It's not about the house.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pong. It's A Word.

I. Hate. Housework.

Ha! That was a Freudian slip there. What I meant to say was I. Hate. Yardwork. I’ve been planning to say it in my head for hours. Just like that, too, with the periods and capitals and all. Then I was going to say it again like normal, with all this other writing after, too. It was going to be so funny! But when I finally sat down to type, it came out all poopsie-daisy. So let’s try this again, together, shall we?

I. Hate. Yardword.

(Oh hell. Whatever. Fat lot of good you people are. I tell you what. Screw it. I’m moving on.)

I hate yardwork so much (there we go), I actually believed the Boston Globe last fall when they said you didn’t have to rake your lawn. I know! Right? But it's true. I'd link to it if I were a bit less lazy, but I'm not (as you shall see). Really, though, they said that if you had mostly maple trees (which we do!) and especially if you were expecting a harsh winter (which we had!) then you could leave your leaves all over the damn place and they'd be rotted and absorbed by Eastertime.

Stoopid Globe.

The flaw in this logic didn’t even occur to me until I was bitching about it to my hairdresser the other day. See, the grass started going green this week -- overnight, as a matter of fact, on Wednesday -- and I knew that if I wanted any sort of lawn at all this summer, I could put it off no longer. I had to pick them up this weekend. Now. Now. Now that they were all squishy and pongy after six months of freezing and thawing and freezing and absorbing the brunt of a particularly harsh winter.

So I was sitting in the chair, letting Edward Scissorhands fuck up my hair for the third appointment in a row (he did a good job the first time, but since then it has devolved into what appears to be a sort of modified "O Superman" mullet. Yay. But that’s another story for another time) and suddenly the flaw in the Globe’s logic rang out O Super loud and clear:

If you didn’t have to rake your lawn every year, then nobody would. Doy. What do they think, we all actually care how the neighbors feel about the appearance of our lawns in January? Pong.

Now, the downside of this for me (well, the other downside – in addition to the fact that I had to do the yardword, and that I now had to deal with leaves that had all but turned to pong-ass mud) was that, if we had done it in the fall like you’re supposed to – or, for that matter, if we’d done it a month ago when it first became obvious that the Globe was full of pong – I would have had my husband’s help. He doesn’t like it any more than I do, but he is at least an extra set of hands. An extra rake. And often, when I’m working myself up into a good snit because I have to actually do the things that go along with being a non-wealthy grown-up who has chosen not to breed, he makes me laugh. Which is pretty good of him. Especially considering the fact that, if he were in control of the ovaries around here, we’d have a whole litter of lawn-rakers running around.

But I digress.

The point is this: the yardwork needed done. It needed done immediately. And Johnny has broken ribs. But just as I was contemplating taking my own self out of commission with a strategically-placed slice of tomato or something, I remembered:

Dr. One Friend's coming this weekend!

I emailed her. I told her all about how smart and young and beautiful I thought she was, and I confessed my sorrow at having to report that I'd be occupied for nearly half her visit because of my unfortunately no-long-avoidable obligation to my yard. And then I allowed as how I might see myself treating her to a no-holds-barred calorie-fest at our favorite guilty-pleasure, too-embarrassing-to-name national-chain restaurant, if only she would be kind enough to, I don’t know, sit in the goddamn yard and keep me company while I worked.

She offered to help!

Well, naturally, I was shocked and humbled by her suggestion. But what else could I do besides accept?

And then, also naturally, all the weather guys could talk about was rain.

Seriously, I didn’t know what I would do. I couldn’t even conceive of myself raking that yard alone. I’d already sworn to do it once, while Johnny was away. One hour a day, I told myself, till it was through. And then I heroically failed to even start. If One Friend came and went this weekend in a hail of stormy weather, I might as well park a rusty old van in my yard and have somebody knock out half my teeth.

(Cuz of the pongy-yard image, you see? It's white trash. Oh, never mind.)

But Saturday morning, as it turned out, was free and clear. They predicted rain for afternoon, but this was not supposed to be an all-day job. One Friend and I were awake and dressed and fed and coffeed before nine (but not showered, ‘cause we were only fixing to work up a pong), and we were raring to well-begin. And you know what they say about well-beginning, right?


One Friend has never been in my basement before. In fact, she pretends to not believe that it exists. But she came down with me this morning to gather yarkwork implements – and so she was with me when I realized that the leaky pipe I “fixed” last April didn’t hold. There was water everywhere. I didn’t care. That is not the point of this story. That leak was not my problem. I fixed it last year, this year was Johnny’s turn. I put a wee paint pot under it to catch the slow drip that was coming at the very moment, and reminded myself to remember to tell Himself to switch it out.

(Hang on a second... Okay, I told him.)

(Hang on another second... Okay, now he's actually done.)

And then it turned out I’d misremembered the details of our Implement Inventory. All I could find down there was the cheap-ass old rake, the big-ass floppy plastic one I bought last year when I broke the old one, and the metal one we use for ponging corners. Still, though, that was plenty. One Friend could use the big-ass one because she’s bigger, I could use the cheap-ass one because I’m -- well -- and we could fight over the pongy corners.


Well, didn’t I break the cheap-ass one on my very first rake? Yes. Yes, I did. One Friend says you really should have seen the expression on my face. I wasn’t even all that mad – I am Destructo, after all – but it’s a good thing she stopped me before I went in the house. I was going for my wallet so we could get a new rake at Blowe's, but she noticed just in time that -- in that selfsame inaugural 30-second spurt -- I put my foot in a snow-sogged pile of One Doggy doo.

My god.

Have I mentioned how much I ponging hate yardowke?

It’s done now. We bought a new rake and another little one for corners, the rain held off, we worked our tails off and were done in just over two hours. After that we had a couple beers (well, I did), and a nap and a shower (both of us -- but not together, jeez!), and any minute now we’re off.  To (okay, I'll admit it) Chili’s. For chips and salsa and classic nachos and southwestern cobbs and beer and beer and beer and beer and beer.

And she says she's not even really going to let me pay!


LadyScot said...

I'll admit to it, too...I like Chili's! And, hooray for getting the yardwork done.

LadyScot said...

Oh, and thanks for reminding me about pong. I hadn't heard that one in a long time.

Janice said...

yes, I had children in the 70s - and pong is a regular word in regular use here in NZ - didn't realise it was Irish. Mmmm, aah, just looked it up, UK and Australian, informal.

beardonaut said...

I see how this works. You have decided to use "pong" instead of that annoying beeping sound on TV. Good on you.

And that videogame I used to play as a child is actually called Fuck. Cool.

su said...

ahhh and ping fuck

Sashimi said...

oh yay! :) I was holding my breath..had a premonition it would start to rain "whilst" you were out purchasing rakes.

Khurston said...

oooo - i hope you had a molten chocolate cake to wash it all down. i hope you EACH had one and didn't even share!

ege said...

LadyScot -- You're welcome! Johnny laughed when I told him you recognized it.

Janice -- Oooh, I won't tell him you called him "UK!"

Beardo -- Yes. Sort of. And yes -- in fact, in our house, most games were called some variation of the same!

Su -- Um... Yeah!

Sashimi -- it actually did start raining while we were out there, but it stopped so fast it was not worth mentioning. Phew!

Khurston -- Twice? On one weekend? You DO love me! But no, alas, we were too full for molten cake. Waaah!

Anonymous said...

Get a mulching blade for the lawn mover. In the Fall, when all the leaves have done did all the falling, mow em. (Your neighbors already think you're crazy, so?) The pulverized leaves will protect your lawn AND will be pretty much rotten and absorbed by Eastertime. Go directly to Chilis and beer, beer, beer; do not pass Go, do not rake the yard first.

12ontheinside said...

Skip the raking and get a neighbourhood kid to do it Then go to Chili's! Mmm!

DonnaStaf said...

Not too late for a coupla lawn rakers! Specially if you share the economy kid pack gene with me!

su said...

Bite your tongue Donna