Hastily Scribbled Entry Day, Marchipelago 8, 41 A.B.

    My lawnmower is going on world tour.
    Well, ok - not really.  It just seems that way.
    I bought my mower last April at Sears and at that time I also purchased the extended service contract which included an annual check-up.  Turns out our local Sears no longer does that sort of work itself anymore, so they're sending my mower 79 miles (seventy-nine!) away.  Apparently that's the closest I now live to someone who knows how to sharpen a blade and change an air filter.
    What if it had been an emergency?  What if I had awakened in the middle of the night with the sudden, overwhelming need to have my oil changed and my spark plug replaced??
    As it is, it's going to be 12 days (twelve!) before I get my mower back!!!!!!!!!!!
    And of course the worst of it is that my mower will probably think itself too good to  be pushed around by me anymore - me who hasn't even made it out of the county in many, many months!

    If there's no answer when they call to tell me it's in, tell 'em to dredge the tall grass....


    On the bright side: I got my gutters cleaned out today.
    I put on my latex gloves and I climbed my ladder and I scooped out oodles and oodles of leaves.
    Bone dry leaves!
    Bone dry leaves are MUCH better to scoop than the putrefying muck I scooped out last time.
    If anyone ever asks you "Has a grown man ever done The Happy Dance in honor of utter desiccation?" and you wanna give a truthful answer, say "Oh, YESSSS!"

.'...':..'.'.'.'.''''....'.'.'..'.'.~'.'.''...'.'.::',','.'.','',''',','','','',''',,,''':; .`:`''....`.`..`..:'':......,.,.:''"'~.....:''..'''....~-

    On the even brighter side: My three forsythia bushes are on the verge of blooming!
    Ok, so one's more like a little stick than a bush - it doesn't change the essential truth that all three are erupting with little green-yellow buds that will soon EXPLODE into vibrant yellow flowerettes that unfailingly cause my spirits to soar.
    The forsythia bush, you see, was the first bush I ever learned the name of once I moved out of the inner city and started taking an active interest in all things botanical.  I can't recall EVER seeing one before I was, like, 18, but once I started seeing these brilliant yellow bushes EXPLODING in the spring everywhere I looked, I just HAD to ask 'em their name.  And when they played coy and wouldn't tell me, my ever-helpful wife did.
    Much to her regret....

    "No, Dear - that's a fire hydrant."
    "No - that's a crossing guard in a yellow raincoat.  Calm down."
    "No - that McDonald's clerk just has hepatitis.  Now stop!  Honestly, Honey, I sometimes think you really couldn't tell your ass from a hole in the ground."
    "HA! ... Umm, how big is the hole?"
    "As big as that school bus that's in front of - "


    Anyway, a big day here between the mower and the gutters and the forsythia.
    Time to go gorge on seedless red grapes in reckless celebration!
    They've come all the way from Chili, you know.


    HEY!  If you are what you eat and I eat enough seedless red grapes from Chili in the next 12 (twelve!) days, do you think I can convince my mower to keep working for me??
    Maybe I better spend a day or two eating all the pistachio nuts from Iran that I possibly can - just to be sure.....




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