Monday, May 23, 2005

Gutterball

I spent the weekend doing some long-overdue yardwork (God, how I detest it). And as a result I also did some long-overdue sneezing, sniffing, loogie-hocking and nose-blowing. Oh, the glamour of home ownership. NOT.

Since summer has officially arrived here in Texas (101º this weekend), my wacky, yet chokeable lovable next door neighbor, Ms. Fossil has begun sitting outside in her porch-swing-type-thing. You may ask, "But Kirk, how does this pertain to you doing yardwork?" Allow me to elaborate. Since her swing is in direct view of my storage house where I keep my various tools (i.e. leafblower, rake, weedwhacker...ax) I must pass by her in order to get to it. This translates into an inevitable impromptu "friendly" conversation about how I haven't mowed my back yard for weeks, how she hasn't seen me around (translation: I see you leave/return, but don't know where you go. Tell me where you've been and why.) and, of course, how my trees, lawnmowing technique, leaf-blowing, etc., is ruining her fragile eco system she calls a life.

So I wait...and I wait...and I wait. I'm really not in the mood for the Spanish Inquisition disguised as idol chit-chat, so I try to wait her out until she hobbles back inside. I find myself avoiding passing by the windows in the den because I don't want her to think I am spying on her and her misc. gaggle of visitors she has sitting outside. Then I get a grip and say "fuck it" (I say that a lot) and tell myself that I live here too and she can bite my big ol' butt. Then I continue to wait for her to go inside. Here are some distractions I've considered to get her to go inside or at least move, so I can sprint to the shed undetected:

1) Hoist a large rock into her back yard and scream "Meteor shower!"
2) Hiding behind a tree and pretending to be the voice of Jesus (she luvs her some televangelists), and telling her to go inside and that it's "my will."
3) Blocking my number and calling her in hopes that she'll hear the phone ringing and get up to go inside and answer it.

I normally don't have to be this crafty, simply because I normally put on my dark sunglasses and wireless headphones (connected to the computer's iTunes) and walk right past her, oblivious to my surroundings. However, I bought some cheap-ass Kroger-brand batteries that were on sale for 99¢, which apparently have the shelf life/zeal of Liberace's penis at the Playboy mansion. So, until I can get me some batteries, I'll have to think of something else. Then it hits me! Cordless phone! I'll pretend to be on the telephone and she won't talk to me because of it. Sweet!

So, now that I have my battle plan set in motion (it worked, BTW), I begin the ominous task of doing yardwork. I mow both the front and back lawns. I trim some trees (the ones I can reach) of excess/dead branches. I wash the sides of the house (aluminum siding...dirty). I edge the sidewalk with the weedwhacker. And I blow all the excess into the street with my leafblower (squirrel pizza- road casualty).

Then comes time to (insert ominous music hear) clean the gutters. Ack! First off, let me preface this my saying that I don't know how to approach a lot of yard/home-related activities that I am supposed to be able to do myself. Second, I'll admit that the first time I cleaned out the gutters all I was equipped with was an ice cream scoop and a whisk broom. Shut up! I didn't know what I was gonna need! Needless to say, it took for friggin' EVER and was not very effective. With age comes wisdom, so this time around I was better equipped with a pair of thick work gloves and a new super-powerful nozzle that I'd just purchased at True Value Hardware. It's actually a lot cooler-looking than the one in my blog image, and considerably shorter, yet just as effective. AND it only cost me $1.34!! WOOT! You can't beat that with a stick! It's yellow and kinda reminds me of the top of the lid on those old bear-shaped honey dispensers.

So I get up the ladder and discover that I no longer have functional gutters but instead, very long terrariums. In retrospect I should have put all of that gunk into a pot and planted something in it. It would have thrived like gangbusters, I'm sure. It took a couple of hours, but I got the job done and the gutters are now doing their job. Now I just have to clean out the gutters in the FRONT of the house. Ugh. I'll put that on my 'To Do' list.

The moral(s) of my story:

1) Don't be a loser like me. Marry someone rich so that you can afford to pay someone else to do your yardwork for you.
2) Carry Kleenex in your pocket. A T-shirt is not an absorbant tissue.
3) The elderly are easily fooled.
4) The right tools for the right job are essential in your success.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Dave2 said...

5) Don't eat the ice cream when Kirk offers it to you... heaven only knows what ELSE he uses that scoop for.

Monday, May 23, 2005 1:46:00 AM  
Blogger Mariana said...

Oh guru, one learns so much from you. But why not simply put on your head-phones anyway? She won't know the batteries are dead. And what power does this woman have over you, that you can't just pass by her, wave hello and say you're busy and keep on walking? Does she latch on to your leg with hands and teeth to make you stay?

Monday, May 23, 2005 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger melodyann said...

I think you should have hid behind the tree and did the voice of Jesus. I laughed when I read that until I peed, a little.

Why have I not discovered you before?

You make me smile! well, and pee.

Monday, May 23, 2005 1:33:00 PM  
Blogger FruitFly said...

Neighbors like that are hard to shake. You don't want to be rude necessarily because you will have to face this woman again, whether you want to or not, but you'd really like for her to leave you alone.

So you have to make it so that she's the one that avoids you. Scare the bejesus out of her a couple of times, or maybe just freak her out a little (don't want to cause a heart attack or anything), and she'll let you go on your merry way.

Monday, May 23, 2005 2:41:00 PM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

Dave2-
Lol! Whatever!;) Actually, one of the reasons I was using the ice cream scoop/shovel was because the metallic-coating on it had begun to peel off (damn, cheap bastard!) and I figured I wouldn't be using it on food anymore anyway, so why not put it to use somewhere else? You crazy mixed-up kid, you!

Mariana-
That's true! I never even thought of that (re: putting on the headphones regardless of power). I'm happy to report that I have since bought new batteries, but I'll keep that in mind, should the situation rear its' ugly head again.

The 'power' that this woman has over me is vindictiveness. Unlike apt. living where residents eventually come and go and aren't always there for the long haul, living in a house, you know that once you're there, you're pretty much there to stay (unless you're a nomad or serial killer). Keeping this in mind, I HAVE to be remotely nice to this woman or her bitchy pettiness will soar out of control. Seriously. She's very manipulative and uses her age to her advantage (God, I'll have to blog about that later...you'd be amazed at how adept she is at it).

Melodyann-
I think that's the biggest compliment I've ever received. I've never made anyone pee before (not since high school, anyway...it's a long, disturbing story). I'm glad you enjoyed today's blog entry. Thanks for droppin' by and commenting. I appreciate it! :)

Fruitfly-
Oh-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho, and how! You hit the nail on the head, my friend. Considering that fact that she's lived in her house for over 50 years, she ain't goin' anywhere anytime soon. So, you're absolutely right, I am FORCED to tolerate her or otherwise face her petty, vindictive wrath. And trust me, if we had to involve the city, the police, the fire dept.,etc., whose side do you think they would take? The 30-something homoor the "fragile" old lady? Gee. I wonder.

You may be onto something, with your 'avoid' scare tactic maneuver. Maybe I could do do some pantsless leaf raking in the Fall or perhaps prance past the windows in the den, naked, with sock puppets on both hands. I'll come up with something. Even though she's 90+, she ain't goin' nowhere soon, trust me. People like her live forever.

Thanks for droppin' in and commenting! :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 10:44:00 AM  

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