Yard work is a bitch. I really don’t understand why people care so much about their yard. There is nothing about yard work that I find fun, interesting or rewarding. As it happens I have a very nice yard. My wife works hard and has worked hard to make it so. Yes, yes I help her. I have sent my step-son out there many times to cut the grass or clean up, or do the things that his mother might need help with, after all I am a man.
Here are the problems I have with yard work. The sun is out, beating the hell out of the earth and everything on it. It is 98 degrees, suffocating humidity, and as miserable as a dental appointment. Also, the bees (which I consider to be tantamount to a flying hypodermic needle), and the mosquitoes and all the other bugs are out there flying around scaring the shit out of me laughing as they do it; knowing that at any moment they can sting me and cause me to go running into the house like a little girl.
Whenever there are flying insects, well, here come the spiders and the birds. You never know where the spiders are. You have to watch and inspect anywhere that you might want to put your hand. I know people say the birds are good because they eat the insects. Two things on that; one, they don’t eat nearly enough of them, and two when they are finished they just shit them all over my fence. I am supposed to go outside and clean my own fence that the birds shit all over, as if I work at the fucking zoo.
On a more personal note, I have a deathly fear of snakes. I don’t often see them but I believe, and know that they are out there. I don’t know which ones are safe or which ones are dangerous, so I err on the side of safety and treat them all as poisonous. People tell me that black snakes are good because they eat poisonous snakes. Is that supposed to make me feel better? I am not Steve Irwin. I don’t have the ability to identify snakes. If one comes near me, I scream, run inside, and then take a shower and throw my pants in the garbage can after wrapping them in a plastic bag.
Yard work poses a threat to my safety. I don’t even enter my backyard without doing a thorough search for nature’s predators. I literally crouch down and slowly walk as if I were sneaking up on someone. Getting bitten by a snake, or a spider is too great a cost for having a nice yard. The coolest thing we ever did to our yard was when we had 25×25 foot concrete slab poured in the backyard. That is a guaranteed 625 square feet of maintenance free real estate. It is the part of my yard I am most proud of. It is the only part of my backyard that I feel safe on.
If you think about it, people spend relatively little time in their yard. I mean besides the time spent doing yard work. Most of the time, people are indoors. They don’t even see their yard that much.
My wife told me one time as I was leaving to got to work, “Hey Tom I am ordering ten yards of mulch today, It will be on the driveway when you get home. Can you help me get it to the backyard?” I said of “course dear.” I did not know what ten yards of mulch was I figured I would help her for an hour or so and then just start my weekend off. When I got home that afternoon, I could not believe what I saw when I pulled into the driveway. I parked my car next to this steaming pile of disappointments, and got out to have a closer look. I remember thinking “Why does my wife hate me this much?” Yvonne usually gets this much mulch every year, and she refers to it as “Mulch Madness”.
I will however say that I do understand the idea of a vegetable garden. I just think that it is not worth it. I realize that there is some satisfaction in knowing that you grew something and now it is on your dinner table. I also know that it is a lot of work having a garden. I just don’t think I could take the disappointment of working that hard knowing that I had worked my ass off in the heat, and at great personal risk, only to have the very work that I have done, sustain life to those little bastards.
Most people take a more offensive approach to yard work. I see them every day spraying for bugs or treating their yard. They declare war on the bugs and pests of the outdoors. I don’t have the energy to declare war on them. I just simply pull out my white flag of apathy and proudly wave it as I give up. I would just surrender my whole yard to them. To me, that is the only way to win. Besides even if I killed all the bugs, and all the weeds, and my yard just looked so good that it could be featured in magazines all over the country, there is still the core problem that would prevent me from working in my yard. I just don’t give a shit!
I am Tom Nardone, and you are welcome.
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