Tony Woodlief | Author

Because Some of You Thought I Was Dead

It’s come to my attention that there are rumors floating around on the Internet, to the effect that I have killed myself in a tractor accident. That’s a ridiculous notion, of course, that I could get myself into a fatal tractor accident, for the simple reason that I don’t yet have a tractor. I do, however, have weeds taller than three of my four children. And poison ivy growing thick enough to reach out and grab you if you get too close. And a pond full of dead fish.

Yep, apparently you have to keep those ponds aerated. That’s what that fountain is in the middle of it for. I thought it was just for show. In the suburbs, the fountains are for show. Out here, they’re for making sure your fish and turtles don’t all go belly up, making your pond smell like a second lagoon. So now I’ve got to get on the waders and go scoop up dead creatures from my pond. And adding to the excitement, there’s a really big snake in there who seems to think that the deed on this property has Snakey S. Snakerson written on it, instead of Tony “Snakes Give Me the Heebie-Jeebies” Woodlief.

So I want you to picture me in waders, with a net in one hand and a shotgun in the other, because that’s the only way I’m going in that stinking pond.

Inside, meanwhile, the walls are mostly painted, and the floorboards and wall trim are up but in need of painting, which means I have about five miles of narrow boards to paint without getting said paint on the walls where they reside. I thought I was a genius because I painted some of them before they went up, but then I stacked them while they were still tacky, plus I forgot that they get about a bajillion nail holes in them, each of which my perfectionist wife smears with stark white putty.

Our bookshelves are up, but there are no books on them, because I have to anchor the shelves to our newly painted walls. This is imperative because we have not one, but two climbers in our house now.

The books are safely (so we thought) in tall stacks of boxes in the garage. We have a lot of books. They are taking up a substantial portion of the garage. This is relevant because for a time there was a stray cat on the property, trying to insinuate himself into our family. Our cat took exception to this. They spent several evenings staring at each other and making that high keening sound that cats make when they want to fight or procreate. Eventually, our cat beat up the other cat and sent him packing.

But not before seeking a peaceful alternative by peeing on everything he could find.

This includes some of the book boxes. I’m not sure which ones. It will be like Christmas in Hell, opening those boxes, waiting to see which books are ruined. I’m hoping it’s the Wife’s Bodie Thoene books, and not my Everyman’s Library editions. Because while I may not know all the ways there are to skin a cat, I can come up with at least one that will suffice.

So that’s all for now, because it’s beginning to look like rain, and if I don’t mow around my barn soon, I am going to lose sight of it. Ever stub your toe on a barn? Not an experience I want to have.

On Key

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