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.
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.
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.
SPRAY TO THE ING.
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?