26 August 2002


There's been some swarthy workmen working on the roof of our apartment building for the last couple of weeks. This work seems to consist of spreading tar-covered pea gravel all over the parking lot and putting up ladders in inconvenient places.

Anyway, a sporadic hail of gravel fell from the banana trees in our backyard all weekend. Any stray breeze would knock off a little more gravel, sending it rattling onto the air conditioner.

I was out in the backyard Sunday, picking up leaves and banana tree droppings and whatnot. I was crouched in one corner, trying to decide what was a fallen and rotten petal from one of the flowering banana trees and what was plain garden filth when I was shot between the shoulder blades.

"Shit! Ouch!" I yelled.

I whirled around to see who had shot me - and realized it was more gravel. Though I did find the piece that hit me, and it was rather large.

I was working shirtless on Sunday, because it's My Fucking Yard and because I'm a Real Goddamn Man. Also, it was very hot. West Nile-mania is currently running wild in Louisiana, so I covered myself with Deep Woods Off. I was pouring sweat after a few minutes of work, so I went to wipe the sweat off my face.

Yuck. My arm and hands were covered with Off, and I got a vile mouthful of insecticide. My lips and tongue went numb. I spent the next ten minutes trying to wipe the stuff off with my shorts, and not having much luck.

The feeling did eventually come back, though.