Continuing off of my most recent post regarding home repair, it must be stated that certain things one must do to maintain a pleasant home are less than appealing. I live in an apartment and this is so; I cannot imagine the drudgery involved in owning an actual house. The late, great Mitch Hedberg said it best when he said “I shop at The Apartment Depot…just a bunch of people wandering around a warehouse saying ‘I don’t gotta fix shit!’ ” How very true this is. However, there are some things that cannot be avoided.
I am lucky enough, even in the renting of a modest apartment, to have a small backyard, fenced in and with enough expanses of dirt in which to plant to make me happy. I was happy. Then summer hit. I don’t get it. I moved in last summer and the yard was fine, even with rain and sun and all those things that make Florida that sort of place where produce spontaneously appears in your laundry. I can only assume shade from the now absent tree created a less welcoming environment for huge weeds and determined vines to wend their cunning way through my neatly tended beds, because this summer, Viet Nam. Every time I go back there I expect to find Alan Alda weeping over a chicken. Ok, mixing up of our hilarious Asian land wars aside, it’s gotten a bit…lush out there. So I did what any reasonable person would do. I ignored it like mad and hoped like hell the rats didn’t move back in.
I shall digress a moment. Months ago, for quite an extended period of time, I had a rat problem in the back yard. I had seen them occasionally and honestly they were sort of cute and didn’t bother me. Then I started noticing my plants being eaten, especially the flowers. When they were finished with the flowers, they started in on the plants themselves. I had to draw the line when they ate a soy wax candle I had left on the windowsill. I will spare all of the ways I attempted to humanely rid myself of them, save one, because it’s kind of hilarious. I was told they hate Irish Spring soap. I found some small bars at the dollar store and figured what the hell, I’ll give it a try. Shortly before dusk, I laid out pieces of soap amongst my plants and sat where I could quietly observe. What I observed was a rat jump down off of the fence, pick up a chunk of this allegedly hated soap the size of his head, and scurry off with it determinedly clutched in his mouth. The next morning, the apparently delicious soap was all gone. Bastards. Ultimately, the neighbour did what I refused to do and set out poison. No more rats.
So anyway, now I have a jungle growing back there and no clue what is lurking there. Rats? Snakes? Viet Cong? Who the hell knows. But I don’t have any napalm and the patio itself is being overrun. So I borrowed a weed eater from my good friend and set to work.
Last time I wielded a large power tool of some kind was my sister’s pressure washer. If you have never used one, I highly recommend it. It is fun to the point of illegality. At least the way I was using it, for while to the outside observer I was merely washing a SWEET rug I scored by the trash in my alley one day (seriously! An Oriental rug whose only issue is that some kid had gotten gum on it, which pressure washed right out) in my mind, I was blowing away aliens with my ENORMOUS ray gun, merrily shouting “Yippie ki-yi-yay, motherfuckers!” again mixing my movies metaphors. I was locked in a battle royale with unseen enemies of our planet, especially that little pink blobby one…down there…in the cornerrrrr, GOTCHA! HA! Take that, Gum Clingons!
It should come as no surprise then that when I took that weed eater to my own tiny corner of the Congo that I was not slaying weeds with a “Grass Hog” brand trimmer. I was mowing down zombies with a chainsaw. Next up: obtaining a chainsaw.