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2:51 p.m. - 2012-04-20
Trimmed, finally.

Don't you hate that? Not 10 minutes after I left a cranky message on the lawn service's voicemail the crew (2 guys) showed up. I called back, apologized for being such a crank-ass, and explained that normally I'm a patient sort but yesterday's no-show had had me on edge.

The lawn kids just dove in and started working without coming to the door. Fortunately I have my office windows open and could tell the noise was coming from my yard and not a neighbor's. I went out front and walked the guys around explaining exactly what I wanted done. Very nice boys. I laughed when after the head guy introduced himself the younger one said, "Yeah, I'm the guy who does the other stuff." I nodded and said, "Nice to meet you, I've been the scut work guy too. Those gas-powered weed whackers are a sumbitch, aren't they?" He tipped his head and asked, "You did landscaping?" Had to laugh again, he was stunned an old lady like me had ever done grunt work in the sun. "Yup. Worked for a landscaper when I was a kid. Three years of mulch, bugs and poison ivy. Hard work, but it paid better than babysitting."

It did too. I liked Walt the One-Armed Landscaper. A Korean War vet who'd lost the lower half of right his arm to a landmine, he was astonished when I approached him for a job. I'd been doing housecleaning up in the Hassidic village and was half-dead from the cleanser fumes and had stepped outside for some fresh air and saw Walt clipping hedges. I thought, "You know, doing stuff outside has to be better than dying of Clorox poisoning." So I marched over to Walt and asked if he'd hire me. He laid down his clippers, scratched his head with the arm that still had a hand on it, and said with a quashing kind of frown, "You're a girl."

Now I don't know if it was the Clorox or my aggravation with the constant dissing and snarky crap I'd gotten from men since I'd sprouted this outsized rack of mine or what but my usual mealy-mouthed politesse got shoved aside by some wiseass self I'd never met before and out of my mouth flew, "What? I'm a girl?!?!?!" I looked down, pulled out the bib of my overalls, pretended to be amazed by the boobs in there and said, "Well shit. Don't know where they came from. Doesn't matter. So can I have a job or not?"

Walt laughed so hard he had to sit down. I hunkered down next to him, smiling but still giving him the hairy eyeball. Walt laughed himself out, wiped his eyes with a snotrag, then demanded to know if I'd ever used a lawnmower before. I assured him I had. We stood back up, he offered the arm with the prosthetic hook to shake, which I did, and said he'd see me in the morning. 7:30am on the dot in front of the main synagogue. Thus began a profitable and reasonably happy working relationship that kept me buff, taught me a lot about hard work and dealing with men in the workplace, and put more folding green in my pocket than any of my other gigs except modeling. Not that I saw any of that money, the old lady kept all my modeling pay.

I don't blame the lawn kid for being surprised though. These days I'm fluffier than a soufflé and nearly as white as copier paper. I look like I haven't moved a muscle or been outdoors in years. Which, to be honest, I haven't. It's part and parcel of the princess gig I'm doing these days. Gads, I remember some years back writing a blog entry that described my perfect life and the main gist was my desire to be Zsa Zsa Gabor. Wildly adored, bejeweled, excessively groomed and above all else...useless. The most gilded of lilies.

Why? Mostly because it was the antithesis of my slave mule life at the time. A grubby, low-class, unappreciated, slog and slog and slog some more, a stagger of survival in its meanest, least loved, most soul starved version. Nowadays I do want more for myself than being a treasured ornament, but at the time it sounded like Heaven.

For right now it's Friday. The guys are going to be home again for the weekend. Sigh...good-bye, privacy. But the lawn looks fabulous and Mick will be thrilled. Wolf gets to play video games and stay up into the wee s'mas, at least tonight and tomorrow he does. I promised to be a good sport and go with them to see the new 'Three Stooges' movie even though that kind of low humor makes me want to stab myself in the head with a BBQ fork. I'm sure there will be at least one night off from the stove for me, maybe two. The weather is supposed to be rainy and cool which means good sleeping, even if Mick will be crabby about the curtailed bike riding. All in all not too shabby.

Wishing everyone a safe, sane and happy weekeend, ~LA

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