I’ve mentioned Steve, our neighborhood stoner landscaper who doesn’t seem to concern himself much over his children’s blatant disregard for property lines. Our tenuous relationship as neighbors I had considered to be a cliché, owing to the old adage that “fences make good neighbors”. And seeing as I had landscapers in the family, I had never considered the profession in itself to be in any way related to Steve’s sub-nominal personality traits. No one wants to be judged for the profession in which they arrived, if said profession was not the original plan. I can personally attest to that sentiment.
Liz and I had discussed hiring a landscaping company, as the 0.48 acres could be quite daunting to mow in the dog days of Ohio’s summer (during which I had learned to apply deodorant to certain body parts to which I had never previously considered applying deodorant). A 2 hour per week investment is right on the fringe of becoming non-trivial, yet I had faltered for 3 reasons: the cost of doing some simple mowing seemed unreasonable ($40? Fuck you. I’d hire a neighborhood kid for half that), they probably wouldn’t do the job to my level of expectation, and mowing is my primary source of cardio (otherwise I’d have to go jogging–fuck that). But something else nagged at my already-wavering conviction.
One evening, as I was driving home from work, I stopped at an intersection, dutifully obeying the rules of the road. A pickup, hauling a trailer of landscaping equipment, turned left towards me. In so doing, the driver yelled out to me, “Ur takin’ up the fuckin’ lane ya faggot!”.
The comment gave me pause. First of all, I was not taking up his lane. I had merely left the courteously bare-minimum space to my right so that if a car behind me needed to turn right, they could do so without me first having to vacate. Second, it was an extremely rude and offensive comment to make to a fellow motorist. At the time, I had simply ignored it, since the fellow obviously proved himself to be beneath contempt. He completed his turn without incident, proving that I had indeed left sufficient space, and I continued on with the rest of my day.
The encounter would have faded from memory, but Liz recounted a story of a colleague’s run-in with a landscaper–something about a collision and overblown tempers and threats of litigation. Then I recalled my mother’s stories about her former employer. Then I remembered Steve.
Then this guy showed up at my door, soliciting his own landscaping service. I would have dismissed the encounter entirely, had he not had the audacity to then ask me whom I was currently employing. I told him it was me. He left immediately.
It might be a foregone conclusion, but landscapers are assholes. Were it not merely due to my aforementioned reasons, this conclusion itself is reason enough to deny additional revenue to these degenerates. No, I’ll continue to mow the lawn myself, and when I’m too old and feeble to manage the task myself, I’d gladly pay a neighbor’s son the equal of your their rate, just to deny them the revenue. Fuck you.