Spring. It's in the air. Here in Northern California anyway. As I write this, the Northeast is buried under another avalanche of snow. Hahahahahahha. The narcissus and crocuses are already gone here, the fruit trees are in bloom, and I am starting to see the allergy ravaged red eyes one would normally associate with the autumn pot harvest. We're still having some chilly wet weather, but it is punctuated with days of warmth, sunshine, and tube tops on white trash tattooed grandmas at WalMart.
The Super Bowl is history (who dat?), the seed catalogs are stacking up next to the toilet, and it's almost time to get those Christmas decorations down. You self-righteous assholes who got everything put away on New Year's Day have time to check out the latest in storage bin design on analretentivejerk.com. (As Christian Bale would say, "Oh, good for you!")
For the rest of us, any time up until Easter is a good day to get the skeletal remains of your Christmas tree out of the house, the reindeer off the roof, and the formerly inflatable snowman (now riddled with BB holes) out of that mud pit you call a front lawn. If you wait until after Easter, you might as well just leave 'em up till next year. Take the lights off the tree (unless you want to watch your local firefighters at work and I can't blame you there - rowr), hang a few plastic eggs on it and you're all set. Switch to little ghosts and pumpkins in October. It'll look even better if you don't dust it. Real cobwebs are a nice touch.
The days are getting longer. I'm sure you've noticed. Now we can work outside in the mud till dinnertime. Great. Pruning and cleaning up moldy unidentifiable vegetables (I call them squash) is good practice in keeping the gag reflex at bay. Today I spent three hours prying apart gloves and tools I left in the garden last October, which are now fused with equal parts wet leaves, dog poop and slug guts.
Plus we have to clear brush in Manton. It’s the law. It’s the law everywhere in California. Clear the brush a hundred feet back from your house just in case Cal-Fire needs to get in to protect you from one of their control burns. So Aaron spends most of the Winter--or whatever you call January and February in the 2000's--clearing brush. He's out there with the chainsaw, handsaw, bow saw, loppers, shears, trimmers, machete. It’s like trying to get me into a bikini. (I could have been a star in 1978.)
As you can see, the fun just never stops. In a few weeks there will be twelve hours of daylight. Christ! I already have to wait till 6PM to have a cocktail. This is very annoying.
"In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love." That Tennyson - what a joker. Of course, March Madness didn't exist in the 1800's, so he can be forgiven his sentimental foray into metrosexuality. Nowadays, from what I have personally experienced, in spring young men don't fancy anything except boobs, beer and basketball. Old men, too. And middle-aged men. The simplicity of their basic needs is elegant in its own way. Interestingly, the combination of any two of the above seems to be fine, but it can be dangerous if they have access to all three at once. Sometimes a man's hearing will cease to function if there is too much visual stimulation. Like when blind people's other senses go into overdrive. Say a man is drinking beer and watching boob videos on YouPorn. No problem. But throw a basketball game into the mix and he can no longer hear his wife/girlfriend talking about window treatments (or rewriting his jokes.) Fancy that.
Baseball is here, too. Almost. Sort of. Spring Training is an interesting ritual which baseball fans await with a lack of patience rivaled by two year-old airplane passengers. Everyone has high hopes for their team, which will be dashed with abandon by millionaire steroid addicts who are already thinking about what kind of deal they can make for 2011. As a lifelong Mets fan, I anticipate heartbreak as my Boys battle the Nats for the cellar of the NL East all year. Low expectations - the one thing of value we learned from George "43" Bush and are being reminded of by President Obama. Hope springs eternal. For awhile. Don't get me started. This column is about spring. So......
Spring can be a wonderful time of traditional renewal. When pregnant feral cats choose boxes of treasured possessions in your garage in which to deposit litters of mewling puffballs. (They're yours now, motherfucker.) When the college students nearby decide to commune with nature by puking and pissing on your prized gardenia bushes. When we pick up light-weight clothing from the closet floor to see how much it has shrunk over the winter. That's always fun. Pulling on the shorts that were baggy in September and finding the top snaps are now an impossible 4 inches from each other. Good times. Winter is all about denial:
"When my face is fuller the wrinkles get spread out."
"Just one more piece of Jesus' birthday cake won't kill me."
"Who moved my steering wheel in so close?"
"Curvy Brazilian models are the new trend!"
Please don't tell me you're one of those people who made a New Year's Resolution to get in shape. You will say anything when you're drunk, won't you? Did you spend $2500 on a new machine that looks like it could eat your couch and is now buried under clean laundry? Or maybe you joined a gym. A stinky germ-filled room that smells like balls. And you're probably too ashamed to go there till you lose a few pounds. Like when you clean your house before the house cleaner comes over. In answer to your next question, no, I do not have a house cleaner. Unless you count the dog that eats cat puke.
The brutal reality that is spring can be harsh. Face your fat. Pick a doctor for help - Atkins, Phil or Kevorkian. Maybe they can help you get the reindeer off the roof.
To read another take on Spring, see Aaron Standish's latest Unhireable column, "Kissing Bug of Death"
Posted on March 1, 2010CommentReturn To ArchivesReturn To Merry Standish Standard Main Page