Monday, May 07, 2007

Not the Best Way to Introduce Yourself to Your Neighbors

This particular day was a hot, sunny Monday evening in July. Our new house had been on the market for a while and by the time we moved in, the yard was desperate for water. We had fallen in love with the backyard, a lush, sloping landscape full of cedar and maple trees, pretty beds surrounding grassy lawn that we could envision lying under the stars in. Ahhh.

Wait, shatter that nice little fantasy right here. At this point it just looked like old straw lying on the floor of a barn. I knew I was going to be out of town for most of the week so I decided to give it a good soaking before I left. Without changing out of my silk blouse and skirt I hooked up the hose and searched through boxes to find a sprinkler that would do. What I came up with was one of those adjustable ones that you can set to do an entire circle or particular parts of it. You know, those ones with the evil stake you jam into the ground and it ch-ch-ch-ch goes its way around the portion you set it to do and then abruptly stops and chchchchchchc really fast back to the beginning? I hate them. Always have. I don't consider myself to be a moron, but there are two things I have yet to master in my life: these kind of sprinklers and tying a knot in a balloon. Give me a calculus equation or a brain teaser and there's a reasonably good chance I can figure out a solution. Not so with either of these other things. They are my arch enemy. The Road Runner to my Wile E. Coyote.

Anyway, I decided to start at the upper part of the lawn, on the top of the slope by the back fence. Just over the fence, separated from the lawn by several large trees and some Oregon Grape, was a nice community of mobile homes. I shook off my frustration at having to deal with this kind of sprinkler and told myself I was grown up enough to have bought my own home, I ought to be able to figure out where the sprinkler was going to spray. I dragged the hose to the perfect spot, screwed on the sprinkler and fiddled with the little plastic things in an attempt to set it in a half circle that would water just the lawn and skip the beds and fence behind. The next three minutes or so were spent trying to push the damn thing far enough into the ground to make it stand up - crappy hard soil!

Having accomplished that (still in my silk blouse and skirt) I swiped my hands together to rid them of most of the crud and ran down the hill toward the house to turn the water on. I cranked it on full blast, hoping to water as much grass as I could in the little time I had and ran back up the slope just in time to see the full force of the spray shoot over the fence and into the open window of my neighbor's bedroom.

"WHAT THE F**K?" was that a water buffalo? A huge bellow came across the fence.

I dropped to my belly. I knew he couldn't see me lying on the grass face down over the fence and through the trees. Slowly I reached out and crimped the hose as hard as I could to stop the flow of water and a minute later, I heard the window SLAM shut.

I later found out that he was a police officer who worked nights. The stream of water couldn't have been placed more perfectly. It soaked him as he lay on his bed sleeping off the strain of a difficult shift.

I never did meet that particular neighbor. Nor did I show my face at certain times of the day in our new backyard. I did learn to change my clothes before I go out to water the lawn, and the sprinkler? KO'd. Another trip to Home Depot the following day took care of that. I still hate those kind of sprinklers, but now I have a more legitimate reason, don'cha think?


Deb said...

Oh, so funny! I'm still laughing. This sounds like an episode of I Love Lucy. Did you ever get the grass stains out of your silk?

Michelle O'Neil said...

So funny.

You're lucky he didn't arrest you!

ammogirl said...

I also cannot tie a knot in a balloon.

This is somewhat of a tragic thing, don't you think?

Eileen said...

That is so funny! I am still laughing. I can't believe he did not come out, to find you laying flat on the ground. I am surprised you still water the lawn, even with a new sprinkler, you just don't give up. This story made my night! I needed a good laugh. Have a good night. XO

Té la mà Maria said...

irreverent, iconoclastic, liberty



Jerri said...

Whoa! I'll bet you couldn't do that again if you tried.

Very funny, Kari. And the silk? What happened to it?

Scott from Oregon said...

The funny part, to me is the fact that you threw yourself to the ground.

I mean, where do you think the guy was gonna think the water came from?


Jess said...

Really funny! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with lawn issues...

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