This blog has mentioned before that men are creatures of action.
Sure, we spend 99% of the time in our recliners. But that other 1%? When we are in the yard and armed with cutting devices? We are creatures of action.
And once we get a head of steam?
There. Is. No. Stopping. Us.
We will cut and saw and slash and burn the greenery until the cows come home. And then we will cut and saw and slash and burn the cattle. It’s what men do.
Tragically, this angers women folk — namely, the Missus and, even worse, Mother Nature.
We men think greenery should be trimmed to within an inch of its life. That way you don’t have to trim it again until next year. Or maybe never, if you did a really good trimming job and it died.
Women believe trimming trees should be done as carefully as brain surgery. Or even hair styling, for crying out loud.
Plus our Missus, and Mother Nature, nurture and dearly love some truly evil plants and trees. Why? Because at some point, they explode into a wondrous range of reds and yellows and general prettiness.
It makes the women folk all misty eyed. It makes the men folk want to go to war.
And it is war, because many of these so-called harmless plants and trees make napalm.
Case in point, we give you the Rhus tree (toxicodendron). This blog does not speak Latin, but we can only assume the name translates to “turns a man’s body into a giant bloody rash”.
A few days ago, the blog hit that active 1% of the time. We decided to get out of our recliner (read “get away from the Missus”), and go out into the yard.
We honestly had no intention of actually cutting anything. But the blog lives in Titirangi, which is Maori for “The edge of Heaven”.
Here, Mother Nature insists that everything grows quickly. You could drop a Popsicle stick on the ground, and the next day it would have turned into a mighty Kauri (New Zealand’s version of a Redwood).
So if you don’t stay on it, you will find yourself effectively living inside a tree, because greenery will surround you as you sleep.
Lately, the “privacy vines” the Missus planted long ago on the lattice fence have become aggressive, literally grabbing me by the sleeve and dragging me out of the Honda. Which pissed the blog off. So we decided to grab the small hedge trimmer and make them pay.
But, of course, one thing led to another. In short order, the vine rimming session turned into our annual War Against Mother Nature.
We even hauled out the 12-foot-long, spring loaded, two section, rope driven Secatur of Death that will cut through steel.
And we decided to attack the stupid Rhus tree that has been covering the camper van with leaves and sap and blocking our bedroom’s sun.
This is the same tree that, two years ago, was home to approximately eleventy hundred kajillion bees that were so LOUD that the blog, without his hearing aids, could hear the bees and their threats.
“Touch this tree and you will die a very painful and stingy death.”
But there are no bees this year. Heeheehee. So the blog decided to “trim back” the stupid Rhus tree. And by “trim back” we mean “kill”.
For about an hour, the blog and his bad neck, looked skyward, and, without putting too fine a point on it, we cut the absolute crap out of the stupid sappy, bee-attracting Rhus tree.
Sure, the limbs would frequently fall straight down and pierce our head, but manly blogs do not care about minor flesh wounds when we are in cutting rut.
After the work and sweat and head wounds and cursing were done, we gathered up all the branches and leaves and carried them deep into the primordial jungle out back. This took many, many armfuls.
Even though we were itching a little bit, being a manly kind of blog, we decided to celebrate our great victory by relaxing and having a beer before going inside to use the toilet and hit the shower.
An hour later, after hosing ourselves off, we felt all refreshed, but we noticed a few red marks on our face. This did not disturb us, because manly blogs wear our War Wounds with pride.
Until they become SUPER ITCHY BUMPS that cover about 97% of our body including, and there is no way to say this delicately, the Johnson Region.
After three days, we have yet to find the right combination of creams and pills and vinegars to eliminate the allergy related itchy bumps.
And I quote from the one of the Missus’ many books on Mother Nature:
Allergy: Toxicodendron species contasin oleoresins known collectively as urushiol.
In susceptible individuals (read “the blog”), these compounds trigger a type IV delayed hypersensitivity reaction: a “bullous allergic contact dermatitis in vitro Johnson Zone”.
So we are off to the grocery store and pharmacy for more drugs and lotions and possibly a flame thrower.
Why do the women always win?
Go HERE for other stories about men being stupid out in the yard.
So, we need to be somewhere and have just 15 minutes to write and post a blog.
That is the challenge.
We are not sure what the topic should be.
Possibly jihadist terrorism. Or ducks. Or Bruce Springsteen. Or the Terrible Twosome.
Yes, we will write about the Terrible Twosome, my childhood best friend Steve Madden, and out football buddy Dallas Pryor.
Steve and Dallas were stud-hoss lineman on our sixth grade Cleveland Cougars’ champeenship team.
As I recall, Dallas, appropriately, wore a crummy, old Dallas Cowboy’s helmet. The rest of us wore new white helmets, with black stripes down the middle, custom-made with electrical tape.
(WARNING: reading this blog could give you hypoglycemia)
I honestly don’t know why Mr. Uhles put up with us.
He ran the neighborhood store that was exactly 79 steps from my best friend Steve Madden’s front door on Nebraska Street.
We went there so often we wore a trail along Berry Road to Mr. Uhles’ store.
We loved his store, but we hated his old, asphalt parking lot.
It would heat up to about a billion degrees in Oklahoma summer.
Since we were always barefoot, we’d have to hot-foot it across the “lava”, trying not to get a stubbed toe or cut on glass or concussed by our buddy (because boys are always smashing each other just for fun).
Mrs. Uhles had let it be know that we had to smarten up before coming into her store.
That meant wiping the small stones and tar and glass and goatheads from our feet.
Once accomplished, we’d then storm into the store like the U.S. Marines.
At least 900 times every single summer day.
The Missus was going to name her boy ducks Donald and Daffy, until I explained that high-priced Disney lawyers would cover her with so many writs she’d never be able to feed her ducks again.
Hence she named them Dicky and Dashing Duck.
Dicky’s wife’s is Dancy.
This is because the Blog’s Missus likes alliteration, and this lady duck likes to wiggle her bootie a LOT. (“Like they do in Grease”, the Missus says).
Dashing Duck does not have a Missus, but, without wanting to start rumors, he appears to be crushing on Dancy. In fact, he played an active role in the, uhm, “loud and quacky courtship” of Dicky and Dancy, if you get our drift, which prompted Dashing’s Duck’s then girlfriend to fly the coop.
My Great Grandma Ashley wasn’t big as a minute.
So when she threatened to whip me, I wasn’t scared, even at age three or four.
Besides, when she threatened to swat me, she was smiling that sweet old lady smile.
And brandishing her embroidered hankie — that’s what she was going to whip me with.