Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Giant steps are what you take

surface tension

Ah the wild.

Ah our backyard. Every year we are like the last people in this hemisphere to mow our lawn. It usually doesn't even occur to us (me) that the lawn needs mowing until two weeks after everyone else has, and then we (Bob) wrestle the mower out of its flotsam-encrusted nest under the deck, gas it up, and curse at it until we acknowledge that he'll have to take it to the furtively snotty guys at the hardware store, who will hose it off, oil it up, and charge us $60 for "reconditioning." Money well spent, says I, although I know it galls Bob. He knows they're laughing at his soft hands.

So every year while we're waiting for the mower to start, I haul out the WeedWhacker and try to put a patch on the worst of it. I get the big tussocks of sawgrass that sprout around the deck posts and the fence and the sad mulchy flat areas I call "gardens." I do along the edges of things. Then I hit the highest parts of the middle of the yard, the parts that would stall the mower if it chowed down on them at full height. This year I beheaded a veritable shitload of dandelions. WhUZZZZ! Little yellow blizzards, that part was fun.

Every year, including the very first year we were in the house. We got here May 7. We didn't even own a lawn mower, louche renters that we were. Mr. Three was due May 21. We didn't mow and we didn't mow and Mr. Three wouldn't come and wouldn't come, and so finally, about as pregnant as humans get, I pulled out the WeedWhacker and used it as a scythe to cut the entire back yard. It was hot. I was wearing a blue flowered romper for god's sake, the last thing that fit. I waded in tall green grass up to my knees in some places. I must have looked like a migrant laborer. I still did not go into labor.

I think about that every time I WeedWhack. Every time I have to take apart the place where the line goes, and read the 4-part instructions ("Feed line through eyelet. Line up notch with eyelet. Assemble spindle. Snap on cover." I can assemble a stroller, a tiny dinosaur in an egg, a wireless network, how come I can never get the line to come out?) and end up cursing and wondering, atavistically, whether that assembly actually makes sense to the men who obviously designed the goddamn thing.

This time Mr. Three showed me where the line went, although he was mighty skeptical about what I expected that blue plastic string to do to a weed.