Hello ladies and germs gentlemen. Welcome to story time.Today’s story was going to be about my trip to the gym on Monday night.It was a somewhat cute depiction of how silly men can be.The male species would have been cast in a charming little “oh aren’t they just too obvious for words” type tone. I planned to put the finishing touch on the story last night as a reward for having completed some chores I really dislike.I’m afraid that story will have to wait because my good will towards men was RUDELY interrupted.
*The following incident is a true story. The name of the offender neighbor has been changed to protect the asshole individual.*
I’m not much for yard work.I tend to put it off til the last possible second, also known as “the day the neighbors might decide to complain.”Luckily for me the older woman (yes it feels good to say that) that lives next door to me rarely mows.As such my yard tends to look pretty darned good in comparison.
Last night was gorgeous. I briefly considered yard work while driving home but then reminded myself that it’s probably going to snow soon and I should really go biking while I can. I was already planning my route as I turned on to my street and was met with a horrific sight.
I pulled into my driveway and stared in dismay at the crime scene next door.4 strapping young lads armed with mowers, weed whackers, rakes and other hedge clipper type yard stuffs. I glared at Dorothy who was overseeing the work from her front steps.Traitor.
I stomped into my house, slammed down my briefcase and threw myself across my bed. I briefly considered a temper tantrum as I stared at my ceiling but I didn’t want to scare the cats. Sighing dramatically for my feline audience I changed into my mow-the-lawn outfit and did the “but I don’t wannnnnnna” sulky walk to the garage.
I rolled the mower out to the driveway and glanced over at Dorothy’s yard. It looked perfect. The brat pack was gone and in their stead was a sign that advertised their not so affordable services as “Law N Order.” Cute. *gag*
I pumped the little gas thingy and pulled the starter. Nada. I tried about 3 more times before pumping the little gas thingy again. Then I placed my foot against the mower and kicked it forward with my foot while pulling back on the string starter. *Rowrr putt putt choke* Well this was going great. I put my hands on my hips and glared at the mower as laughter floated across the street.
“YO little lady. Having some trouble?”
The yo was from my new neighbor across the street. He and 2 of his buddies had begun renting the house 3 months earlier. I’d been unable to avoid him 2 times previously and if those conversations were any indication of his personality he was a complete Neanderthal. I briefly considered pretending I hadn’t heard him, but chances were I’d need some help getting this stupid machine going.
“Hi Jake. Mower doesn’t want to start,” I said with a shrug. I groaned inwardly as he sauntered across the street smoking his 400th cigarette of the day, one dirty hand holding a beer and the other scratching his nails over his protruding belly.
“Well,” he said to my chest, “You might be able to convince me to help you out if you ask real nice. Mowing isn’t really something a tiny thing like you ought to be doing. You should really have a man around here for these things. Someone to take care of you and the like.”
I raised my eyebrows at this but since he wasn’t looking at my face I don’t think it registered. “Oh really.”
“Yep. Doesn’t seem proper to me for someone like you to have to worry herself with man’s work. I’d imagine you’d be wanting to have someone new move in with you soon. Surely your ex-husband won’t continue to pay for this house forever.”
Oh boy. “Hey Jake. Are you going to start this thing or not?”
“Weeeelllllllll now. Is that anyway to ask nice?”
“Please,” I said through clenched teeth.
“I don’t think that’s quite good enough. You might offer to bake a cake or smile at me pretty or something.”
“Have a nice evening Jake,” I said and turned back to the mower. I jabbed the gas thingy, slammed my foot against the mower and hauled back for all I was worth. RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
I sneered at Jake and took off across the yard. God I hate yard work. Need a man. Hmmph. Ex husband?Puhleeeze. I have never been married (or even gotten child support for that matter) and I bought this house with my own hard earned money 8 years ago when it was completely falling apart. I re-roofed, re-windowed, re-doored, re-sided, took out walls, sheet rocked the entire upstairs and painted. I had worked 3 jobs to make this happen, one of which was a weekend job shingling roofs. I ran a nail gun just as fast as any of the men on that crew thank you very much. I worked myself sick climbing up the career ladder to the point where I now only needed one job to make ends meet. Ok barely meet, but meet! Need a man. NEED A MAN?
I ranted on in my head as I mowed. Every once in awhile I
glared glanced across the street at the 3 guys who had now set up lawn chairs on the driveway and chugged at their beers as they watched me. They’d howl with laughter every time I’d get to the end of the yard and needed to turn. The mower has this self propel thingy on it and I haven’t figured out how to disengage that for the turning part without killing the engine. As such it tends to drag me a bit as I turn and then lurch forward. Despite this propulsion I still get stuck going up the hill on the north side of the yard. I have to go practically prone and dig my feet into the ground to get the mower to go. God I hate yard work.
Finally the front half was done. I headed towards the gate between the house and the garage but it was closed. Great. I’d have to let the mower die so I could get it opened. No sooner had the engine killed than the commentary started up again…
“You missed a spot darling. Oh, and are those lines some sort of artytistic design?”
Artytistic? Where the hell did this guy come from? I began the argument with the starter. Nada.
“Well this here’s like that Degas view isn’t it?” Jake said over the top of the fence.
“What?” I curtly responded while wiping sweat off my forehead.
“Degas view!” He said impatiently and then lowered his voice to condescendingly explain, “It’s a term. It means it seems like it’s already happened before. Think it was named after that artist.”
“You mean déjà vu? Is that what you’re trying to say? Well this might seem like that too. GO AWAY.”
I wheeled around and cranked on the starter. Unfortunately my hands were sweaty and I proceeded to fall hard on my ass. I was so mad and humiliated that I was on the verge of tears. I looked out over the back. ½ an acre. WHY did I buy this lot?
“Anything sweet would be just fine,” said Jake as he extended a hand to help me up. I refused his hand but managed to nod as I slunk off to the house.
Twenty minutes later I was back from the store with the ingredients with which to degrade myself. Jake still wasn’t mowing.
I crossed the street to make sure he was going to hold up his end of the deal. Weaving my way through the collection of pick-ups I overheard him saying, “She was so mad she didn’t even think to check the gas. I can’t wait to see the look on her face when I tell her. I’ll wait until she hands over the cake and then I’ll tell her my way of helping her is to tell her what she did wrong. I’ll tell her I couldn’t do a proper job without the proper supplies.”
Just then he glanced up and saw me standing there with my grocery bag. I set the bag down and lifted out the carton of eggs. I performed what I believe to be an absolutely adorable curtsey and then dumped the eggs on the floor of the garage. I followed this with a bag of flour. I was about to dump out the sugar when he jumped up and grabbed it out of my hands screaming “What the HELL are you doing?”
“It’s your cake Jake,” I explained with a sweet smile, “I couldn’t do a proper job without the proper supplies and it would seem I don’t have a pan.”
I then left them in silence and went back home. Luckily for me I already know that these guys are getting the boot next week. The rest of the neighbors have already complained about them to the homeowner.
The yard you ask? Nah. It’s still not mowed. I left the mower sitting all by itself in the yard. That oughtta teach it.