November 08, 2006

Just Leave Already

If there's one thing I dread each autumn, it's raking leaves. I put this task off until I can't possibly put it off any longer. If I could rake leaves in February, believe me, I'd do it.

The reason I put off raking until the Rapture is simple: no matter when I decide to rake the leaves, there will still be, roughly, 8 million more leaves waiting to fall from the trees, thus negating almost all my previous raking work.

I honestly think trees may have some sort of intelligence fuelling them, and that one of the few sources of entertainment they can draw upon during their solidly-rooted and otherwise boring lives is to taunt the stupid humans who insist on raking their annual leaf diarrhea. Oh, sure, they'll dump about 80 percent of their leaf load by the first week of November, but they'll clench tight to the remaining 20 percent until I get out their and clear the organic mess, at which point they'll release their clench and re-pollute my lawn. It's all very irritating.

Well, the whole process became all the more irritating last weekend when my girlfriend/wife-to-be (WTB) decided to commandeer the rake. You see, over the years, I've developed a sort of routine when it comes to raking. Namely, I only rake that which is absolutely necessary to keep the lawn from suffocating come the next spring. I'm okay with leaving some leaves, in other words. Those which I leave, I shred with one last mowing of the lawn. I find it saves a lot of work, a lot of bagging, and a lot of garbage bags.

The girlfriend/WTB, on the other hand, took a no-leaf-left-behind approach to raking. She insisted on raking the lawn with the obsessive/compulsive tenacity typically reserved for dedicated schizophrenics. She raked the lawn like she was trying to draw blood from the very earth itself. She was determined to get at leaves that I left sitting two years ago. Worms frantically dug themselves deeper to escape her chisel-plow raking technique. I could only stand back helplessly and wait to assist any Chinese who perhaps would claw their way out of one of her rake grooves.

In other words: she took raking leaves to an extreme not seen since mankind first came up with concept of a "lawn."

When I was finally able to wrestle control of the rake, I noticed that the wooden handle was actually bowed from the raking pressures forced upon it by my girlfriend/WTB, and it was only about seven minutes into my raking that the rake gave up the ghost and snapped in half in my very hands, no doubt grateful that it could die in the care of someone more gentle and less demanding.

That night, the girlfriend/WTB started to complain that her back was hurting and, considering the 9,000 lbs of force she applied to the rake most of the day, I couldn't say I was all that surprised.

As I fell asleep, I could hear the trees outside, quietly laughing amongst themselves as they unloaded their remaining leaves on my pristine lawn.

Stupid trees.

Posted by Ryan at November 8, 2006 12:20 AM | TrackBack
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