Jack Frost

Jack Frost
Jack Frost announced his annual visit to our fertile land with bolts of lightning, peals of thunder, and buckets of rain, behind which came the brisk winds of the North Land.

What a welcome visitor!

The windows have been pried open from their locked summer state, and the thermostat has been turned to a lower setting. The HVAC system thanks me for the welcome break, while the power company wonders where all the demand went. If I had a solar grid, I wouldn’t be selling the excess…

The daily constitutional won’t soak my exercise togs, and it may be that extra covering is called for. On the down side, walking in the dark is not really very much fun; part of the stimulation is looking at the other exercise hounds doing their thing, discreetly, of course.

Brown whiskey, my old friend, is now acceptable; perhaps even necessary to ward off Jack’s little friends, chills and cold feet.

Football games seem better.

But, best of all, the grass will soon be dormant, which means that your scribe will not have to waste valuable Saturday mornings on mundane things that take away from sports time.


Thoughts While Mowing

This morning, before I had even finished my first cup of coffee, my wife announced that she had a big “LIST” for me. List is one of my wife’s favorite words, which she uses with annoying frequency. Almost, but not quite, as much as I use “God Damn”, which is my favorite expression.

And so, with no breakfast, the WSJ unread, and with Google Reader reporting 109 unread posts, I was shuffled out the door, in order to accomplish the “LIST” before the noon kickoff. To the drug store, for my prescription refills, to the dry cleaner with drop off and pick up responsibility. Then to the hardware megastore for new, shiny returns for the HVAC vents in a couple of rooms. Finally, the grocery store, in order to pick up the spareribs for the evening/first game of the year kickoff supper.

Only the grocery was out of spareribs. Plenty of babyback ribs – which are for amateurs. On to the second grocery – where my question “Are y’all out of ribs?” was greeted with hoots of derision from the counter men. One asked me, “Dude, what weekend is this? I think tomorrow’s a big holiday”. Never mind that he meant Monday; I had no choice but to admit that my procrastination had put this baby into the corner.

By the time the chuck wagon reached the house, it was nearly noon. The wife had taken the morning off to go to the Famer’s Market with her friend, so I had to unload the car, put the stuff away, and fix my own breakfast/lunch (brunch?). While reading the paper, watching the game, and catching up on Google Reader, my phone chimed. It was her, telling me that they were going to lunch, and see you in a bit. In an attempt at clever repartee, I replied that the window for the grass cutting had closed, and likely would not reopen until Monday. Big mistake.

And so, while Auburn struggled, Alabama marched, and Virginia Tech steamrolled, I pulled out the lawnmower, filled it with gas, and began. As the sweat slowly infiltrated my favorite t-shirt, and lawn detritus began to soil my exercise shoes, I pondered one of life’s great questions:

How does a man go from shameless to shameful?

Your typical unmarried male sheds responsibility like a dog shakes off water. He is deaf to the entreaties of a woman, if the result is a deprivation of his pleasure. He is blind to the effects of female disgust, and thus cannot see the approaching danger.

Married men, on the other hand, scurry from one assigned task to another, all the while casting covert glances at the game, or daydreaming about a cold beer, maybe later, if it is allowed.

We all know that the institution of marriage is one of civilization’s great rituals, whose meaning is embedded in all religions since the dawn of time. Sacred words are uttered, vows taken, and symbols of bondage exchanged. In many cultures, the man’s family has to pay a dowry to the bride’s family, thus ensuring the establishment of a life long debt, from which there is no abatement, and severe penalty if the contract is breached.

But how did we let things get so far out of hand?

I’m still pondering…….