Stephen Fahey: Necessary Maintenance

There’s always that one bastard in the neighbourhood who just has to mow his lawn first, in earshot of everyone else’s wives, no less. Now the rest of us poor saps are locked into an unwritten contract where we have to dust off the lawnmowers and start our sad parading up and down our gardens again. The long standing agreement to continue the conspiratorial charade for as long as was humanly possible has now been shattered. The lady folk are onto us. That bastard has sprung the wintery trap of silence. And now we are forced to do that which we are no longer permitted to get away with.

Worse of all, it doesn’t stop at cutting grass. Houses need painting, even if they don’t actually need it they still „need” it. Just as there are flower beds that „need” weeding, paths that „need” power washing and myriad other chores that the winter had enabled us blokes to skip. But no, that asshole, whoever he is, just „had” to break out his lawnmower, send up the evil flare of responsibility, and ruin a perfectly good kibosh on outdoor upkeep.

All that the rest of us men folk can do now is pray for rain. It might make walking the dog a pain in the arse and while it admittedly helps to reduce how often the car needs to be washed, it lowers the tone for everyone. And yet, in private, while we’re hiding from the women, we continue to beg the gods to send a shower strong enough to soak the garden so that we „can’t” cut the grass.

Yes, it’s sad. Yes, it’s typical. Yes, it’s childish. But it’s honest. Nobody wants to spend their one day off working in the garden. At least no sane person does. Not when there’s TV to watch and beer to drink and rain to pray for. Hell, even the overlords don’t – hence the „suggestions”. It’s not as easy as it looks dodging, I mean, mourning chores. It’s terrible when the grass gets long and the clouds roll in and we have nothing better to do than relax and savour a well earned rest.

„Honestly”, there’s nothing more satisfying and rewarding and important than cleaning gutters or varnishing furniture or chopping wood or cutting the bloody grass (you bastard, I hope you read this. You know who you are, with your stupid little hat and your poodle and your crap taste in sports! Jesus, what the hell kind of man… ) But I digress, and I take this moment to remind all men, of all ages, especially those poor saps, I mean those most fortunate individuals who some angel has seen fit to bless with her presence, that it is imperative that you maintain your home to the highest possible standards. Just don’t be the asshole who cuts his grass first.

Stephen Fahey

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