The Vine

Monday, July 05, 2004

The PreDawn Whacker

Bet this sit has never happened to you!

Last summer, I started to notice that someone was trimming the trees and shrubs along the front of my property (well, the property I rent, anyway). Hmm, obviously, someone is making a comment on my pruning preferences. I would not even mention it except that dang, it has been raining a lot and when I got back from the beach thing had grown quite a bit but the PreDawn Whacker had struck again.

Last year even the neighborhood newsletter was talking about it (they mention the danger that vegetation poses to pedestrians and bicyclers, well that would be me, then, eh?) I called a neighborfriend who also keeps a wildish yard, and she said that her yard had been similarly attacked, and she thought, based on her reading of the neighborhood listserv postings, where it (whacking or not-whacking) was an issue of quite some controversy, she knew who it was: a former neighborhood association president in fact! A stuffy gentrifying do-gooder who wakes up to power-walk at 4am before light dawns, and takes it upon himself to trim vegetation that he feels is in violation of some unwritten neighborhood ordinance. You know, how could I complain if it was Johnson grass or some other non-native indicator species of abandon and neglect?? But we are talking about beautiful flowering trees and shrubs, known to attract birds and butterflies.

I never thought I would see the PreDawn Whacker, because there are about no occasions that I wake up that early. Much of my adult life has been arranged around not having to wake up early, it is just a disposition/genetic thing I guess. BUT recently, I was having a problem with Fear. Woke up after an unremembered dream and was afraid. Afraid of rapists and stalkers, afraid of Aliens coming to abduct me. Afraid of the Faeries. I should really write about Fear Itself one of these days but for now all you need to know is: When I have Fear that won't let me sleep, I find that it is completely alleved by going Outside. For me, dark is scary indoors but not outdoors.

So I throw down some mats and a sheet and try to sleep on the porch. Which -sigh- -yawn- is about to be successful, when...

WHACK WHACK WHACK! What is that? I jump up off my pallet and there he is! The PreDawn Whacker! He and two female friends are power walking but they don't slow down for him. This is HIS cause, not theirs. As he whacks my Redbud tree, he is doing the jogging-in-place dance. Because, as you are trimming your neighbors trees without a contract, you wouldn't want to let your heartrate go down. I bet that when he first started, his heart rate would go up much faster than powerwalking could ever do! This is his "breaking the law" adrenaline high!! Enforcing the BushTrim initiative, heh heh!

Why did I not accost him? "Hey, what the HELL are you doing? That's my bush you're trimming, please use a 2 not a 1." Two big reasons: I was naked and I was sleepy. Maybe I was still even a little Afraid. And hell, my bushes grow pretty fast so let the little whacker have his way. It is kind of a chickenshit, cowardly approach. If he were a real neighbor, perhaps he would leave a note that said he just didn't like how my trees grow out to the street, and if I wanted, he would volunteer to keep my property trimmed. Maybe I'd take him up on it.


At 6:18 PM, Blogger dragonfly jenny said...

I have to confess that I have often been tempted to whack trees and shrubs that obstruct the sidewalk in my neighborhood. As a pedestrian, I hate being forced into the street where cars are generally doing 10-20mph over the speed limit.


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