August 25, 2013


         Another year come and gone.  Another line.  Another gray hair.
Yeah.  My husband, Stij, only wishes that’s all there was to it.
We have quite a large garden in the back yard—it was Stij’s last ditch effort to keep me the hell out of the kitchen because he is tired of rebuilding the house.  The neighbors are sure that when our house gets dirty, rather than clean it, we just burn it down—this is how often the local fire department had been showing up each time I tried out a new recipe.
So this year, for my birthday, Stij decided to make my life in the garden (which I really do enjoy) easier.  In Arizona, we have two gardening seasons—spring/summer and fall/winter.  Once one garden is spent, I used to have to go out there with a shovel, rake and 20 bags of manure and sundry other stinky stuff, and amend the soil.  Backbreaking work, let me tell you.  And I am no longer a chicken of the spring.  I’m not even a chicken of the autumn.  I’m more like chicken that was mowed down by a Peterbilt while crossing the road.
At any rate, this past Sunday when I opened a very large box, I discovered one of those Mantis rototiller thingies!  My heart leapt! 
I now owned my very first . . . power tool!  Yes!  I couldn’t wait to try it out!  This was even better than cooking!
First, though, it had to be assembled.  They never show that in the commercials. 
So we dumped out the contents of the box, which sounded like the New York Philharmonic’s brass section falling over a cliff, and surveyed the wreckage.
“Uh, honey?  You look tired.  Why don’t you go soak in the tub for a while,” Stij suggested.
“Are you trying to get rid of me?”
“Yes.  Absolutely,” he said.
“But why?  I want to help you.”
Stij gave me THE LOOK.  I never pushed THE LOOK to the next step . . . THE REMINGTON.  I drew a bath.
When I got out later on, Stij had put the whole thing together and it looked great—just like on TV.
“Let’s go try it out!” I cried.
So Stij gassed it up and to the garden we romped.  Well, I romped.  Stij walked sedately.
I grabbed the two steering handles, and once Stij got it running, I pulled the accelerator. . . hard.
This tiny little machine and I flew across the garden, bisecting my fig tree, chopping my neighbors’ fence to toothpicks and creating a two foot deep ditch across their yard, finally coming to rest halfway through the trunk of a palm tree.
We only stopped because it ran out of gas.  If that thing had a bigger tank, I think I could have made it to Vegas in about 28 minutes.
After Stij pried the mangled metal from the palm tree and talked our neighbors out of a lawsuit, we went home.
“Can you fix it?” I asked foolishly.
“Why?  Do you want to take a spin around the block?”
“Is this why you won’t let me have a car?”
“You’re a menace to society.  You know that, right?”
“I think you may be exaggerating just a bit,” I sniffed.
“Really?  How about the time you added a hundred packets of yeast to your bread batter and then decided to cook it with a flame thrower?”
“I was only trying to stop it from engulfing the whole house.  It was eating the couch!  And it was only twenty packets.”
“And then there was the time when you made Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family and everyone wound up with such hideous diarrhea that we had to get a couple of porta johns to put out in the yard, because we only have one bathroom.”
“I hardly think it’s fair that…”
“OR the time you stopped up the drain in the sink and used sulfuric acid to clear it?
“Okay, okay, you made your point.”
“You need a new, safe hobby,” he said.
And that, dear readers, is how I came to be a writer.


  1. So this is how you became a writer. And now the world is a much safer place.

    This was great, well done

    1. Thank you, Allan. And yes, the world is a good deal safer--though I'm considering putting a barbecue in the back yard...

  2. So funny! Keep trying, Carson, some day you'll show a power tool that you're the boss. I haven't yet, but I have confidence in you.