Gut Rumbles

October 31, 2008

Unanticipated surprises

Originally published April 13, 2002

I have been busy today. I did some laundry, fed my son and his friend, Jack, a lumberjack breakfast, cranked up the riding lawn mower and made exactly one pass over the horrible weeds sprouting in that sand-spit front yard of mine before I almost ruined the mower. I hit a 5/8" piece of rebar that was cleverly hidden among the weeds so that the three-inches protruding above ground could not be seen. It was a surveyor's stake, probably driven there since before construction started on the house. It was there while all those boys were playing all those games of tackle football on all those weekends when my son was here. I suppose I was lucky to find it with the mower. That thing could put out an eye or puncture a skull if someone fell on it. After I physically lifted the lawn mower off, I worked three feet of it out before it came free of the ground. It was a solid steel bar, slightly bent at the top from violent contact with a rapidly spinning object. I shudder to think what my brand-new lawn mower blades must look like.

I took the boys to the Super Wal-Mart and bought a "Triple Play" baseball game for the Playstation II. My plan worked, because they stayed absorbed with that amusement while I did my income taxes. I GET A REFUND! YAY,YAY,YAY! My government is SOOOO good to me. Of course, I started over-withholding as soon as the divorce loomed on the horizon, which didn't give me a lot of time to prepare. From Get Out Of Here to court took a little over a month. Zap, zowie and swoosh. But I weathered the income tax storm in one piece by paying those vultures ahead of time. It's really less painful that way.

But I look at what I DIDN'T get back, and it's still painful.

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