Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Apparently Spring Has Sprung: The Celebratory First Mowing of My Dirt

Excitement ran high at the old Heaps hacienda today. It was the celebratory First Mowing of the Dirt for 2011. Anyone living in Greenville, or within 100 miles of Greenville for that matter, would have been immediately alerted to this event when the cloud of red dust, clearly visible from every kitchen window, mushroomed up over southern Greenville.

I hoped to put this chore off for another couple of weeks, but all my neighbors (responsible pains in the ass) have been out mowing their dirt, so I felt it my civic duty to mow mine. I really didn't even expect my mower to fire up. Because of a multiweek interruption to my cash flow (Isn't freelancing fun?), I haven't done my usual spring tuneup to this bucket of bolts. But it fired up on the first pull of the rope. Drat, I had no excuse to put off the job.

I have yet to resolve my AT&T issue. In an exercise in blatant corporate stupidity, AT&T had been coming every six weeks or so to dig up a swath of my lawn from the middle of the front yard, around and all the way down the side yard. This is all in the name of running some new lines for faster internet connection and AT&T's new TV cable. This went on for three or four months. They managed to hit a water main their last trip and never came back to fill anything in. So I have a shallow trench that runs along my side yard bordered by about a four-foot swath of dirt and gravel.

I am still trying to get this fixed. In the meantime, it means I have about 500 square feet less to mow. I still have to pass over sections of this area because there are little tufts of weeds shooting up here and there, but mostly I can ignore it. Having less to mow is better, but it looks like crap.

I was surprised that I didn't encounter any doggie torpedoes as I mowed. The renters in the house behind me have a #@*$* dog. The renters who were there when I first moved into my house had two dogs that they kept chained up in their backyard. They barked on and off all night. I was most happy when they moved out about eight months later. The next two tenants had no dogs; I was ecstatic.

About six weeks ago the the fourth tenant to move into that house in the three years I've lived here (It sat empty for about six months at one point during that three years.) moved in...with a dog. It launches into a barking spasm about three times a night. I hate that dog.

One problem with that house is it has a chain-link fence surrounding the entire property inviting dog owners. It is only about three feet high, but that should be sufficient to keep a beagle-size dog confined. It would be if it didn't have more holes in it than an Obama debt-reduction plan. They leave this mangy mutt in the yard everyday when the family goes off to work, school or the bar -- I'm not sure which. Before the exhaust from their belching rust bucket dissipates from their driveway, Sir Barksalot is through one of the gaps in the fence and roaming the neighborhood.

This is the kind of dog that comes in your yard and then barks at you when you come out of the house. I hate that dog.

So I was surprised when I didn't have to step around any of its torpedoes in my yard.

My hopes for a quick end to my nightly disturbances at the paws of this dog rest on the fact that he is a car chaser. Well, actually he is more of a truck, motorcycle and scooter chaser. I figure it is just a matter of time until he goes running full bore out onto Crestfield Road nipping at a rolling Goodyear and gets squashed or T-boned.

Other than actually finding a paycheck in my mailbox, there is little right now that would make me happier than coming home one afternoon and finding a mutt puddle in the middle of the road.

If it happens you will know because you will probably be able to hear the tap, tap, tapping of my dancing happy-boy feet in my driveway.

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