WEEDS

9/17/2020 

What city child of working-class families cannot recall a memory of pulling weeds on their personal homesteads? This ritual of vegetation ethnic cleansing took place in middle America every summer weekend. Under the leadership of the patriarchal commander, known as dear old dad, he would instill a prime directive to unload the house of any offspring capable of hauling their own weight out the back door and onto the 900 sq.’ of weed infested yard. It was here that the kids cut their teeth and fingers on weed pulling 101. Dad was spending quality time with the attentive brood who only saw him on his days off, because he needed the 21-cent shift premium of the night stint to feed the lot. The sons and daughters of this giant hero listened attentively as he described the difference between a weed and fescue grass. The next order of business for his platoon was the proper way to remove this invader. With fresh rain, the task was manageable, however in times of drought, these weeds had 24′ roots that grabbed onto boulders the size of cars. In the end, the stalk succumbed, and the roots remained, so that it would return next week the size of a Coastal Redwood. The only road to victory was to get their roots. This added much time to the process and the weak fingered youngsters guaranteed a healthy stock of repeat, repulsive invaders. After 10 minutes of a family effort, dad excused himself and promised to return shortly. As the eldest son organized 2 competitive teams to rip the rascals out, steel pails filled up fast and the game was on. Back in the days before electronic games and 671 TV stations, you stayed outside for hours and got things done. When the buckets were tallied and the lawn was now fresh dirt, with clumps of grass like hair on a 90-year-old, Team B won. Dad then exited the house and congratulated the lot on a job well done. It took you 25 years to realize that the old bronco buck had corralled mama and was working on expanding his landscaping crew. 

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