Thursday, June 05, 2008

bush battle

bush battle
Originally uploaded by rod lewis
When we moved here, 5 years ago, there were two nasty, ugly, rude, mean, aggressive, assertive, vindictive, ruthless, relentless, sticker bushes in the front yard in the island between our yard and the neighbor’s driveway. I’m not talking about pansy little rose thorns, or wild vines that catch on your pant leg and scratch your arms. No, I’m talking about the kind of thorns that Prince Charming had to drill through to reach Sleeping Beauty.
These thorns are two inches long, sharp as needles, and strong as steel. They are covered with weakened rattlesnake venom, so that when one pierces your flesh (usually in the palm of the hand, or on the knuckles) it aches for hours like the intentional sting of a hornet. And like a hornet, you don’t have to be anywhere near the bush to fall prey to its evil aggression. It will chase you just for sharing airspace, despite the fact that it needs your CO2 emissions.
The bushes grow extremely fast, so that if you were to go on vacation and not ask someone to guard them with a machete, they will literally (not figuratively) take over your house, overthrow the county government, institute militia rule and form a hedge around your city (remember sleeping beauty) through which the National Guard wouldn’t dare to venture. One cuts the three week-old, three-foot shoots of thorn laden swords, lays them under constant watch until he is sure they are completely dead, and glances again at the bush to find they’ve been replaced by stronger, deadlier shoots. These are lopper-resistant strains of torturous thorn bushes, and are the best proof yet of Darwinism.
The branches grow straight as an arrow for 24 inches, or 3 inches and then suddenly make a right angle and repeat the process, myriad times until a maze of branches and two-inch thorns are tangled together in a weave so tight it sends shivers of awe through the unwitting homeowner cum thorn bush foe.

About a month ago, I realized that I’d finally found victory over one of the bushes. As I returned from work, I glanced, as I always do, a glance of anger and fortitude in the direction of the bush, and next morning, I realized that it was just enough to do the bush in. Apparently I’d weakened it over time, and that last steely-eyed glance had enough vitriol to finally kill the formidable foe.
With a new sense of masculinity, I headed to the garage for my chainsaw. I could feel the testosterone pumping as I primed the 2 cycle engine with pure hormone. It started and ran so rich on testosterone that smoke belched from the muffler as I attacked that bush. I didn’t even mess with the upper echelons of the thornical hierarchy, I went straight for the trunk. Cut that monster off at the feet.
Did I stop at seeing that helpless, dead, bush fall to my saw? No, I went straight for the remaining living bush and served it the same fate.

I’ve been doing yard work these past days and I knew eventually, I would have to contend with those thorn bushes. Initially I dragged them whole into the backyard and placed them out of the way. Today I attacked them again.
Much to my surprise, though they had been severed from their roots for weeks, they were only mostly dead. I’d been hoping they were all dead, and that all that would be left to do was go through their pockets for loose change. But no.
And man, were they mad.
This time I put on thick leather gloves, grabbed the loppers, and set about untangling those prickly swords and cutting them away so that I could feed them to the chipper/shredder. With every last drop of energy they had left, they resisted. I’d carefully pull a branch and it would snap back and swing at me with those evil thorns. My hands were bruised and bloody, bits of thorns lodged in my knuckles, arms scratched, legs ached, but eventually, I fed those bushes into the chute and listened with a sweet smile as I heard the bits shooting out the other side.
What is disturbing to me is the anger, and hatred that emanated from my soul as I fought the last bush battle. Would I be content only to clean up the yard? NO! I would not rest until every last fiber of hell-bush was chipped and shredded into nourishing mulch and fed into the lake of fire.
Frustration is an emotion familiar to me. Anger is rare. Hatred is unknown. But oh, the feelings I felt for those bushes.

So long hell-bush.
May your being consumed only increase the heat of the fire that consumes you.