario.
But seriously, keep your kids off my lawn.
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