Don’t take this the wrong way, but I love old men. I love them. They aren’t dramatic. They are typically mellow, retired, experienced in fixing anything that could possibly break, and generous with their time and resources. Old ladies are nice, too, but usually they are off getting their hair done or taking a really long time to get ready to go anywhere. For my general purposes, I’ll take an old man over an old lady any day.
The other day I was scouring around to find someone with a tractor who could tame my very, very large yard. I decided to try the Facebook channels to see who might know the cheapest, fastest tractor owning fella. My pig-owning friend, I think we called her Fribby, suggested I get in touch with her step grandfather in law. Draw up that family tree if you get bored.
I was uncomfortable with this arrangement. (1) I roped Fribby into the whole pig kissing incident and still haven’t lived down what happened in that media center last Christmas. (2) Fribby has helped me out with far more than I have helped her. (3) This guy wasn’t really in it for pay so much and the favor seemed too large to ask. She assured me that he liked to drive tractors, was super nice, and would accept some gas money.
So Mr. B showed up on Monday with a little tractor dog named Sparky. He brought his tractor mowing rig with him and his walk-behind bush hog. That was my job. Walk behind it and hog the bushes.
Or something like that.
All of this would be much, MUCH more interesting if I had taken a photo of where I was mowing or a video of it happening. It was like an action adventure movie without a plot or any interesting actors. The brush was 7 feet tall. It was like walking into a jungle. Worst.job.ever.
My observations can be summed up in a few short paragraphs:
(1) There is a reason God chose frogs as one of the plagues. Frogs are horrifying and slimy and terrible in every way. They can jump any direction, utterly randomly, and spring up to 15 feet. I saw it. It’s true. They can be the size of a human head and spotted or small and slimy and the color of bones. Really. Truly. Awful.
(2) Fire ant beds are quite plentiful in overgrown jungles in Florida. The beauty of that is, you can’t see them until you’ve already mowed over them and made them super, DUPER irate. I learned to spring like a pole vaulter while ripping off my shoes in mid-air and frantically swiping ants away before I ever hit the ground again. Pretty sure I looked like a drunk monkey with a lawn mower. Surprisingly, I only sustained about 5 real bites (as opposed to the fake kind, you know). Amazing, considering that I planted my foot in at least eight very angry ant colonies.
(3) I wrote a sequel to Children of the Corn in my head as I mowed. The main antagonists were mutant ants wielding lawn equipment. Very exciting stuff. There was a little sidebar romance, too, but I don’t want to spoil it for you in case you decide to buy the book someday.
Some old guys have bush hogs. Some old guys have a flimsy fly swatter and a heap of determination.
Whatever you have, swing it with all you got and never, EVER stop moving.