My friend, Gravity.

Gravity, one of my best buddies.

Gravity, one of my best buddies.

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.

A Bradford Pear, doing what it does best. Curse you Mr. Bradford.

A Bradford Pear, doing what it does best. Curse you Mr. Bradford.

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

Yes, I know there was a Silent Bob film. My neighbor has been Silent Bob for 18 years.

Yes, I know there was a Silent Bob film. My neighbor has been Silent Bob for 18 years.

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.

Ive had more extensive conversations with her than Silent Bobs wife.

Not Silent Bob's wife. Too talkative.

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 You may also getting there by clicking on the image itself.

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23 Comments on “My friend, Gravity.”

  1. Kathi D says:

    I wouldn’t mind hanging out with Inertia while you and Silent Bob are, uh, chatting.

  2. frigginloon says:

    Silent Bob’s wife should get a Twitter account :). A friend of mine has a “Phil on the Balcony” he says nothing but can watch the whole street from his balcony lookout. At night he sits there in the dark…watching.

  3. Keli says:

    I’m afraid I may never invite you to my home. We have apple trees. Old ones. Not just two or four or twelve, but about 200. They came with the house. And about 192 of these trees are in very poor shape. I hope you don’t suffer any nightmares tonight by my telling you this.
    Be thankful for Silent Bob. I live near Hollering Hal and his wife, Talkative Tina. There is no escape when they corner you.

  4. Finally returned the favor and linked to you as well. sorry about that, not sure what i thought the value of not having a link list was

  5. omawarisan says:

    Keli, I think my tree jinx may have passed. I’ll be right over, I want some apple pie.

    DU – no problem! Fooling with building a link page, I’ll be moving all mine there unless I get cranky in the middle of doing it.

  6. fnord says:

    My hubby once called the homeowner’s insurance agent to report he had the bid from a tree service for taking out the tree. You know, Mr. Agent, the one that is going to be taken out with the next strong wind and will go through the roof. Yes, that one. OK, about the quote — it’s high but I think if we both pay half it won’t be so bad. Certainly if the insurance company pays half it won’t cost us as much. And, of course, paying half the tree service bill will be much cheaper than paying for what the strong wind will cost in the insurance claim!

    He was honestly disappointed when the insurance agent didn’t see his plan as sensible!

  7. njaiswal says:

    I didn’t realize when I subscribed to your blog, but I just got a mail about this new post. I’m glad I did, I really enjoy the way you write. Great post! Tell Bob I say Hi. And so do you. 🙂

    • omawarisan says:

      I’ll give him an extra nod the next time I see him. That will be your hello and should be the source of a lot of confusion!

      Welcome. Sorry about the accidental subscription. I went easy on you. Some of the people who read this blog are being denied food or sleep when they don’t read a post.

  8. jammer5 says:

    Okay, amigo, there are two things that need to be done here. First, get a hold of President Obama and have him host you and Silent Bob in the Rose Garden of the White House for a beer. I’m sure he’ll be conducive to the idea as he likes beer.

    Second, tell the missus the hole in the front yard should be left there because it’ll probably keep getting bigger until a natural pond develops, which will eventually fill with water. Birds will bring in fish fry, which will grow into bigger fish, which you’ll be able to feed your family with during tough times. Then you can invite Silent Bob and Missus Silent Bob over for a fish fry. Win/win, bro 🙂

    • omawarisan says:

      That could work. I’ll call him and when he invites us up I will bring you. We’ll give you a fake title like adviser on arboreal issues and they’ll let you right in.

      If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day, if you give a man a hole in the ground…

      • jammer5 says:

        I can clearly see we’re on the same page. But If I’m going to get a fake title, can it something like, God Of War? How cool would that be?

  9. Abe's Blog says:

    I’m sorry that tree fell down while you were on vacation. Now you will have some proof that bad things might happen when you try to go away, “remember what happened last time?”

    I agree with Keli; Silent Bob is better than Mouthy Mort. Or Hollering Hal. Or Jay from the Jay and Silent Bob movies. I don’t think he would be a pleasent neighbor at all.

    • omawarisan says:

      I’m trying to look at it like I’ve already crossed that bridge…so I’ve already come back from vacation to a bad scene at the house, so it can’t happen again.

  10. spencercourt says:

    I’ve got a few tree problems myself. Called a tree man to price taking down a huge limb from a neighbor’s tree. Limb is over the bedroom and parts keep falling, along with leaves. Wife has to get on the roof and clear it all away because I’ve got psychological issues with being on high places where I might fall. She has no such issues.

    Of course, the tree man, like auto repair places, finds even more tree problems I was unaware of. A 100+ foot pine has a big cavity about 12 feet up. In a high wind, it could snap at that weak point and come down on the house. Two small oaks that are ready to become cutting boards.

    If I do all this work with the limb, then it’s just $600 for the limb, $800 for the pine and $400 for each oak.
    And the whole oak tree, not just the limb, needs to come down. That’ll be $1,400.

    The small oaks are no danger, but I agree to the pine and the the limb for just $2,200.

    I offer to split the $1,400 oak tree with my neighbor, who refuses. Probably because she just bought a new heat pump system.

    Then, she says that if I take just the limb off, the tree will be unbalanced and fall on her home. Will my insurance pay for the damage? It’s *her* oak and I probably have legal grounds to make her pay to stop that limb from trespassing on my property!

    Our City taxes pay for an arborist who will give us, and possibly Judge Judy, his expert opinion. As well as whether or not the tree can be taken down without a permit. Trees with a circumference of 102-inches measured at a height of 52 inches from the ground are protected.

    This is a Y-shaped tree, so the procedure is to measure both parts and if 2/3 of the combined circumferences exceed 102 inches it is protected. My unofficial measurement is about 150 inches for 100 inches. It’s going to be close…

    I’ll let you know if we make it to Judge Judy…..

  11. Someone should ask gravity why the only part of the human body it ignores is the hairline.

  12. Lucky Eye says:

    I think I read about Silent Bob before.

  13. Pauline says:

    “Her part of the conversation was: ok, ok, wow, thanks, bye. She is not a mute, she just has a very efficient vocabulary.”

    Strange. You would think that a huge tree falling over between you would be a conversation starter.

    Perhaps they’re hiding something…;)

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