My friend, Gravity.Posted: July 5, 2010
For the second time this summer, there is a big hole in my yard I’ve got to fill in. Trees used to be in those holes. Both trees had to go because they partially fell and were really close to the house.
I really don’t want to mess with filling in this hole. I hate yard work now only slightly less than when I was 16. The crater in my front yard is sort of sizable though, I can’t really pretend it’s not there. Our tree service finally got to take down the part of the tree that didn’t fall. They ground out the stump, leaving us our second crater of the year.
This latest crater, and the related bill of several hundred clams to the tree guy, came courtesy of my friend Gravity.
When we were coming home from vacation last month, I did that thing I frequently do when we’ve gone away for a bit – wonder how the house is. What if there was a fire? What if someone broke in and its been open for a week? Man, I’d hate that. I have no idea why I think about this stuff, I’m generally a positive guy.
When we turned the corner onto our street we could see it. A big heavy limb stretched diagonally across our yard away from our house. The tree was a bradford pear. If don’t you know that particular tree, they tend to split. The result in this case was about 1/2 the tree coming down.
If it had gone slightly more to the right, it would have reached our driveway. Not a good situation for the car we had left parked there. A little more to the left, it would have just reached the edge of the street. My work car was there.
The neighbors told us that the tree split and fell two hours after we left. It was a lousy situation to come home to, but it could have been worse. If we’d have been there when it fell it would have gotten us a really late start on our vacation. My friend Gravity was there for me.
I’ve got to take a little side trip here and talk about one of my neighbors who
came to tell us about when the tree fell. His name is Silent Bob. His name isn’t really Bob, but when I decided he had to be renamed I realized that his correct first name didn’t really go well with Silent and needed to be changed. I didn’t rename him so I could write about him. I was looking for a rake the other day and asked my son where it was; he told me he left it outside, on the Silent Bob side of the house.You might guess that Silent Bob doesn’t talk to me. You’d be right.
I’m not sure why Silent Bob and I don’t talk. I don’t have loud parties, I’ve never had words with the guy. We don’t pretend we don’t see each other, but the most recognition I get if we’re both in the yard is a head nod. One Christmas I got a wave. Christmas is a special time of year, isn’t it? Silent Bob has been our neighbor for 18 years.
Silent Bob has a wife. She does pretend she doesn’t see me, even at Christmas. Her name is Silent Bob’s wife. My contact with her is so limited I can’t even give her her own nickname. I’m sure she feels the loss. My wife ran into her once at the store and told me Silent Bob’s Wife had quite an animated talk with her. I’d decided she was a mute. Not my wife, Silent Bob’s Wife.
My friend Gravity stopped by in the spring too. We were in the house, there was quite a storm blowing through. My son asked if I heard a weird pop noise, but then we both heard the sounds of a tree falling. Long cracks, a groan and a solid thud. I looked out and saw it was a tree in our back yard, same kind as the one that would fall later in the summer while we were on vacation. It had fallen in the narrow gap between our house and Silent Bob’s place. My friend Gravity made it fall the only way it possibly could have fallen and not smash into either house. A few leaves on both houses, one shingle off of our roof, the roof we’d already contracted to replace.
Of course, this development required me to visit the Silent Bob household. I rang the bell and Silent Bob’s Wife answered. We had a conversation consisting of the facts as I saw them and my offer to make any damages right. Her part of the conversation was: ok, ok, wow, thanks, bye. She is not a mute, she just has a very efficient vocabulary.
I also told Silent Bob about what happened when I saw him get home from work. He was kind about it, said his house looked fine. We agreed to make sure of that once the tree was cleared.
A few days later, when the tree was cleared, we both were out mowing our lawns. He made eye contact, pointed at the undamaged side of his house and gave me a thumbs up. I took out my earphones so I could speak with him, but he went on by. Christmas is not in the spring.
Silent Bob is apparently on the list of people I’ll never have a beer with. So is Gravity. But if they both stopped by, I guess we could sit on the porch and I could say thanks for being cool about the whole tree falling with no damage thing. I hear Gravity’s wife, Inertia, is a sweet person.
I’m off to Lowe’s for dirt and grass seed.
I wrote this about two years ago, pre-blog and put it on Blurt last year.This seems like a good time to bring it out now that I have people reading this stuff. That, and I knew I’d be lazy on vacation and not write anything.
I am very happy to let you know that the creator of the Gravity image at the top of the page, Gerry Mooney, has it available for sale at thegravityposter.com. You may also getting there by clicking on the image itself.