Thursday, November 02, 2006

Return of The Backyard

Most of the time I’ve lived in this particular spot, there’s been a fairly large, fairly ugly, mostly wooden playset in the backyard. It didn’t start out quite so large, actually. A few years ago I got a phone call from someone who made an “offer” which involved me dismantling the huge-ass custom playset he had in his backyard and carting it off to my house where I could then reassemble it and add it on to mine. The result was a freakin’ mess, but it was huge. The thing stood about 14 feet high, had two rope ladders, two different kinds of slides, and various other implements useful for impaling children in the name of fun. It just didn’t look like the kind of thing most folks would ordinarily have sitting in their backyard. Quick example? Sure.

Standing in the kitchen with my kid one summer morning, there’s a knock at the kitchen door. I’ll take a sec to tell you that getting to this door means opening and going through the garage side-door first, so entering the house this way is a bit too familiar for most strangers. My daughter opens the door and a guy holding a toddler just walks right the frick in, drops a supply bag on the floor and says, “Is this Miss Bonnie’s daycare?”

That’s how frickin’ huge this thing was.

Ok, maybe it wasn't all that huge, but it was at least impressive enough to give me an opportunity to steal/sell this dumb idiot's baby. Either way, the point here is that I'm sick of looking at this...

So you can probably imagine how pleased I was when the day came that I could finally get rid of this thing. I got the pickup truck, tied a rope and pulled that sum’bitch over. It hit with an intensely satisfying crunch, and then I came down on that thing wolfy-berzerker style, until I had stacked a pile of boards tall enough to make you think there was some kind of college homecoming going on (and don’t think I hadn’t thought about it, either. All I needed was a keg and a lighter. Wooooooo!)

Not so fast, Neidermeyer. This is all pressure-treated and stained, and you can’t burn in the city anyway. You can’t even take this junk to the woodchip plant because they don’t burn it there, either. All you can do is throw it away, at your own very personal expense. The genius of that “offer” seems pretty clear right about now.

Going to the dump isn’t at all like it used to be. The closest place wanted $77 for my 700lbs. of lumber. Drive a little further, and you’re out of there for $35. Yessir, a little comparative shopping goes a long-ass way. What happened to the days when you could drive to any of a dozen places and toss shit from the top of Garbage Hill? Get some highly-breakable stuff loaded up, and you couldn’t buy better entertainment. Now, you can't throw any two items in the same container. Everything has its own specialized bin, or else babies will die.

The sad news is that I couldn’t fit it all in one trip, and what’s left is nowhere near a full load. I’m not paying another $35 to throw this stuff out, and it isn’t hardly enough wood to start a decent sorority rush bonfire (even if I lift the "no fat chicks" rule.)

So I got out the chainsaw and cut the remaining lumber into pieces small enough to sneak into the garbage can for the next three weeks.

See? It's just that easy.

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