It’s winter — well, it is here in the northern hemisphere, anyway — and that means it’s time for all good homeowners to plan out their spring home and garden maintenance. I mean, how else do you get through a winter except by anticipating greenery to come?
Your local newspaper will probably print a spring section, but since I didn’t write it, clearly it’s no good. What follows is *the* definitive guide to yard work.
1. Start first thing in the morning and attempt to get outdoors. Remember, too late, that the door opens inward. Find you now have a large mass of leaves, twigs and plastic grocery bags (which piled up against the door over the winter) in your foyer.
2. Crawl over pile and survey lawn and gardens. Feel warm sun. Sit on stoop to assess the situation and devise a plan of action.
3. Determine situation much better assessed with drink in hand. Walk to corner store to get one.
4. Return to stoop. Continue assessing.
5. Wake up hungry; realize it’s time for lunch.
6. After lunch, head to garage in search of gloves, rake, and bags.
7. Wait until family member realizes you’re missing and comes to free you from tangle of Christmas lights left near the garage door.
1. Shove pile of leaves from foyer out onto lawn. Retry your search for gloves, rake and bags, this time armed with a pair of sharp scissors as defense against Christmas lights.
2. Start raking. Sip tea as you go.
3. Chat with neighbours who stop by on way to store or work.
4. Realize it’s lunch time already. Nip in for a bite.
5. Rake more. Drink more tea.
6. Step on rake. Spend 10 minutes looking for bandage for nose.
7. Keep raking. Take another hit of the tea.
8. Keep raking. Do a quick calculation and realize that the one metre by one metre corner patch you’ve been working on all day has enough leaves in it to fill approximately 35 bags. This is known as the Law of Winter Compression/Expansion, which in turn is based on the Theory of Disbeleaf.
9. Realize — very suddenly — that you’ve had way too much tea. Sprint for bathroom.
10. Finish bagging up that area as the sun goes down. Crawl into bed.
1. Attempt to get out of bed. Stop screaming only long enough for spouse to administer muscle ointment to your arms and shoulders, which feel like they’re on fire.
2. Spend day watching TV, as it’s the only thing that doesn’t require much upper body movement.
1. Drink about three cups of coffee to try and shake the daytime-TV-induced stupor you acquired yesterday.
2. Wonder if those people that threw the studio chairs at each other really had extramarital affairs with the stepbrother’s cousin of their tattoo artists while wearing vinyl hats.
3. Discover that half of the bags came undone in the night, and that the leaves blew across your neighbour’s lawn.
4. Do a quick rake of the leaf path to hide the fact they came from your yard, but leave the rest on neighbour’s lawn.
5. Start on a new patch of your lawn. Rake slowly.
6. When coffee wears off, call it a day.
1. Go outside and discover that your neighbour put all your leaves back on your lawn.
2. Suspect he put all of *his* leaves on your lawn.
3. Suspect he put his other neighbour’s leaves on your lawn too.
4. Hit by sudden inspiration, drive to hardware store, buy industrial strength leaf vacuum.
5. Come home, let fly with a “Mwa ha ha ha ha!” and start the vacuum.
6. Get half the lawn done before you hear a MEOW! followed by a loud *thuck!* and a *whump!* and the vacuum stops working.
7. Spend the next two hours extricating Muffles.
8. Spend the next four hours getting stitches.
9. Return cat to neighbour with apology. Try not to fume when he says, between gasps of laughter, that the video he made of the cat extrication makes up for it all, because it went viral and now he’s got interviews booked with several daytime TV shows.
10. Call a lawn service.