The jungle that had become my backyard glistened like the early morning rainforest as I looked at it through my window.
It was full of the assortment of suburban jungle creatures that you would expect to find. Bugs the size of hummingbirds jumped through the grass, each with it’s own screech. In the middle of the jungle backyard was what remained of an ancient dog toy civiliazation. They toys had crumbled and had been reclaimed by Mother Earth.
This was hazardous country filled with dangers. Dog poop lay like land mines ready to destroy my sandals. Is that a wasp or just a giant grasshopper? Who knows. Perhaps a spare brick had been carried over into the tall weeds by the dogs to wait for me to trip on it.
There was only one safe passage around the yard, The Fat Belly Newt Trail. It was about a foot across and encircled the entire yard. Some say that this trail is cursed and haunted. Some have ventured on it never to return. But I had no choice.
My wife has told me it is time to mow the yard. Superdad must comply as I look at the untamed wilderness infront of me. It’s time to gear up.
Like Rambo I strap on my trusty hunting knife. I have never needed it in the backyard and don’t expect to this time. However, I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. There could be a leopard out there.
I go to my metal steed. It’s 3.5 horses of vengeance and justice. My mower may not look like a super model, but it acts like one. It can be bitchy, but you just know how to sweet talk the little thing. The first 45 pulls on the cord fail to get the old girls motor purring. This is when I realize that perhaps I should actually have this thing serviced every once in a while and maybe add some oil. But I use an old trick my dad taught me, pour a little gasoline on the spark plug and screw it back in. He also taught me to never, ever, take a wiz after you do this as you have gas on your hands and it transfers very easily and hurts like hell.
I give it three more pulls when the beast roars to life with a puff of smoke boiling out the side. Let’s ride.
Into the backyard I go, the natives are restless. I can see my daughter and dogs watching me from the window, tears streak down their faces. Daddy is going to be ok sweet girl, daddy is going to be ok.
I make it a foot into the tree like stalks of weeds and grass when my trusty mower decides that he can’t do this. He is out of shape and didn’t work out at all over the winter. I start him back up using expletives to motivate him, this is no time for cowards.
Again he surges forward anther foot before being bested by a milkweed the size of a redwood. It’s time to call in the heavy artillery.
I grab my one actually expensive piece of lawn equipment. My Excalibur, the gas powered weed eater. This thing could cut down the Eifel Tower in an hour. With .9 MM rope, it spins at 1000RPM for maximum justice delivering. Short of ordering a napalm strike, it is my best bet for survival.
Again I pull the rip cord to get the motor running and again I am denied the sweet music of it starting. I pull and I pull. The skin between my fingers begin to blister, but I pay it no mind. Finally, I hear a whirl and a cough. It’s alive.
I give it the pre-game preptalk. I let it know that there is danger out there and we may not make it out alive. I let it know that Jesus loves it and that virgins await it in paradise. I let it know that although there is dog poo there is also glory.
I kick in the back gate and see that my mower is tangled in the grass already. We were gone less than an hour and already the bush is attempting to ingest it’s first victim. With a battle cry worthy of Valhalla we dive in, slashing the weeds with righteous fury.
We are reaping grass like Death reaps souls. With each swing of the weedeater, order comes to chaos. Up and down the sides I roam cutting back the infernal jungle. My muscles gleam in the sunlight, kissing the sky with each upward motion. All tremble before me, all run before me.
Back to the mower, he is hungry for his chance now that the grass is no longer waist high. He starts on the first pull, growling for action and a chance to se things right. His first victim is a McDonald’s bag that the Vietdogs have left in our path. He rips it to shreds without concern that it will have to be picked up later. He mulches grass and poo like it’s children’s paste.
A half shredded tennis ball shoots out the side port, clanging off the fence announcing to the world that I am almost done, I am almost done.
The back door opens slowly. I am standing but just barely. The sun marks a halo around my head, the house is quite.
“Water” I whisper. “Water”.
But there is no one to hear me. As I was busting my hump in the Budapest backyard, my family naps. I am covered with scratches, some possibly containing poison. Thousands of dead ant bodies litter my feet. They were the toughest opponent of the wild, but quickly were subdued by man’s will alone.
Staggering I climb inside and collapse, until I am called upon again.