Yesterday I decided it was time to get a ‘Honey-Do’ job over with; dig a ditch 80 feet for a new water spigot so my beloved could water her crappin’ herb garden. Not just any ditch, but a ditch through a clay gall overlapped with a 200 year old live oak. I decided to tackle this task after my morning workout at the Wellness Center. I figured if I could ride a bicycle 8 miles and do thirty pull ups, I ought to be in good enough shape to dig this ditch; besides, I didn’t want to pay 75 dollars to rent a ditch witch. That would have been too easy. Unfortunately, I forgot I am not 19 anymore.
I arrived home from the gym at 9:30, pumped, and went immediately to the job site. First I had to locate an existing water line. After digging for thirty minutes I was soaked to the skin because, unlike the gym, my back yard isn’t air conditioned. I was about to give up when I gave one last mighty lick with a pick axe and located the pvc line. Now I had a busted water line to fix whether I dug the ditch or not. Things went downhill from there.
I started digging the trench and as I worked along I began singing a song from O Brother Where Art Thou, a chain gang song, because when I left the relatively easy sand and hit the clay gall and tree roots, I began to feel like I was on the ‘gang’. I was just about to keel over when my wife, the herb gardener, came home and pitched in to help. I would soften the dirt with the pick and she would shovel it out. Though she works out, too, and is in great shape for bikini wearing, this was real work, something she’s not used to and it didn’t take long for exhaustion to set in as the novelty wore off this job. She had to use muscles she “didn’t know I had”; then came the roots.
I looked for and found an axe and, at her insistence, handed it to this budding ‘master gardener’ because she “didn’t want me to strain my back too much.” She began to chop like a girl so I showed her the proper way to handle the thing, ‘axe etiquette’, and handed it back. She took a mighty swing, the head came off the axe, and it whistled by my right ear. Three inches to the left and my troubles would have been over and she would be driving the red convertible Lexus she dreams about and that, thanks to life insurance, on the streets of Key West. I replaced the axe head but watched her like a hawk from then on and stayed well out of range.
It took three more hours and two gallons of Crystal Light to go the last 20 feet. Three feet from the end we hit a root about 12 inches in diameter. Since neither of us had the strength to chop through it at that point, we went under it, hooked everything together, and turned the water on. It was such a joy to see nary a leak.
We crawled in the house, bathed and lay on the bed. She went to sleep immediately, exhausted, but I was hurting so bad I couldn’t sleep. Thank God for hydrocodone.
The next day, at Dr. Miller’s chiropractic clinic, as I explained why I was moaning and groaning so, he said, “Don’t you know your spine and hip is in no shape for you to be doing such a thing as dig a ditch? Don’t you know you’re not young anymore? You want to cripple yourself for life?”
As I drove home all I could think about was how much some men will do to please a woman. All I can say is those dadblamed herbs better be good or they will get an accidental dose of Roundup, so help me Davy Crockett!