I know women are fond of asking that question, while rolling their eyes back into their heads and spraying estrogen around the room.
But I am serious. Why do men do stupid, risky things when, despite what the estrogen-sprayers think, we really do know better?
Case in point.
While I was mowing the yard yesterday, I noticed a couple of errant branches and hanging ivy that needed to be cut. So after I finished mowing, I grabbed the manual hedge clippers.
An hour later, I had worked my way down the entire fence and circled the house. I knew it was only a matter of time before the GM Finance would complain that I had cut something that she and Mother Nature had intended to grow WAY BIG.
During the trimming, I also realized that the front yard was again becoming a bog, which means the Moosedawg has sprung a leak. Not really. He’s 13 and has leaked in the yard for years.
It means that the rainy New Zealand winter is approaching, and the primordial jungle that surrounds us has to be whacked back so the house gets at least some sunlight, else it will be eaten alive by mold.
Because the jungle around my house is, well, a jungle, I had to get out the big gun – a 20-foot-extension lopper.
But even with this monster, when standing on the ground you can only go up so high. To really do some damage to Mother Nature, you have to get up on the roof and hold the lopper way out sort of sideways.
And even then, you can only get to so many trees and shrubs and branches and *kangaroos.
You have to ootch out to the edge of the roof, and then sort of lean out, to really get at those critical last few limbs that just hang there. Taunting you.
“What about us, gurly man? Nanner nanner,” they mock.
Now, I may getting old, but I do NOT take backtalk from stupid plants.
So even though I was by then well past my use-by-date, having done actual “work” in the sun for three hours, I uttered a blood oath to get those last few branches.
The ones that hung wayyyy out there, gently waving in the breeze, on the backside of the house, where the roof is about 20 feet above the ground.
The ones that mocked me the loudest.
Those plant bastards.
Despite the roof height and peril, I convinced myself that, even if I fell off, it would not be that big a deal. Because that part of the yard is always in the dark, so it’s really soft and mooshy.
It would be just like falling onto a bed. Unless my head hit the paving stone that we put on Cassie’s grave. If that happened, my noggin would explode like a pumpkin.
So, there I was, carefully ootching out to the edge of the roof, and stretching wayyyyyy out, trying to get the made-in-China lopper to quit fowling, dammit, and actually cut the offending tree branches.
Finally, after what seemed like hours, success!
“Who’s your Daddy, you stupid plants?” I may or may not have shouted, before noticing several other branches. Waving arrogantly. Dissing me big time.
“What about us, gurly fat man? It is we who are your daddy.”
And, let me repeat, I do NOT take tree lip from any plant.
Especially when they sound like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
So the energy-sapping battle was on. And it went on, and on and on.
I just could not get the stupid lopper at enough of an angle to bite through the branches.
And they laughed at me, Arnold-like, which really pissed me off.
So I ootched out even further, to the very edge of the tin roof. At least from there I could thrash the limbs with wild, jerky sideways lopper motions.
“Take that you stupid mocking plant life! Ha-Ha!”
After a few minutes of thrashing, I declared victory and started to climb down the ladder.
But then I noticed that, just in the last hour, the jungle on the side of the house had exploded. My home was again at risk.
What do you do?
You gird your loins. You lock and load and lop.
Because, baby, you are a M-A-N.
It was just that, by then, I was really, really tired. My neck was stiff and sore. And the plant life on the side of the house was an impenetrable mat of intertwined trees and ivy.
The challenge was to cut the actual branches, then flail at the un-cuttable ivy until you could land a solid whack, knocking a wad of greenery to the ground. (Note: falling off the roof on this side of the house would mean landing on a metal fence that would slice a man open like a cheese ball. So my plan was, technically speaking, “not to be a cheese ball”.)
But, man oh man, to reach that last green plant wad that was blocking sun from the kitchen window, you had to really, really stretch wayyy out there, cutting and flailing, in one fluid motion.
At least that was the plan.
That and also not becoming a sliced cheese ball.
It was really bad luck more than poor planning that I was wearing my lawn-mowing boots, which don’t exactly hold traction on a slick tin roof.
When the wad of greenery started plummeting to Earth, I noticed that it was still wrapped around the very tip of the 20-foot-long lopper, which was fully extended, vertically. And the lopper rope was strategically wrapped around my right hand, so that I would not drop it.
The “yank” from the falling monster wad of plant life was about like the strike of a black marlin.
Since I was on the tin roof, wearing hiking boots, and not exactly strapped into a swivel fishing chair, it jerked me right off the roof, into sliced cheese ball land.
Well, almost, but not quite.
I am pleased to report that the final box score for the day reads: Man 21 — Stupid Mocking Plants 13.
Truly, I have no idea why this battle was worth risking life and limb to win just 24 hours ago.
I guess it’s just a guy thing.
And the law of the jungle.
* You Americans are soooo gullible.
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