Legend has it, that there is a great soaring bird, who’s excrement holds the power of life or death over anyone who is covered in it. The great bird is known as the Giant Foo, and as the legend goes, when the Giant Foo flies overhead and fortuitously dumps a load on you, no matter how sickening the prospect, you may never wash it off, or you will die! Your only hope is to wait, until it wears off on its own.
Sometimes I feel like the one of the Giant Foo’s victims. I’ve always been a day late, and a dollar short. One series of negative events always seems to follow another. No sooner does the dried out crust of the Giant Foo’s last droppings flake off, when suddenly the gargantuan reappears, and once again, I’m covered in fresh excrement!
The Sunday afternoon before last, I was in my master bath, and after a shower, and epliation, I was peacefully applying my make up, when suddenly I heard an unexpected knock on my front door. This is always very upsetting to me, because I moved 50 miles out into the country, precisely to avoid such uninvited visitors. Call me a hermit, call me a misanthrope, I don’t care. I just don’t like uninvited callers.
I ignored the interloper, and continued my makeup application. About 45 seconds later, I heard a knock on my back door! My eyes rolled back into my head! Oh, come on, I thought! Is this person stupid? I have a telephone with an answering machine, and I have a mailbox. There is never any excuse, save for a life threatening emergency, to come knocking on my door. Whoever it was never bothered to knock more than once on either door, so how important could it have been?
A week went by, and the next Sunday afternoon, the interloper gave me a repeat performance, only this time it was just one knock on the back door, then off they went. Now, I’m not fully out. I dress full time at home, and in my yard, and also for selected excursions off of my property, but I’m not ready to answer the door for just anyone as Melissa, especially when they come unannounced. It was probably one of my next door neighbors, both of whom are on the board of directors of our subdivision’s home owner’ association, in which case they most definitely have my phone number! Why couldn’t they call first? They still haven’t called!
I drove into Richmond yesterday for our first weekly family supper at my mother’s condo, since my sister passed. On the way out of the driveway, I noticed that a dead pine tree had fallen down on my property, facing the road out front. It wasn’t in the road, but nearly, and I knew I would have to cut it up and haul it away, or be charged by the home owner’s association to have someone else cut it up and haul it away for me. I’ll do it tomorrow, I thought, and off to my mother’s I went.
My brother-in-law and his daughter were there when I got there. A few days earlier, I had sent my niece a 20 year old Bonsai Ficus, as gift of appreciation for the way she cared for her mother in her last days. She really impressed me! I always expected her to be spoiled, selfish and irresponsible, but she turned out to be a wonderful loving daughter! She stuck with her mom through thick and thin, and I wanted to give her something to remember her by. It wasn’t until her dad told her that Jane was probably not going to make it through the night, that she told him not to wake her if she died, because she just didn’t want to see her mother dead. God love her!
Mom, while evidently still sad, and not very talkative, seemed to be holding up fairly well. Considering that Jane was without question her favorite, this was a good sign. At 89, she is still preparing a weekly supper for all of us. I think it’s good therapy for her. It gives her something to do, and to prepare for each week, and it makes her feel like she still makes a difference in our lives. She kept it simple this week, by making a fresh salad of Romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, red, yellow, orange, and green bell peppers, baby carrots, celery, red onion, hard boiled egg wedges, feta cheese, and chunks of chicken breast, all drizzled in a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. And of course it just wouldn’t be dinner at mother’s, without a basket full of “slightly” burned, brown and serve rolls! Not too bad this time! These were not the usually black hockey pucks. They were actually quite edible, without first decrusting them! Poor mom! Eight years with her new gas stove, and she still doesn’t know how to operate it. When she wants to broil fish, I always do it for her. She didn’t know how to use the broiler, and bakes them instead. They always came out cooked, but white, limp and flavorless.
The Foo Bird flies again!
Today was election day, so before I tackled the fallen pine tree, I went to County Line Baptist Church to cast my vote, for Virginia’s Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and House of Delegates Representative. The Giant Foo must have shit once again, because all of the candidates I voted for lost. I will have to wear that coat, for the next four years! The Foo’s political dumps are some of the hardest to live with.
On to the fallen pine tree. I have two chain saws, but anyone who has ever used one, knows what a pain they can be, when not used and maintained regularly. At first I decide to attack the fallen tree with a trusty hand held bow saw. That worked really well for cutting off the branches of the fallen tree. Just a few strokes and they were severed, ready to be thrown onto the brush pile. But when all of the branches were dismembered, there was a twenty foot long, 18” trunk to dissect. A bow saw can rip through small branches in short order, but an 18” tree trunk is another matter. I tried, but the blade kept diverting off to an oblique angle, and sawing through the log diagonally. It was taking forever, and frankly wearing me out. Screw it! I have a bad back, and much better things to do with my time! Off to the shed, for the chain saw.
The Foo Bird strikes again!
I bought a real nice brand new 18” Homelite chain saw back in 2004. I used it once or twice, then put it away in the shed. The next fall, Hurricane Isabel made a B-line straight from the Cape Verdes Islands, to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It came onshore just above Cape Hatteras, and proceeded north by northwest, until it came directly though central Virginia. What was left of the eye, came directly through where I live. It was still September at the time, so the all of the leaves were still on the trees, acting likes sails. Sustained winds were 45MPH. The lights went out at about 4:30 PM; no more TV or computer, so I turned on a portable radio, listened to the wind howling through the trees, at over 45 MPH. Plenty of gusts were still blowing at hurricane speed, 75MPH. I cowered in fear, as the darkest night of my life fell upon me. I thought about getting drunk to pass the time, but the sound of limbs cracking and trees falling outside, had me too scared to imbibe. If I was going to die from an oak tree, crashing trough my roof, I wanted to be sober when I met my maker.
By about 3:30 AM the storm had blown through and there was nothing left to do, but to assess the damage in the morning. Fortunately I had only five trees blown down, and I proceeded to cut them up with my new chain saw. My new neighbors to my right, also had a large oak tree come down, and it just missed the corner of their house. They had no chain saw, but they heard me using mine, and the husband sent this wife over to ask if they could borrow it. I told her I would be right over, as soon as I was finished cutting up my trees. When I was done, I went over to their place and saw that they had a huge oak tree just miss the corner of their house!
My saw wasn’t really big enough for their needs, but because they had none, I lent it to them, and told them to just put it back in my shed when they were done, and lock it up.
The Foo bird shits again.
The next fall I go to use the saw (my relatively brand new saw), only to discover that my neighbor had abused it, and it was now basically worthless! Essential nuts, that kept tension on the chain, were completely missing! Unfortunately they were bastard sized nuts that required a special wrench, so I had a hell of a time finding substitutes. Eventually I found some, that while needing a different wrench size, were the same thread size. By then it was mid winter, and I didn’t need the saw anymore so I put them aside for future use.
The return of the Foo!
When I got home from the polls today, and had no success with the bow saw, I decided to try and fix my chain saw. I struggled with it, using the new nuts to try and align the bar and blade. The substitute nuts worked, but it was to no avail! For the life of me, I couldn’t get the saw to start. I tried and tried again, but nothing, so I decided to fire up my very old 12” Eager Beaver. But the same thing happened. It just would not start. After a good 45 minutes I was soaking wet with sweat, and said F___ it! In frustration, I lifted one end of the fallen tree by hand (ugh!) and struggled to move it 90 degrees, back to the tree line. I was able to move it about one foot at a time, and each time I lifted the end of the log, it felt like my hiatal hernia was ripping in my chest! All the while I’m thinking, damn it, I’m a girl! I’m not supposed to be doing this kind of shit!
Sometimes it just sucks to be tranassexual, and yet I wouldn’t trade who I am, for the life of any cis-man in the world!