McKeithan Column|Yard work is unnecessary hard work

Published 2:20 pm Friday, August 28, 2009

Associate Publisher

(This is not a repeat column)
I was reminded of why I don’t enjoy yard work this weekend: I did yard work.
All of you out there who claim to enjoy halting Mother Nature’s progress must be really bored, a little nuts, or both. Some of you may even be (gasp) liars.
My beautiful wife said to me, as we toiled together doing laborious chores this weekend, “Sweetie, (‘Sweaty’ was more accurate) admit it, isn’t this a little bit of fun?”
“Actually, Hon’ … I think I’ve just glimpsed Hell on Earth. I think you call it, ‘weeding.’” Yes, I overreacted, but not by much.
One of my chores, assigned by my beautiful wife, was to “cut back that big shrub.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because we want it to grow back full and healthy,” she explained.
“It IS full and healthy,” I countered, expertly.
“Hunky Hubby,” she managed without laughing, “We must prune that shrub so in the spring it will bloom beautifully.”
“Oh, you mean like it did THIS spring?”
“Huh?” I countered, expertly, again. “But that’s nine months from now,” I continued, only after I had counted on my fingers — twice — to double-check my math. “Why make it ugly for nine months of the year so it can look ‘beautiful’ for three? That’s as crazy as when we repainted that yellow room, yellow. Basically, you’re telling me to work my tail off so that bush can appear…. just as it does now?”
“It’s not a bush, it’s a shrub.”
“Same thing,” said I.
“No,” she insisted, “they’re as different as marriage and divorce, do you get my meaning?”
I didn’t. I continued to plead my case.
“I still don’t understand why I’m cutting back a healthy bush so it can be healthy again!” I exclaimed loudly while stepping back three steps.
“Because I’m your wife,” she said, thereby ending the discussion.
I have provided a photo of the bush that I “cut-back” for reasons known only to my beautiful wife and the agricultural extension service. I felt vindicated once the job was complete:
“Now look at it, Kissy-Poo,” I said, “So sad … it looks like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree!”
“Dearest, it looks cared for and loved, you’ve done well, little man,” she said as I decorated the “tree,” Peanuts-style.
You’re not helping
I wrote in my last column about having a “big ol’ head.” Several well-intentioned folks made an effort to help my low self-esteem by offering consoling words: “Your head is not THAT big,” they said. (“Well, you’re not THAT insensitive,” I wanted to say.)
Let’s face it; I have an orb the size of Pluto. Don’t try to convince me otherwise; you’ll just make matters worse. (But, thanks.)
Support a good cause, see grown man cry
Although the main show is sold-out, you can still see our local “stars” dance at the afternoon performance of Dancing With OUR Stars tomorrow. Tickets for the Invitational Dress Rehearsal will be available at the door for $10 each. The doors will open at 3:30 for the 4:00 performance.
Make plans to see an inept host (me) walk on stage and freeze in a moment of panic amid a full-blown anxiety attack. The betting line says I will stare blankly at the audience for 10 minutes, then run off the stage crying like a kindergartner in a school play. (And I’ve got it easy compared to the dancers. Please come and support them.)
The event is a benefit for Eagle’s Wings, a United Way agency addressing hunger needs in Beaufort County.