Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chitauqua in the Front Yard

Today the sun was shining again in the second day of what I call the "snap of winter" the day that it really feels that spring has arrived and the frozen grip of winter has thawed to a nice clear puddle soon to evaporate in the relentless days of no rain to come until next year.

I looked at the green collection of weeds tall grasses, pussy willows and clover leaf which i call my lawn and decided it was time for some zen "weed gardening" as I call it. I need a break from my never ending cycle of searching for work and staring at the computer. It was simply a sin to waste such a day pining away inside. At once I decided that I would only remove the types of weeds that had no hope of passing for grass to better fortify my green illusion. At the same time I realized that if I were to remove all weeds I would be left with a barren patch of land. So my weeding was judicious and calculated. Anything with a broad leaf or non linear stucture was suspect and subject to removal.

I was reminded of my child hood when my overbearing father made us weed the landscaping as a chore. His pet peeve was "topping" the weeds. He would watch and make sure you got the whole plant down to the root, muttering about "gettin tha root". In those days I didn't care if the weeds grew back quickly as it was just as likely that another of my siblings would be stuck with the chore of removal when the thing grew back He could dine on the roots for all I cared. Now having full ownership of my own "landscape" if you can call it that, when I weed I want to 'get tha root' because when it grows back quickly I am the only one stuck with a brand new weed with a highly developed root system.

Of course being outside I got to watch some people pass by. Only the "Mormon Elders" had an interest in talking with me. I don't know much about the LDS church other than my pastor and all reasonable Christians I know tell me its a whack job religion, a cult, if you will. I will tell you they don't help their cause by sending high school kids on missions introducing themselves as "Elder." It was my good fortune that the local bishop of the Morman church bought the house beside mine and we were neighbors for years. I just drop his name and the kids kind of give up on me. I guess if the Bishop can't convert his neighbor that what chance do they have.

I have a strategy for all the common type door knockers we get these days. There are the "Elders" I have discussed, the Jehovahs Witnesses (watchtower guys), the young girls bussed in from the inner city trying to earn points for a vacation by selling magazines and candy, there is the occasional process server which ironically is the encounter most easily dealt with as they want to to be off your porch before you realized that you "have just been served." With the JW just take their copy of the Watch Tower and close the door quickly. Strategy for the magazine/candy sellers is to start telling them all about your problems and ask if you can get a free candy bar or borrow money. They will almost immediately vanish not only from your doorstep but the entire neighborhood.

The last Door Knocker I had was cute teenager who was holding a very weathered looking plastic sealed card with her that smelled of stripper perfume. During her sales pitch she at once gave me a little whack and told me I had Mexicans living across the street. The former gave me a start but I was not surpised at the latter. I at once identified the whack as some type of sales shock tactic so I reciprocated with a little punch to her shoulder. She was totally unnerved by this and left telling me the she had earned 4300 points from the Mexicans. I shut the door quickly when she asked if she could come inside. "My God" I asked myself, what was she selling? I hope it was perfume.

Following the weed picking, was a lawn mowing which really gets the green patch looking like a real grass yard. I have heard there is an advanced form of astro turf you can use instead of a real yard now which would be ideal except that I am reminded of those little astro turf yards that you see at the state beach campgrounds which the RV crowd prizes so highly.

Not a good look to me. I am always amazed at the length people will go to bring all the trappings of modern life to the campground. The RVs comes with satelite TVs, microvave ovens, private flush toilets and showers,king size beds, patio furniture, some times even indoor furniture, all powered by the almighty gas generator drowning out the silence and the sounds of nature. Each one of those RV tin cans reminds me of a lunch box on steroids. What is the point of going to the camp ground and getting closer to nature inside an RV? I guess its nature with a good bed and no flies, squirrels racoons, or opposums.

Tommorow I am not going to be hanging around the front yard.

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