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Modern Columnist Visits the Chiropractor
If you want to know why I am walking around looking like I am searching for a four-leaf clover or a face-up penny, the short answer is this:
The home improvement bug recently planted its incisors in my gluteus maximus, resulting in me trying to do three months’ worth of yardwork and house fix-up in a weekend, which translates into Oh My Aching Back.
I spent two days digging, chopping, cutting, raking, hoeing, weeding, planting hammering, sawing and about 67 other gerunds, and now I am paying the price: $35 for a new heating pad, $10 for the bottle of extra-strength aspirin, and a posture reminiscent of the third guy from the left in the "Ancient Man At His Daily Tasks" diorama at the Museum of Natural History.
Why? Because it’s spring, and the home improvement bug is at its most ravenous at this time of year. It gets nice outside and we figure we might as well do something constructive with the season. This turns out to be just the opening the home improvement bug is looking for. Chomp.
The biggest task of my weekend was removing the yews that a previous owner planted around the front porch. They’ve seen better days and I thought it might be nice to replace them with something that doesn’t look like it died three years ago.
I thought about spray-painting them green, but I don’t think it would have fooled the Neighborhood Yard Cops. You know the ones. They’re outside all year long tending yards that look like golf courses, and reminding you of the covenant that says YOUR lawn is supposed to look like the 14th fairway, too. Although I’m not sure what they’ll do if you don’t comply. Send you to Yard Jail, I suppose.
I did some in-depth research (called a relative) and found that yews have fairly shallow roots, but require a little effort to remove - a little effort such as in severing the roots with a pickaxe. Lucky for me, I was instructed in the use of axes by my Grandpa McKenzie. It was a matter of some astonishment for him, as well as the entire McKenzie family, that I made it through the afternoon with both feet still size 11.
That was 40 years ago. And that was also the last time I used an axe before this weekend. But off to work I went, Mike The Lumberjack (and that’s OK, I sleep all night and I work all day) chopping through yew roots, old roots and new roots. And as I pulled the bushes from their earthly confines I heard a series of pops that I thought were the last little stragglers from the rootball breaking free of the soil. Silly me. It was actually the sound of my thoracic and lumbar vertebrae re-aligning themselves into something approximating the letter "Z."
That was when I decided to call it a day. And I also decided to hire a service to come out and remove the rest of the bushes. Or maybe if I leave it half-done the Yard Cops will get so annoyed they come over and finish the job for me.
However it happens, the bug bite seems to have healed, and I am on to new challenges, such as standing upright once again. Or using my arms. Or posing for a new diorama: Modern Man Visits The Chiropractor.
© 2009 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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