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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Stump: The Sequel

Those of you who have the misfortune to call yourselves "Diehard My Masonic Apron Freaks" might remember a silly little post from July 19th, 2009 where I went... oh... a little funny in the head. And I impetuously tore out a bunch of yew stumps from the flower-beds in front of our house, in 90 degree heat, using nothing but a shovel, my bare hands, and caged-up half-Israeli inner turmoil that could be caged no longer. There was copious, rather untoward amounts of sweating, profanities, and, yes, blood. It was, quite frankly, a time where my mental health was clearly in a rather dubious, tenuous, and fragile state.

My wife, immediate family, clergymen, and my healthcare providers were all relieved when 2010 passed by without similarly unsettling incidents arising.

Enter: April 30th, 2011.


The day started out innocently enough. We went out for a delightful breakfast. We fought with two Asian check-out ladies (one of whom was inexplicably named "Ophelia") at the Rite-Aid over our right to use a faded coupon that had NOT expired, and then we went home.

To garden.

It was supposed to be a quaint, lovely little time in the garden for this young couple. We'd started some snapdragons in the house, as well as some coxcomb, and a sweetpea or four, and they'd finally outgrown their little starter pots, and it was time to place them in the earth to, hopefully, flower and/or grow brilliantly.

Of course, we had to weed first. My wife weeded in the back to make room for the snapdragons, and I was charged with weeding in the front flower beds where, nearly two years ago, I went a little... you know... funny.

Well, I got on my hands and knees and I started pulling shit out of the ground-- which I L-O-V-E. As I weeded, crouched in a squating position, I teetered a bit and I leaned up against one of the five remaining yew stumps that, two years ago, we had deemed far too large to attack ourselves. We still have the estimate from the tree surgeon who came to our house to evaluate what it would cost to professionally remove the remaining stumps.

($250-- and we agreed to have him do it, and we called him and told him to come do it. In July of 2009. He never showed.)

Anyway, when I leaned against this yew stump to brace myself and catch my balance, it gave a little bit, and a root became exposed from underneath the dirt. I stared at the root.

Well, I thought, I can break that.

And so it began again. I stood up, grabbed hold of the $30.00 fiberglass shovel, and I attacked that root with the pointed end of the shovel, as if I were trying to decapitate some royal usurper with a blunted sword. When I had broken through the root that was probably as thick as the Jolly Green Giant's whang, I grabbed ahold of the yew stump with both hands and I rocked it back and forth, pulling as hard as I could, sweat pouring into my eyes and stinging like a bitch, and-- whaddya know-- the stump broke free.

Immediately, I set my sights on an enormous one, right in front of the house-- a real eyesore.

My wife, who had been weeding in the back of the house, came over to me.

"Oh, my God. Again?"

I looked up at her with dirt on my forehead.

"Again."

It took approximately one hour to get the other stump out of the ground. It was horrible. I thought my heart was going to explode at one point. I felt like giving up at least four times. But I couldn't. I needed to finish. Call it compulsion. Call it insanity. Call it yew-buggery if you're English, but there was no way that, once I'd started, that fucking stump was going to survive. I just wasn't going to allow it.

NIMFY.

NOT.

IN.

MY.

FRONT.

YARD.


And then, we planted the snapdragons and coxcomb together. Which was very nice.

Knowing, too, that I am still as crazy at nearly 31 as I was at newly-minted 29 is very nice, as well, I think. I suppose I will mellow out at some point. But the compulsive, driven, irrational and impulsive side of me has yet to be quelled, not even after nearly three years of living a placid-seeming, suburban existence. And I suppose that's a good thing.

"I'm always going to be crazy," I said to Mrs. Apron as we washed the morning's adventure off our hands in the sink.

"I know," she said, and then she kissed me.

Goodbye, April. Hello, May. Don't fuck with this green thumb.

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