I live on the third floor of a three-story condo unit. Nice community. Gated. Not sure how secure it is though. I was visiting with Pat — the maintenance guy — the other day and we started talking about security and somehow he let it slip that the gate code for the maintenance crew was “1234.”


I’m thinking that if Riff or Raff wanted to get into the complex, well, they wouldn’t have to hack through many code permutations. Fug.

Anyway — yesterday I’m sitting in my somewhat secure third-floor condo living room when I get a call from Mando, one of my best pals. The other being Tom. Both being ex-hackers in the business of helping other companies avoid being hacked. Mando is calling from Vegas. Business, he says. Of the monkey variety is what I’m thinking, but I let it slide in the name of friendship.

A favor. That’s what he says he needs.

You know how favors and friends go. You call a friend when no one else will help. You are not permitted, by the Immutable Law of Friendship, to decline.

What kind of favor, I delicately ask. Like a reluctant snake-handler milking a black mamba.

Mow my grass, Mando informs me.

Now, there are many things Mando could have asked of me as a favor. Check on his mail. Feed his dog. Pick up his mom at the airport. Stalk his ex-girlfriend Lisa who supposedly stole some of his vintage baseball cards. I would gladly do any of those.

Yard work, however, strikes me as pointless, disheartening, depressing, and self-defeating. A blow to the human spirit. A reminder of our sad human condition.

I mean, think about it. Grass is a weed.

It is simply something that makes dirt look acceptable. People only allow it to grow because it is generally stable and grows uniformly. It is orderly and neat, unlike the lives of the people mowing it.

So, not only are you tending to and nurturing a weed that never stops growing, you must continue to cut it — for-freaking-ever.

You NEVER accomplish anything. You cut it; the effing weeds grow back. It’s what they do best.

It’s like the damn mythological hydra — cut one head off and two grow back — you are always mowing the grass. You are always reminded of the sheer and utter pointlessness of life. Gawd, I hate effing yard work. It’s bullsnarf. An affront to human dignity. A bane on existence.


I am now sitting at my computer typing this blog entry. I am drenched in sweat and irritation since I have just returned from Mando’s house. Where I tended to his weeds and cut the grass, front and back, and edged and trimmed the front like a crazed grass-infused artisan.

I feel demeaned as a human.

But, damn, that front yard sure looks good.