Saturday, May 4, 2013

Episode 110: How to Mow the Lawn

When I was like 13 or something, I got forced - sorry, hired - to mow the lawn of my neighbor. This was in the early 80s, and they paid me $35, which was kind of a lot when you think about it. But it was also four or five acres and at the time I only had access to a push mower. It took a while each weekend, and this was before I had a Walkman or anything, so I would sing songs while I did it. I only knew the words to two songs: Bette Midler's "The Rose" and Juice Newton's "Queen of Hearts."  There might have been some others that I had a faint grasp on - I remember quite a bit of Hall & Oates' "Private Eyes," but I couldn't sing it all the way through if you threatened me with a wedgie. Also, maybe that Aprilwine song that I now can't remember. But it seems like I knew that at one point.

ANYWAY! I would sing "The Rose" and "Queen of Hearts" over and over while I mowed, trying to figure out how long it would take me based on how many times I could sing them. Ten times! PAY ME! Eight times! PAY ME!

This neighbor also had a leaky septic tank and that was funny/disgusting to be singing "The Rose" while skirting the stinkfest of their backyard. The man of the house was a district manager for Shoney's and sometimes even now when I have had the misfortune of being in a Shoney's, I steal all the packaged condiments from the all-you-can-stuff-in-your-face bar just to get him back for making me march through his sewage, even though I am sure he's long dead.  I've got a box full of pancake syrup big enough to turn the US Olympic team into diabetics.  As if singing "The Rose" over and over for three hours wasn't hard enough on your pancreas.