Blackberry Wars: The Bloated Sequel

June 1, 2016 at 6:26 am (The Easy Chair)

“Well, that’s an odd way to spend your birthday, but I get it. It’s your house…” So read the text from Rain, when she asked what I was doing on my birthday.

In the beginning...

In the beginning…

It had been a couple years since the back yard had seen attention. I remember the good old days, when I’d trip on acid with Mizelle as the neighbors quietly listened to our stoned post-midnight ramblings. (“Zombie in the corner! Head shot!” etc…) Or drunkenly watch the October sky as rain pelted my eyeballs. It had turned into a blackberry plantation, protected by a dogshit minefield.

It was time to go to war.

Armed with a brand new metal rake, (wood-handled one died in the First War,) and Cindy, my “loppers,” I stormed the front of the back yard. I learned in the first war to cut low and aim high. The blackberries rolled nicely into Xmas tree-sized clumps that I could drag past the back fence, through the driveway, and out to the dumpster by the road. I made dozens of trips, and with help from Sis, we cut a wide swath.

My only bummer: As I approached the Blair Witch Shed, I noticed a tiny bird’s next hanging cattywampus, with a small blue egg resting near the edge. Strategic surgical cuts freed it, and I moved the nest with my gloved had to the crotch of a nearby tree. Hopefully the bird-parents will figure it out.

Sis placed a ladder in one spot, and said, “There’s a small tree growing under the ladder. Please leave it.” Turns out my Niece had planted it in third grade. It was still sapling-sized. “It was crawling along the ground, reaching for sunlight.” Niecy had planted it about nine years ago. Wow.

Break Time

Break Time

By the end of the afternoon, I was soaked in sweat, breathing harder than Bill Cosby in a room full of comatose women. I took a cold shower and a bus ride to tend to some birthday business, (“Hi Babe!”) and got back home around nightfall. Not content, I tossed a pile of empties from 2008 unearthed near the back fence. A few more armfuls of blackberries over the edge. Sis had filled the dumpster with blackberry tumbleweeds to the point where the doors would barely close.

Snip, cut and tug, a tree sized blackberry branch came, followed by another. Soon I had reached my midrange goal: The Back Shed, AKA The Blair Witch Shed. What condition would stuff be in? I pulled the last of the yard debris away, and gently pulled the wooden door open. Inside was remarkably web-free. The last time I’d opened that door there were so many spider webs I shut the door and said, “Fuck it.” This time there were no obstacles. It was a time capsule of 1999. The antiquated computer monitors and hard drives, the Rubbermaid bin full of actual books! I pulled out a ZZ Top Recycler Tour ballcap as a souvenir and shut the door. We’ll conquer that world another time.

A sad note: The bird’s nest ended up shredded near the base of the tree. No sign of egg shells, so I’m holding a positive thought for baby birdy.

Territory Reclaimed!

Territory Reclaimed!

I’ve been impressed with myself, as far as physical stamina and endurance are concerned. I can put in the better part of an eight-hour day of hard work, with minimal side effects. I had no soreness during the First War, but I went at it with slightly less aggression. Full of myself, (and Dr T’s medible cornucopia) I hit the trenches full blast, and felt it in my back, neck and hands. Especially the hands. My hands keep falling asleep. At first I was stroke-panicked, but then I realized it was both hands. Internet Doctor confirmed my diagnosis: dehydration from excessive sweating and angry forearm muscles are sucking up all the blood before it reaches my fingertips. It will subside in a couple days, as long as I keep hydrated.

And so ends the big bloated sequel to the Blackberry Wars. The First War set the stage, the sequel featured special effects and bigger results, and now we have room for the either underrated or maybe pointless third episode, where I finish off the blackberries and put in yard furniture.

Just like Hollywood, it all depends upon the financing…


1 Comment

  1. Al Tzimer said,

    That’s friggin’ amazing. Well done good sir!

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