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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Live blogging suburbia

Two weeks ago, we hired a new yard services company to make Mt. Otis look nice, part of an ongoing effort to look less like we are doing our best to get full use out of a rental house when we are actually paying a mortgage on this thing.

8:12am--Motherfucker. Who starts working with gas-powered equipment at this hour? I for one have only been asleep for four hours and the idea of a gas-driven hedge trimmer below my bedroom window makes me want to cancel my contract with "The Cutting Edge" (not the real name, but it might as well be).

9:12am--Motherfucker, these guys are serious. We had been told that our little cul-de-sac home would be given the first-run go-over this morning, but I didn't know it was going to be this fucking noisy.

9:30am--I manage to fall back asleep. I dream about sex stuff. Because I do that a lot.

10:45am--Seems like as good a time as any to wake up. I peek my head out the window to survey what my money has purchased. Something is really, really wrong. The yard looks nice. The hedges below my window look nice. But something is really, really wrong with the six year-old hedges lining the street. I planted those hedges with my wife. Dwarf Holly, I think they're called.

10:47am--Barefoot, hair-mussed, I walked into the yard. Everything looks perfect, save the row of hedges along Otis Court. For the first time, I think of the phrase, "pruned with an axe" and make plans to use it several times over the next few hours.

11:01am--The wife calls on her way home from her workout to see if I want coffee. I suggest that our front hedges have been "pruned with an axe." I accept the offer of coffee and sit back to wait on my wife's opinion.

11:30am--Unacceptable, she says. I have to agree, and though she at one point used the word "butchered," I sort of feel like she should've said something about the axe. We considered that a) The Cuttting Edge isn't finished and b) The Cutting Edge is using some sort of new-fangled pruning technique.

11:42am--I call my contact at The Cutting Edge and tell him my opinion about the bushes and use my little phrase again. "About that," he says. "I was in a meeting and couldn't call you." He goes on to say his guys finished our job, left, went to another job in the neighborhood, drove back by and noticed the damage. "Looks like somebody ran over your bushes," he said. Oddly, I believe him. He goes on to say that if his guys had done it, they would've replaced everything. The Cutting Edge is a reputable company that does most of the nice lawns in the area.

12:01pm--And yet. And yet, what the fuck do I do now. I remember buying the bushes when they were tiny and planting them with the wife in what, at the time, seemed to be a very grueling day of yard work. Most of them look beyond repair. The logical part of my brain suggests that the only option is that The Cutting Edge guys did it on accident and couldn't own up to it to their boss. I, however, have no way to prove this. And so, I'm fucked. Actually, my bushes are fucked. Me, I'm just cranky.

12:03pm--Now I don't know what to do. I have now looked over the destruction several times and it is pretty clear the damage was done by a car. The remaining questions are 1) who? and 2) why? So, I look up the non-emergency number for the Otis County Sheriff's Office. After five minutes on the phone, a nice man with a nice southern accent defines the phrase "passing the buck" for me and passes on the number for the Highway Patrol. His reasoning goes like this: I have no reason to believe it was malicious, hence, it was probably an accident and under the jurisdiction of the HP.

12:08pm--I reach a dispatcher at the Highway Patrol who audibly rolls her eyes. By this point, I feel a little stupid. However, I figure if I'm going to fix this situation, I need to get a law enforcement report for it. After I explain the situation for the fourth time, the lady says a trooper will be right out. I should point out, a few months ago, I was at an illegal poker tournament. I witnessed a head on collision in which there were injuries. We called the HP. It took the trooper nearly two hours to show up. So, like, I'm really anticipating a quick arrival to write a report on my fucked up hedges.

12:18pm--The dog starts barking and I figure The Cutting Edge bossman has come by to check everything out. Instead, there is a police interceptor Crown Vic in the driveway. I overcome my amazement long enough to put on shoes and go outside to talk to Trooper Thompson. To summarize the conversation: "I'm a friendly state trooper, but what the fuck do you want me to do here? You have no idea who did it, it is going to go on your homeowner's insurance anyway." I actually feel bad for calling. The guy was nice enough, but, hell, what do I expect him to do. He ends up handing me a blank accident report. I consider filling it out to make it look like one of my friends ran over a moose, but decide against it.

12:45pm--Lunch. Turkey with pepperjack cheese, brown mustard, and Sun Chips on the side. I drink water in an effort to cut down on the number of Diet Cokes I drink in a day. I spend the lunch thinking about how I'd like to find the person who ran over our bushes...and how I'd like a Diet Coke.

1:30pm--I have yet to call the insurance company. The wife and I have slipped into a paranoia that involves our suspicion that our new neighbors are involved. Any car that rolls up onto our street gets the stinkeye. Everything is reason to be on alert. We begin making plans to sneak into our new neighbor's driveway overnight and look for Dwarf Holly leaves in the wheel wells of their Subaru. We might need more sleep.

2:12pm--Another vehicle pulls onto Otis Court. It is a UPS minivan. The UPS guy usually comes in a big ol' truck. Then, a knock at the door. The dog barks. I, again barefoot, step out to talk to a man named Quinton.

2:30pm--Well, go figure. Apparently our friendly UPS guy (the one who is always on his cell phone) lost control of his truck this morning and ran through our yard. He apparently knocked and I was apparently unconcious (something that is a bit too common around here...apparently). After a breif conversation and some investigation, a very apologetic UPS regional manager explains that I will be contacted by the company's insurance representative and that all costs will be covered.

And suddenly my night mission across the street seems a little silly.

Fuck, I may do it anyway. I don't care where you come from. Hazing new neighbors is a good time.



Blogger DrChako said...

If you woke my ass up at 8 am after a long night of poker I'd run over your hedges, too.

The culprit lives within three houses of yours. It's not the new neighbors.

3:09 PM  
Blogger DrChako said...

I was close.

You wanna borrow my camoflague uniform?

3:29 PM  
Blogger AlCantHang said...

I was about to fly down to G-Vegas with my trusty 2-iron and some very mean looks on my face.

Oh well, some other time then.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Drizztdj said...


Don't fuck with another man's bush.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

brad......you're a dork!-fb

10:01 PM  
Blogger ken said...

Deck dem halls...

And a Fa La La La La too!

8:09 AM  
Blogger Maigrey said...

hey - your rss feed looks a little messed up - I only saw this because of mrs. otis!

9:15 AM  
Blogger Easycure said...

Drive The Truck, indeed!

9:49 AM  

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