A Raker’s Dozen

I plan on making this a funny post, but I haven’t written a funny post in a really long time. So if my jokes fall flat, don’t step on them. They’re already flat.

That was my first joke. I hear crickets.

I like the Fall. It is my favourite season. Why? It is Winter without the snow and it is Summer without the heat. It’s a perfect compromise. Besides, I just like colder air. It’s refreshing.

When the cold air hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amoré, or something.

I don’t call it “Autumn”. Doing so makes me feel pretentious. And I say that as someone who says “serviette” instead of “napkin”.

I’ll wait for those of you who are rushing to the comments section to tell me that you call it “Autumn”. As if I care.

Anyway, this is the time of year when the leaves fall. I don’t have a tree in my backyard, yet the grass is always covered with them. Thank you, over-hanging tree from my neighbour’s yard! I appreciate you.

But I like raking leaves. I’ve always liked raking leaves. It helps a-leave-iate stress. I made that last sentence up because I needed a pun.

So a couple of weeks ago, I went out to rake leaves in the backyard.

I started around the perimeter and pulled all the leaves away from the fence and house.

You know what I hate about raking? The stubbornness of some leaves. No matter how many times you try and rake them in, they will sneak underneath the rake and stay right where they are.

It’s like trying to pick up a four year old from school and all they keep doing is running away to play. Their parents grab them by the jacket but they weasel their arms out of it and take off in nothing by a sweater.

Leaves are the exact same way.

After five minutes, I was worried I was going too quickly.

After ten minutes, my arms were dead.

After fifteen minutes, I was winded.

I’m not one of those people who knows how to “pace” themselves. My gym teacher always told us to find a good “pace” while running laps around the gym.

I don’t know what that means. The slower I go, the longer it’s going to take me to finish, which prolongs the agony. The faster I go, the more agony I’ll be in, but at least I’ll finish sooner.

I can’t win. Pace is stupid.

I battled through the early fatigue and told myself I needed to complete the job or I wouldn’t be able to write a blog post – I’d have no content.

That was a flat out lie to myself. I can turn anything into a story. I can write 1000 words about an eraser in 15 minutes.

As I raked the yard, I was making piles everywhere, while listening to music, and just enjoying my time away from society, in a gated area.

And this is where I reveal that I was raking leaves at a maximum security prison.

Just kidding.

This is actually the part where I reveal that I was not alone in that backyard that day. Nope!

There was a stray cat. It was black and white. I named it Moo, for obvious reasons.

It was sneaking into the yard. My territory! My turf! I caught it mid-step and it pretended to freeze, one foot stranded in the air. It was all very dramatic.

I would’ve played a violin for it, but I only know how to play Hot Cross Buns on the recorder.

So what does Moo do? Moo starts walking the perimeter of the yard. This is what wild animals do when they stalk their prey, isn’t it?

I’m very apathetic toward cats. I don’t get the hype.

Moo then snuck under the fence and into my neighbour’s yard, where he proceeded to stare into the abyss. Literally. It just stood there staring straight ahead. I ignored it and continued raking leaves.

Then it came back! And this time it made a run for it and got to the other side of the yard.

And then it stopped. I thought we were going to have a staring contest. I assumed it had heard about the time I had a staring contest with a raccoon and wanted to see what my pupils were made of.

Alas, no.

It stared me down and lifted its butt in the air. I was offended. I thought it was urinating on my lawn. Might as well have slapped my face with a glove and challenged me to a duel.

I just did some research and realized that cats relieve themselves by squatting? I need someone to confirm.

I also learned that when they raise their butt in the air, as if they’ve shoved a high heel up it, it means they are spraying.



I don’t remember asking for fertilizer. This was unacceptable. This is why I don’t like cats. One day they’re eating the remains of a burrito, and the next day they’re releasing it into a stranger’s backyard.


The cat finally left me alone and I almost had every leaf into a pile.

I made 11 piles. I’m calling this a Raker’s Dozen because every time you turn around, there are more leaves that have fallen.

Raking is like going to a buffet. You finish what’s in front of you, but there’s always more.

It’s as if the leaves on the trees see their friends in danger down below and decide to “fall with grace” (their term, not mine) to the ground and join them in the afterlife.

By this point, my sweat pants were starting to fall down. I felt like a rapper in a 2002 music video. Adults would’ve shunned me on the spot.

I couldn’t help it. I lost about 25 lbs. out there. The pants were going to fall. Or I hadn’t tightened the string on my pants. Same thing.

You know what my least favourite thing about raking is? Picking them up. Oh man. This is where the whole “pacing” myself thing comes into play again.

I want to pick up as many as I can at a time, but then they fall out of my arms, or some miss the bag completely and I’m forced to pick them up again.

There is nothing more humiliating and defeating than re-picking up leaves.

This is when I started regretting the 11 piles of leaves. Why couldn’t I do 6 piles? Sure, it would be the same amount of leaves, but there would be fewer piles. I’d be able to psychologically trick myself into think I’d be done faster.

I smelled like nature out there. Cat farts and all.

I filled up three bags that day and carried them to the front of the house, as if I was in a strongman competition.

My neighbour saw me and I told them my backyard looked like I had vacuumed back there. Hey, nobody toots my own horn better than I toot my own horn.

I completed the entire task in just over an hour and had developed some stamina in the process. Once you get over that first wind, and the cat wind, the next wind is the one you live on.

That being said, my arms were dead for the next couple of days and my back went out more than I did. But the pain was necessary. It helped prepare me for shovelling season which is right around the corner.

I lied. The stray cat is right around the corner. Darn you, Moo!

And that’s my story.

Do you like raking leaves? Do you think I’m an old geezer? Have you ever been circled by wild animals? When your pants fall down, which rapper do you turn into?

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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61 Responses to A Raker’s Dozen

  1. onebigstressball says:

    ‘Raker’s dozen’ love it!! Also, not being ‘that guy’ but in Scotland it’s always autumn, never fall. Not for pretentious reasons, it’s just what we call it 😂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. In Australia, it isn’t a choice. It’s just Autumn.
    However, I think that is probably because I don’t believe the leaves on our trees FALL in the same way they do in the parts of the world that call it Fall. I don’t remember ever raking up leaves. Autumn feels like forever ago, but I don’t think I usually have a backyard full of leaves and neglect. Ask me again in about May. But for now just imagine me sitting here all smug in shorts at the beach with a refreshing cocktail, the leaves on the trees very much in tact, enjoying the first day of summer. (It doesn’t matter that I’m actually in bed and had to turn off the air con as I got too cold).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      The leaves don’t fall?? No wonder you guys call it Autumn haha. So it’s summer over there right now, eh? That would mean Christmas happens during the summer and the whole image of Christmas being a wintery event isn’t true for you guys. Wow. The world is weird haha. Enjoy the cocktail and beach!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Angela says:

    OH MY! I’m so glad you survived that ordeal, wild animals are scary especially the feline variety!!
    I’ll be honest, I hate raking leaves its like a never ending chore but I don’t think you are an old geezer because you are younger than me and that would make me…. never mind!
    Well Done though I feel like if you had posted a photo of the lawn I could say you done a really good job but it sounds like you worked really hard so Well Done anyway!
    I haven’t been circled by any wild animals that I remember but I was running in the countryside once and there was a ‘hairy coo’ standing in the middle of the path way, it wouldn’t move and I got scared, I contemplated being brave and approaching it to tell it to move, or to walk around it but instead I turned back and ran in the opposite direction so that’s not much of a story.
    I definitely turn into 50 cent when my pants fall down, he’s my spirit rapper – that’s a thing, right?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lynni says:

    This was nice to read 😊 over here in Australia everyone calls it autumn, it would be weird to say fall – I wonder why that is 🤔 can’t wait to read more of these posts 🤞🏼☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. One day they’re eating the remains of a burrito, and the next day they’re releasing it into a stranger’s backyard.
    exactly why i hate cats, i’m stealing this perfect line
    speaking about pants, i usually don’t wear any tight pants as i hate the feeling of any pressure on my belly and somehow i’m bloated 364 days a year, so the fear of my pants falling haunts me in ever corner, never happened tho, if it ever happens, i’ll defiantly start dropping my hot beats like Russ (hoping you know him)
    Love the snowy theme on your page btw, feels so cosy
    And your flat jokes weren’t flat at all, keep up the awesome spirit Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Haha I hate tight pants too! I don’t know how people can wear jeans every single day, they are the worst. I fully support your rap career should your pants ever fall.

      I like the snow too. Pretty sure all WordPress blogs could get the snow for the month of December with a certain setting. I turned it on a few years ago and its been doing it every December since. I just don’t remember how I did it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jad says:

    OMG I was so excited to see one of your “not sports” posts!!
    BUT I had to giggle right away, I guess Aussies must be pretentious then because we ONLY call it Autumn and serviettes!!
    And by the way, I did rush to the comments section, so often by the time I get to the end of your posts I have forgotten all what I want to comment about so I thought what the heck I will just have an ongoing comments draft going!!
    Back up to reading now!!
    I want your 1000 word essay about erasers by end of day tomorrow please!!
    Hahaha rakers buffett, I have nothing to say about that except hahaha
    You so completely sounded like an old geezer!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      You should read the other comments I’ve gotten, I’ve been getting set straight (nicely) by Aussies all day haha who knew I could offend (not really though) a whole country?

      Ahhh I was waiting for someone to request the essay on erasers. I’ll see what I can do.

      Thank you, I like to think of myself as a young 85 year old haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jad says:

        Heading to read all the other comments now 😛
        By the way my first language difficulty when I moved from Australia to America was over a serviette, I kept asking my waitress for a serviette and she had no clue what I was talking about, we ended up playing charades for her to finally get it!!
        In Australia a napkin is usually cloth and you only bring them out on special occasions!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Oh wow! All my life I thought I was normal saying “serviette” until university when one of my friends said “Who calls it a serviette? It’s a napkin.” My mind was blown lol. Ever since I’ve been getting flack for it.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Lee Dunn says:

    I’m the guy whose trees drop their leaves into neighbours’ yards. We also paid them money when limbs broke off and destroyed some of their stuff. I like trees. I feel as you do about the raking. I still like trees. 🌲

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      That’s nice of you. My neighbours were complaining that leaves were falling into their yard and that they shouldn’t have to rake them. Meanwhile, all their leaves come to our yard lol. Trees have a mind of their own.


  8. This is awesome–we totally need more wonderful funny Fall Autumn articles, or blogs, or pieces, or whatever we feel like calling them, you know. ….Funny is always good!..and you so killed how it feels to rake leaves. I kind of like the raking part–but i live in eastern NC and also have a lot of pine straw–It’s easier to rake the piles onto a tarp than to pick them up and put them in bags, BTY, if you have a big place to dump them (we have woods behind the house, others use a large container to dump them in and haul them away in bulk!)–I didn’t learn this till age 50, so just passing it on in case someone is still needlessly bagging who could use this method!
    Keep up the funny, it’s great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you for the kind words! I agree, we do need more posts about Fall. Normally all I see are the ones announcing it’s the first day of fall, or the ones about pumpkin spice. Never about raking, so I thought I’d fill the void!

      Knowing me, I’d be stubborn enough to pick up the pine leaves one at a time. That would be so frustrating!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Tanushka says:

    And this my friends is the purrfect example of desperation for content. *Wink**wink*

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tanushka says:

    And here in India, if you say fall, they look at you with disgust and you are labeled as the American wannabe who watched way too much F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Wow! Well, fortunately I’m not American so I’m in the clear if I ever go to India.


      • Tanushka says:

        Not much of a difference to us. Canada to us is just America without trump, and where most of our Punjabi relatives live. You should visit India, I’m sure it won’t dissapoint you. You must have had a little glimpse of Indian, at least punjabi, culture in Canada. I mean Indians are everywhere but they are the most in Canada.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Oh definitely, I have many Indian friends here. Canada is cool in that it’s a mixture of so many cultures. Lol we hate when we travel and people think we’re the same as the U.S. We’re much nicer and more welcoming.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Ariel Lynn says:

    As a resident crazy cat lady, I have to point out that cats squat to eliminate both ways (if you catch my drift). However, “spraying” isn’t a #2 – it’s actually a #3! Cats spray a highly concentrated burst of urine when they go “#3,” which is a scent marker for their territory.

    Basically, Moo now owns your back yard. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I’ve read this comment 3 times and now I don’t know what that cat was actually doing on my lawn. Nevertheless, I don’t like it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        I’ve come here & confused you with a fairly simple explanation. My work here is done! LOL

        No, seriously, Moo was spraying as you said. But, he wasn’t passing a burrito. He was spraying urine. It gets everywhere, stinks to high heaven, & puts other cats on notice that Moo said “Hey, keep out of my yard you dag’nabbit kids!” when they come & smell it.

        Unfortunately, it’s one of the most common reasons cats are returned to the shelter. That, & scratching stuff. It’s most common in unfixed cats, especially when female cats are in heat.

        TL; DR: Moo sprayed pee all over your lawn. It’s his lawn now. You’ll have to get written permission from Moo to rake from now on.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Lol!! I used to love raking leaves!! Mostly because my parents had this mini rake that was my size and it was just so calming holding that little thing and taking those leaves up during my fave season. Anyways, which rapper do I turn into when my pants fall down??? Nicki Minaj. Lol thanks for the laugh

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m cat stalked all the time! I could not stop laughing at this post. Here I thought I had a bad day lol. Love it

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Little Rants says:

    Paul we aren’t old geezers. Shut up.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Little Rants says:

    Also no your jokes aren’t falling flat. But I sense the ADD in the next sentence – I hear crickets. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ely says:

    Lmfao! I’m
    So glad I finally got around to reading this post haha!!! I have a GRAND dislike towards CATS! I always have. The staring contest ordeal? That’s a REAL thing. Every time a cat looks at me… it’s like they’re looking into my SOUL and they know all of my deepest darkest secrets and they’re all like “look at you. You’re a pathetic excuse for a human and I’m better and smarter than you… now look away… look away human” and then I look away because they just scare me. As far as the raking thing goes? We don’t have leaves that fall gracefully to their deaths upon eachother here in Miami. But there’s this song that goes “I tell all my HOES… rake it up… break it down….bag it up….” and it’s the same concept, except they’re strippers raking up money. I know right?! Lol!!! I also don’t know what it’s like for my pants to fall down on me a but can I still be a rapper?! Ok cool because if I were a rapper I’d be…… modern day “hip hop”: Future. Old school gangster: Dr. Dre. BOOM! Lol. And I have no idea what the difference is between fall and autumn. All I know here is summer, hurricane season, and spring break which is basically summer but tends to be popular. Great post as always! Now I need to catch up on some others including sports ones!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Haha oh yeah, your cats drowned! I can only imagine the trauma in their life. These animals and their stare downs are annoying. They think they run the show but it’s like “Dog (in this case, cat) you don’t even talk. Walk away.”
      Yes you can still be a rapper! Spittin’ hot fire is something you do best! LOL Fall is the same as Autumn. The words are interchangeable.

      Liked by 1 person

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