A Day Spent Outside

It was one thirty and I was already on my third can of mountain dew. I was reaching that almost zen state of mind when things are travelling too fast in my noggin to actually make any sense, making everything seem like a nice, beige blur in the fabric of time and space.

Uh, or not. I was actually just tweaking because my two main hobbies, reading and playing video games, required me to stay in one spot for an extended period of time. Anyway, to make a long story short, I eventually came to the conclusion in my hyperactive thinking process, that the gutters really needed cleaned, and that I should go and take care of it posthaste.

I opened the door and cringed as the natural light seared my retinas. A wave of hideously dry heat smacked into my face, almost knocking my glasses off, and I coughed up a small swarm of gnats that had been waiting for anyone to come outside so they could swarm over them.

There are quite a few common misconceptions about nature that I’d like to clear up, if that’s okay with you all.

First, hugging a tree is neither pleasant for you, nor the tree. I’m not really a hippie, but I found myself wondering exactly what all the fuss was about. I took a nice, wide look around to make sure no one was watching me. Then I tentatively stretched out my arms and gave that sucker a nice, big bear hug. The resulting injuries were two broken branches and seventeen splinters. Not to mention that it stained my shirt. Stupid tree.

Second, bugs are Satan’s minions. Up on the roof, there was no cover for me. I was at the mercy of the elements, and before long they started to come. Bugs. First the bees, thinking my bright orange shirt was something to pollenate. Then the mosquitoes, thinking that I wanted to trade my blood for west nile virus. Then came the hundreds of crawly things that just happened to live in the gutters, but for some reason had developed a taste for human flesh. Bugs suck.

Third, never think that the birds in the sky are innocent. One bird, which looked like the horrific love child of a chipmunk and a sparrow landed a few feet away from me and chirped at me in the highest, most annoying bird call I’ve ever heard. I chased him away three times before I finally went to the garage and got the shovel. The bird landed in a tree, and mocked me from afar. Then, right as I was about to give up, the little jerk swooped over to my car, and pooped directly on my passenger side window. I chased after him, but he was up and out of the yard, laughing all the way. He’ll be back though. We have a bird feeder. And when he comes back, I’ll be waiting.

Fourth, grass isn’t safe. Especially if there’s weeds. Weeds are a breeding ground for bugs, not to mention poison ivy, which grows over two thirds of the meadows in western PA. Any time you think “hey, I should walk around with my shoes off,” don’t. Save yourself two weeks of being really, really itchy.

Fifth, the sun is neither delightful nor cheery. The sun is a beacon of cancer, spreading melonoma over the unsuspecting people as it travels across the sky. All of those cartoons with a smiley face on the sun? Yeah, complete and utter crap.

And finally, cleaning the gutters is possibly the worst thing you can do while hopped up on caffiene. After an hour of scraping away, my clothes and my face were dotted with the foul smelling goop from deep in the metal troughs. My theory is that the stuff in the gutters is the origional soup that all life crawled out of. You can’t get that smell out of clothes. You can’t escape the all encompasing smell of creation. God knows I tried.

After that, I went back inside. It’s days like today that make me realize exactly why I avoid going outside. Nature, she’s not a harsh mistress. She’s an annoying mistress who stabs you with a needle while you’re cleaning the gutters, cover you in crappy smelling ooze, give you splinters and sun poisoning with your tan and send you back inside feeling like you’ve just been violated in some inexplicable way as you head to the shower.

Then she poops on your car.

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