The Square Peg - Rainy Day Woes and the Brush Pile Miracle
© S. Bradley Stoner
Well crap. I got up early this morning. Did my workout with weights... damn you Jeremy Crow... before I had breakfast. Then I was going to go out and mow my lawn. Um, no. It was raining. So all that prep yesterday goes for naught. I spent an hour tuning up old Chug-a-lug (my mower), cleaning off all the dead grass on the deck, cleaning the air filter, and sharpening the blade. Chug-a-lug was shiny and purring like a kitten when I got done.
“Only a 20 percent chance of rain tomorrow,” the weatherman on Fox News said. “Ten percent chance, but it will stay well east of San Antonio,” said the NBC weatherman. “Slight chance of rain tomorrow,” said the CBS weatherman. ‘Okay!’ I thought to myself, ‘I’ll have nice weather in the morning, cool and dry... perfect lawn mowing weather down here.’ Damn weathermen. I should have looked at the Old Farmers Almanac. They said, “Wet.” Guess what? They were dead on again.
While I was busy working on my mower yesterday, I noticed my neighbor across the street pausing by his brush pile the city was due to pick up later in the day. Ian scratched his head and stared with a confused look. It was my fault. I had trimmed a couple of my trees and some of my bushes. Rather than start a new pile on my sidewalk, I just hauled the branches across the street and added them to his. Heck, it would make it easier for the pick up guys... one pile instead of two, not that they would have cared one way or the other.
Since Ian kept walking around the pile, scratching his head and rubbing his chin, I figured I’d better own up to it. So, I left my blade sharpening half done, put the blade on my bench, turned off my grinder, and wandered down the driveway and across the street to where Ian still stood with a puzzled look on his face.
“Hi Ian,” said I. “Bet you’re wondering where that extra brush came from.”
Ian looked up.
I raised my hand like a first grade kid caught throwing an eraser at the teacher (I had experience with that). “I did it... I only had a small amount of branches and figured why start a new pile, so I put ‘em on yours.”
“Oh,” Ian replied, suddenly brightening. “I was starting to think I’d lost my mind. I didn’t remember adding anything, but I just wasn’t sure... I kept trying to figure out what else I would have trimmed, and when. I was really confused.”
Now, not to be mean, but frankly if I had a pile of brush and noticed that it had magically grown over night, I wouldn’t be wondering. I’d have figured somebody else took advantage of an existing pile and just chucked a few extra branches on it, not that it might be some sort of brush pile miracle. But I’m a logical kind of guy with a fairly good memory. Matter of fact, I remember that eraser throwing event quite clearly. I can still see the look on my teacher’s face. She was not happy... she never was able to brush all the white chalk off her black dress... so there was ample evidence to convict me in the Principal’s office. Teach me to raise my hand... not that I’d have gotten away with it... Sammy the Squealer sat next to me and I had a little chalk on my shirt too. But I digress.
“Nope... it was just me. You weren’t sleep trimming,” I rejoined.
“Well thank you for telling me... I was starting to think I was losing my mind.”
I’m pretty sure Ian is suffering from short-term memory loss, but I had the good grace not to say it. He’s a nice old gentleman... did I just say that? I mean, I think I’m a year older than he is, but I neither feel it nor look it... and my look is getting better daily... thank you Jeremy Crow... I do tend to have a few aching muscles on a daily basis, however. I could do without that. Anyway, I hope Ian finds his memory soon... I’m going to recommend a few vitamin supplements to him. And next time we have brush pick up, I’ll pile my brush on my own sidewalk... maybe I’ll go get his and add it to mine. Fair is fair, after all, but I wonder if he’ll think somebody stole his pile. I’ll keep you posted.
Okay... got to get back to work on the book... two more weeks and I should be done...