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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

What a lovely day here at Port Swiller Manor!  After many weeks of lingering Winter, my porch thermometer reports we made it all the way up to 85 degrees this afternoon.  I opened all the windows in the Manor to air out the accumulated fug of the last six months, and we had dinner out on the porch this evening for the first time this season.  Lovely.  Lovely.

There’s a dark side to all this, of course.

Early this afternoon, a large rig from Home Despot pulled up on the street in front of the house (much to the extreme annoyance of other drivers who had to get round it as best they could), there to drop on our driveway 216 bags of mulch.  Something over half of them are designated for a large, shady patch under the maples at the back of our yard, under which nothing (except onion grass) actually grows.

Ol’ Robbo doesn’t happen to possess a wheelbarrow at the moment, nor could he expect any help from his women-folk (who all go remarkably delicate when there’s heavy lifting to do), so his only real choice was to hoist each individual bag on to one or the other of his shoulders and trudge down the hill to dump it on said patch.

“Don’t over-do it, now!” said Mrs. R.

“I won’t,” I replied breezily.

Reader, I over-did it.

This evening, even after a glass or two of (purely-medicinal) vino, Ol’ Robbo is a solid mass of aches and pains (to say nothing of the lungs-full of pollen I inhaled that make me sound like a three-pack-a-day man when I try to speak).  I shudder to think of how I’m going to feel in the morning.

The punch line is that the rest of the bags have to be moved out tomorrow to the holly hedge and maple trees along our frontage.  Mrs. R says she will do that, but I know perfectly well that it’s going to be up to me in the end to deal with most of them.  Why? Because that’s what I do.

If any friends of the decanter are looking for a good stock tip, I’d suggest investing in aspirin futures immediately.

UPDATE: Whelp, Ol’ Robbo got up early this morning and moved all the rest of the bags himself in order to spare Mrs. R the burden of having to do it.  Then I went out back to spread about the bags I had hauled out there yesterday.

By the time I was done, I was a mass of sores and aches even worse than yesterday.  To quote Dr. Smith, “Oh, William! The pain! The pain!”

Ol’ Robbo ain’t 33 any more, I guess.

By the bye, did you know that there’s an industry Mulch and Soil Council? I didn’t until I saw its certificate of approval on the side of all those bags.  According to the blurb, the MSC’s purpose is to make sure you get only the highest-quality mulch in the bags you purchase, free of rusty nails, cat poop, human remains, and other contaminants.  And anybody who suggests that it’s nothing more than another example of a cabal of Big Industry colluding with Big Government to keep out – via extremely expensive regulation – any upstart competition can shut their whore mouths.

(That last part isn’t actually printed on the bags.  It’s just Ol’ Robbo’s hunch.)



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April 2018