The Incorrigible Night Owl

August 31, 2004

Just another day in the suburbs

When I was an elementary school kid I used to watch a lot of "Three's Company." Yeah...not exactly something you'd think of as childhood fare. But, for whatever reason, I enjoyed watching it and my mom let me. Several years ago I asked her why on earth she allowed me to watch it. She replied that she figured most of the subject matter was over my head. As much as I love my ma I have to disagree there. I mean, hello, we're talking about Three's Company here. It doesn't exactly fall under the category of "sophisticated humor." I may have been 9 but I got that Jack Tripper was a big old horndog who was pretending to be gay so he could continue shacking up with the two hot girls. But, you know, I turned out okay and I'm not psychologically traumatized, so it's all good.

Anyway, one of my favorite-ever lines from Three's Company that I still chuckle over happened when Jack and the girls were, for whatever reason, called upon to go clean out the Roper's back yard. Speaking of the overgrown state of the weeds and grass in said yard, Jack stated, "There are pockets of Japanese in there that don't know the war is over!" That tickled me and I have used it in the past to describe the state of various parts of my house, i.e. under my bed, the closet, etc.

Very recently, though, our yard has come to resemble the Roper's yard and I have been able to apply the statement to the area about which it was originally coined. We have lived in this house for 15 months and, in that time, we have done basically nothing in the area of gardening. Oh, we have a man who comes every other week or so to mow our lawn -- we at least do the neighborhood that much courtesy. And, as we have kindly refrained from putting our former living room furniture and any major appliances on the front porch, I really don't think they have anything to complain about, anyway. But I digress....

Our yard was beginning to take on the look of an abandoned lot. We have many lovely, decorative shrubberies (the Knights Who Say Ni would adore our yard) but these shrubberies had gone completely out of control. I mean, really, when the things have sprouted extensions that are growing up into the roof overhang and starting to bend over double, it's time to call somebody.

I got exactly two estimates for the job. The first guy said $300-400. The second guy said $150, and I said, "HIRED!" So our man arrived this morning (a day late, but for $150 I will make some allowances) and now our shrubs and bushes have been hacked into submission in neat, tidy shapes that are not found anywhere in nature. And the neighbors hate us maybe a little less. And the Japanese have been taken to a facility from which they will be reintegrated into society. All in all, just another day in America's suburbs. Doumoarigatou.