Saturday, January 26, 2013
The Grabber - Tool or Weapon ?
The weather has been a little warmer this week, and we have had some breaks in the rain. This means it is time to go out and begin to clean up all the pine tree debris that has landed during the last round of rain storms. Pine cones, pine needles, and branches are an ever present chore waiting to be tackled.
The first few times the *LOC and I picked up pine cones, we both hobbled back into the house after a couple of hours of vigorous pine cone retrieval, as bent over as the hunchback of Notre Dame. The share price of ibuprofen products ticked up nicely that week, let me tell you.
But we cannot simply allow the things to pile up or soon we could not navigate the yard. If you inadvertently step on one, well, you may end up sitting near it upon your own backside. They roll when stepped upon creating a real hazard for the ankles. At this point, my ankles have enough issues without aggravating them, thank you very much.
Fortunately, there is help at hand. It is a wonderful little contraption called "the grabber". It is yet further evidence that your local hardware store is the best establishment you can possibly frequent. They have absolutely everything at the hardware store. (With the exception of good deli sandwiches.) I could spend hours just wandering up and down the aisles, and sometimes do.
The grabber allows one to grasp a handle, which opens and closes, and is cleverly affixed to a three foot long pole, at the end of which is a set of pincer-like prongs operated by the handle at the top. With this handy-dandy tool I can pick up pine cones without bending over very far. In fact, given that I am somewhat height challenged, I hardly have to bend at all.
If I had to guess, I would imagine that this little gem is the best selling product around our little mountain hamlet, at least among the geriatric set. Why this thing has undoubtedly saved its users untold tens of thousands of dollars in chiropractic treatments, liniments and ointment rubs, herniated discs and ruptured what nots. The device is too marvelous for words; and I am sure the inventor must now be a jillionaire. Deservedly so.
Once the little grabber was discovered, why picking up pine cones became quite pleasant. Child's play, really. That is until the *LOC got out of line and called me a party-pooper. What, you may logically ask, does picking up pine cones have to do with party pooper-ing? Good question. It is only in retrospect that I have sorted it out.
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The other afternoon, the LOC and I went out to companionably share yard duty. While I was grabbing cone after cone in one area, he was industriously scooping up pine needles across the yard, as he listened to music on his headset. They have these little paddles with teeth especially for this purpose (no, not on the headsets, silly, on the pine needle scoopers) because pine needles do not rake up well. And clearly they cannot be grabbed.
Every so often he would shout to me, across the yard, calling out some song or other that was currently playing, asking whether I remembered that one. Generally I did, but occasionally I just nodded and kept grabbing, regardless of whether memory served. Nightfall was coming and I still had forty thousand or so pine cones to pick up before dark.
Suddenly the *LOC shouts to me something about " Just wanna' have fun?" - grinning like a lunatic. While I might under some circumstances agree, I really didn't think it was any of the neighbors' business and given his volume level I didn't see how they could possibly not hear him, so I ignored him. A couple of minutes later he called out again along the same line.
I was by then getting ticked and paused to give him the stink eye. I mean really, some people have no sense of time and place. He looked puzzled, if not downright hurt.
I turned back to my grabbing, muttering to myself about foolish old men who cannot even do yard work without letting their thoughts wander in untoward directions, when he suddenly shouts out again, even louder this time, which I hardly thought possible.
I whirled around, prepared to step lively over to his vicinity and share an opinion or two with him, when he calls out, "Cindi Lauper - girls just wanna have fun. Remember that one?"
I was so irked that I was tempted to have an untoward thought or two myself, in terms of what purpose might the grabber serve other than just pinching pine cones.
But really, what was the point? So I just shook my head in the negative and waved him off. At that point, he shook his own head, and said, "Party pooper." I think he thought he was muttering under his breath, but his headphones were turned up so loud, that he sounded more like he was trying to call down fire out of heaven.
Meanwhile, he was now raking with rhythm -feet moving, hips swaying, scoopers swishing - just having a fine old time over in his quadrant; whereas I was now thoroughly miffed at having been misjudged.
Smarting from the put down, I dragged my wheelbarrow over to his blind side, but overcame the temptation to acquaint him with my grabber in heretofore unknown ways. Instead I tossed the grabber onto the mere twenty thousand pine cones I had managed to grab, and stomped off to the kitchen. Let the remaining twenty thousand do their worst to whomever happened to be in the yard.
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Later, I could not help but sadly recall that wisdom laden line from Cool Hand Luke. "What we have here is a failure to communicate."
Ya think? :)
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Hope your pine cones are staying on the limb, and that no one has risked life and limb trying to communicate with you today. Until next time ... Marsha
(*Lovable Old Coot - in this case, clearly a misnomer.)