2022


I await still City Staff and later Council approval of my request for Nuisance Hunting License (sans limits) for Tree Rats, Leaf-blowers and blowees – with an appropriate open-season time constraint – say 2 p.m.)

morning’s aria
lilting above the buzz
of leaf blowers


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18 thoughts on “2022

    • The author of this piece: Bruce Jewett is a crack shot with a straw and spitwad. A most inauspicious U. S. Marine – but Devil Dogged in his personal and professional persuits – he taught me the rud(e)iments of haiku and thrashed me ritually in chess. My job: save his Tagalog-ass from high surf. The Phat Phrog writes wicked poetry and some tricky short stories. I am proud to saw we agree on little political and lots on cats and leaf blowers. I have – courtesy of my friends at the 98C Division, Army of North Vietnam’s sapper battalion, a left ear which works sporadically and greatly enhances my excuse to put boring people (and leaf blowers) on that side: just so long as I nod and say yes every nineteen seconds – and then throw in a gratuitous “no” on the 20th anniversary of our “conversation.” Then – if I want to keep the acquaintance a friend, politely steer the chat back to that which I just said “no;” then, come up – in voice and person – a clear defense of my negative posture and listen politely to any rebuttal. Thus, having invested upwards of 15 minutes, I then may resume my pursuits – probably watcing the third quarter of an American football game. Weeks later I overheard the lady in question commenting to one of our mutual that I was such a good listener and actually ignored a football game (halftime, which even when being paid to report on such a thing as a football game, I never – okay, thrice, but the flautists were really cute! – watched the on-field entertainment. I was busy making and revising notes and setting up my cameras for the second half.) to have a meaningful conversation – I think it was about what we were doing Sunday. Yes. Cad. But I went the next day without carping. I even got forgiven for leaving my used socks stuffed in my tennis shoes beside my television chair. Life, Shehanne, is a series of compromises. Your abusing leaves outside your front door is you own affair. I just have to remember Saturdays and stick my good ear under a perfect pillow.

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  1. Oh listen…last year , after this return to the stage that nearly killed me…. I could have been had up for murder after the neighbour behind our house’s gardener brought out the mower at 7.30 am… Our bedroom sticks right out over our garden towards this one on a mezzanine, so you can understand why I’m sure. I have a leaf blower cos we live in a conservation area which all the little ants take seriously… If the council says you can’t cut a tree cos it is a conservation area, well they freeze in their boots. Oh and the tree cutting firms want the proof in writing that you have permission from some oink who never saw how the roots are wrecking your house and the tree is hundreds of feet in your wee garden. BUT if a tree has clearly had a branch sawn off at some point these firms don’t give a proverbial you know. Anyway we came back to live in this area 4 years ago after tree wars like you never saw NOT in a conservation area and having dealt with a garden mess like you never saw either, we have one big tree, a maple–inherited from the mess and the biz of we can’t cut this. It’s a tree we keep in about with tree surgeons every year but yep I still need a blower in autumn. But I make sure I don’t use it till certain times. I don’t know about you but here in Scotland, first nice day and half the area is out with their lawn mowers, their tree blowers and hedge trimmers and I just think, sit your ass eh?

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    • Ain’t government (councils most ‘specially!) grand? Having grown up, Shehanne, mowing yards with a small-engined grass-chewer from 12- to 16-years old when I dumped the money-making plan (in the late ’50s and early 1960s I made adult White man’s wages mowing yards at $2.50 and $3.50 a pop (now 25 and 35 dollars! just to go lifequarding at the Naval Air Station’s officer – and later lakefront swim area -pools for drastic cuts in income. Why? They kept girls beside pools. Same reason I went to Summer School each year through high school: both siblings brothers, all neighbor kids – our ages also were boys: I wanted to find out about my new discovery – girls…the scholar conviction on my record purely accidental I assure you.
      The tyranny of The Many is how I have made and now still make much of my money. I consult with private property developers on wetlands, wildlife and cultural resource (archaeological) questions concerning development. The biggest hangup I have – with my brother Storm’s firm – is convincing nascent developers – and the seasoned professional skinners all three-often as well, is that if you follow ALL the rules you get to rape Florida faster. Or, as I explained it to one client: “if you apply enough vaseline and offer to kiss any presented parts, you get your wish sooner – so long as you vote appropriately (and by vote I mean something usually to do with reaching into you wallet and removing offending pieces of greenery.
      As to my lawn: I no longer mow. I pay someone else – actually, Storm does, or his firm does. I forbid blowing as the leaf-fall from the grass and from the trees when mowed makes a wonderful mulch to enrich the soil to feed what I charitably call grass these days. I do, however, rake (the springing, grass rake kind, not the heavily tined bow-rake kind, the accumulated leaf-fall which lands in the street. Before each noisy, way past leaf-blower aggravation, city street-sweeper behemoth comes by I rake up bushels of leaves for my composting and mulching operations in the container- and actual-garden. Our lawn season begins – if that can so called be the start when like the ability to detect the difference between a white or a black thread at daybreak – is just a few weeks after it supposedly ends. Our Live Oaks and other trees limit gardening, which is fine for me. I have one 60×40 foot plot I have divided into three “fields” and usually a hundred or so containerized plantings: from three-quart and some smaller starter-pots to 15- to 30-gallon pots, mostly plastic, which makes hauling them around to take advantage of shade or sun, seasonally, much better a workout than paying someone for the privilege of moving their weights around a bench…but they do keep girls there…however, I have the fun of having girls walk – or drive in some cases, repeatedly – by to enjoy the garden. I give tours. Samples sometimes, and even have been known to sow how to make cuttings and root divisions. Somehow, the Lemon Grass offerings are of limited demand. But I do not tell anyone rubbing camphor leaves or lemon grass de-leafed bottoms acts as insect repellent without cost. I constantly wage war with unwanted volunteers in the azalea hedges…but that is more a bi- or tri-ennial affair. What falls on the roof or into the yard whcih I do not compost gets pruned or chainsawed into submission and fitted in 50-gallon bins for the regular yardwaste recycle. Why do they call it yard waste? It’s yard gold! I had been gifted yard blowers on several occasions and each time play conduit to another in pasing on the gift. Not actually a confired Luddite, but a sympathizer. I regret not keeping the reel-style push mower my dad reconditioned decades ago. Then, I might have taken up the practice of mowing mine own yard just for the exercise and the gasps and wonders of the parade of whatisits wandering and wondering past.
      And, Shehanne, an ass’ actual best-use scenario is covering the nakedness of a lawnchair, no?

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    • When asked as a young – just out of boot camp (recruit training) by a Major who was driving the big pleasure cruiser upon which the entire Harvard University Reserve Officer Training Corps of juniors and seniors was ensconced with me and my photographer as we cruised the waterways along coastal North Carolina’s portion belonging to USMC Camp Lejeune, “Do you drink, Private Richards? Beer, spirits, wine?” As he reached into the innards of a massive cooler. “These college pukes think I will tell on them should they imbibe.” Sir, I responded: do you require three separate assents of will a single one do?” We got pleasantly potted on a three-hour tour. I sent the tee-total photographer back with the staff car and begged three rolls of film “to continue the story.” It was supposed to be one simple shot as we boarded the boat. He and I then would leave. I thought not. After three hours the photo Corporal was steaming. I had him make shots of most of the 20 or so college kids in various groupings. He sped off with assurances by the Major he’d get be home sometime before year’s end. I went ’round to each student and breathed on them, asking them silly questions and having them each fill out a fleet home town news release form. And I took head-shots to go with each form and what later turned out to be a feature story with the photos the camera guy took and some more back at the students’ temporary digs in officer’s country back on dry land. The resultant 2,000-word feature – with three-to-five paragraphs descriptively and quotatiously from each went to the individuals’ home town publications and another – with copies of the photos – to The Harvard Crimson and other Cambridge, Mass., publications. The Gunnery Sergeant supervising me was unamused by all the work I put onto the photo lab – and asked why I thought I could keep a “grip-n-grin” photo assignment for three hours for the picture-taker and overnight for myself. “Sorry, Gunny. No excuse, Gunny.” A mantra I used but rarely. A few weeks later the Major who ruled my roost came into the bullpen with all the writers assembled – and aforesaid Gunnery Sergeant supervisor – and plopped down atop my messy desk about 10 small-town newspapers – and two form Harvard and Cambridge featuring my work. “That, Gentlemen,” the major intoned, “is called initiative. And in a couple of months this young lad will be taking that initiative on a Mediterranean Cruise for six months to do the same – this time with two photographers!” Roundly hated, I was. Several of the guys had dreamed longingly and at length that they would just love to troll the bars and brothels lining that bathtub between southern Europe and Africa. I’ve had this knack for getting myself in trouble with ‘periors and peers all my life, Shehanne. And I doubt seriously I soon shall stop.

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    • When I regaled my older brother Glenn with tales of Triple Singapore Slings in Smyrna (Izmir), Turkey, he promptly went about repeating the experiment. I was home on leave and he was working in construction whilst finishing up his Senior year at college. I picked him up in dad’s pickup truck – the one he reserved for him-and-mom not the trap-rattle in which he rode to make The Mouse (below Orlando) giggle and gurgle. I stopped at an old fave watering hole to see a friend of ours who slung booze therein. I had a draft beer: Glenn got a triple Singapore pour. I had a second beer and so he assumed his gander had not fully been cooked. He was looped. He knew not. But by the time we arrived at Mom’s domain – her kitchen and dining room – she looked right at me with sharpened daggers. “J, what have you done to your brother…No. Don’t tell me. I have a weak heart. Hone,” she multiplexed to her eldest. “Why don’t you go wash your face and go rest a bit before we eat. You’re dad’s not home and heaven knows where or when Storm will arrive and from where.” Jail? I prompted. Or picking birdshot pellets out his ass from a complaining father or now-former boyfriend? See, Shehanne: I can be helpful when I so choose.
      People who insist Vodka substitutes perfectly for a good dry gin in a martini are mad, I tells ya! Mad! I knew I had a reason to like the lady across the pond: she slurps gin. A delightful condition.

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  2. Gin slings are the best. Truly. Happy memories of this small… semi uninhabited Greek island that way that yet had this cocktail bar where alas..it took like an hour for a tequila to arrive cos obvi a recipe book or indeed an internet connection had to be found and then alas the tequila arrived with the salt in it . BUT see when you said Gin sling…well…

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    • Happy – and occasionally coherent – memories. My learning curve with tequila – and mescal – was swift. Quickly I paid more for reposado and then anejo – the oldster best in a brandy snifter sans the accouterment. For taste I’ll take gin; but, sometimes the flavor of the add-ins calls for vodka. I am so contented now that at 70s doorstep it takes but a pair of alcoholic ounces to quench my brain. A third – beer, sane pour of wine, or hootch and I have to ‘pologize to my brain almost immediately. But when with ‘buds’ chewing fat somehow the “counter” on craft brews goes askew. We old Vietnam-era Marine vets who gather at a downtown ‘stablishment most all say the same: two when alone or in sane company but with you lot it likens to after-mathish proportions. Some now have spouses drop them off and wander off after our fest to a nearby restaurant to meet up with their owners. The hardy – and there are a few – ride their Harley-Davidson motorcycles and do limit themselves to but a pair of beers. I walk – don’t want a sober Canadian to t-bone me at a particularly scenic intersection. My personal lawyer scares me: she said – J, if you can not afford five hundred dollars in your back left pocket for cabs, trams, buses and taxis, bed-and-breakfasts and hotel/motel rooms, then you have no business pouring three hundred dollars down you face. It will save you my fee, the state’s fine and your insurance company’s tariff my way. She was – and remains – right. And I have found a perfectly wonderful B&B on the outskirts of downtown Orlando that for $200 can put me up three days and two nights – and does not mind guests – if they leave before sunup and take the elephant, the donkey and the two geese with them when they leave – and I have no dishes to wash or litter to police, though guilt often raises its ugly head and we all pitch in to clean up the empties. Much cheaper than at-home havoc.

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  3. Pingback: 2022 – Comparama

  4. Hardly. I know too many downOrlandoTownies and keep running into them, even here in now (supposedly) Toney Sanford (Snaffurd to those of us who love and endure). And, with the Euro-British Isles’ notion of CCTV on every lite-pole and stoplight we are become London. And with good reason. Why O-do did not attract some untoward attention last World Cup hereabouts remains a mystery to me. And soonerishly We – America, Canada and Mexico will tri-host a Cup and such begs attention to orders from both sides – and more sides than that one suspects. One airport of international travel fame – not in O-do but near – has a newish place of Islamic worship just under its usual westerly-wind takeoff pattern. That just waves a red flag in a paranoiac’s heart: long before a brief career as a US Marine bullet-catcher I saw threats and counters (and escapes) everywhere. Still do. Some say paranoid. I differ. A paranoid has only two options: I am at least a tri- or a quad-ranoid. Keeps me in story ideas, neh?

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