Sunday, March 13, 2011

My completely normal, not at all scary infatuation with Chuck Norris

Once upon a time, in the time before bath scrunchees and liquid soap, there were other conveniences we didn't have.

For instance, back in olden times, we used a rake to rid the lawn of unwanted fallen leaves. Actually, "olden times" were as recent as this weekend around our house.

With Jim's new job, I know I'll be responsible for more lawn work. Ours and my mom's, plus homeschooling the kid and taking classes myself. So, time is important. So, two weekends ago I instructed Jim, "Go forth and purchase a leaf blower."

He did, but it rained that weekend and we didn't get to try it. Then the next weekend was the kiddo's birthday. This weekend was perfect, though.

We had to prepare the yard for Syd's trampoline (which I only allow her to bounce on if she promises her feet won't leave the tarp -- no, not really). Any way, Jim had a fallen tree to saw into bits so I volunteered to use the leaf blower. Not that I was trying to be helpful, but I hate those prickly gum balls. They vex me, especially when I wear my Crocs.

So Jim arms me with blingless wrap around sunglasses and ear muff thingies, then shows me how to use the leaf blower. About 10 minutes into it, a writer's block that had been weeklong broke. And suddenly life made sense. The power of this leaf blower was massive. Nothing got in its way. It even lifted layers of old pine needles that had never been raked.

Those mounds hovered overground for a few seconds then were obliterated into hunks of blowable stuff that went neatly into the growing burn pile. The wind began blowing and a cameo of my mom appeared over my right shoulder. She was saying, "You can't rake when the wind is blowing." I looked at the leaf blower and the cameo disappeared. I blew right into the wind and still controlled the debris.

I'm not into lawn work, but control I like.

So after about 2 hours of leaf blowing, we ran out of gas, but had plenty of room for the trampoline.

"What did you think about it?" Jim asked.


"Yeah, it. The leaf blower."

"Oh. You mean him."

"It's a him?" Jim looked amused.

"Yeah. Can we name him?"

"Sure," he said.

"How's Rico?" I think Rico is the name of the pool boy my friend Donna wants to hire some day. As soon as the name slipped across my lips, I knew it wasn't enough. "No, wait! Not Rico. What's a name -- the manliest man you can think of?"

We looked at each other for a minute then both said at the same time -- Chuck Norris.

"So, tell me about Chuck Norris," Jim said.

I beamed. "Chuck Norris really blows. Chuck Norris looked those gumballs in the face and they ran and jumped on the burn pile to get away from him."

Jim was chunking logs onto the burn pile. I sighed. "It's too bad we're outta gas. I bet Chuck Norris could push those logs onto the top of the pile for you."

He smiled, but I knew that inside he was getting jealous. So I told him, "Just so you know, I'm still committed to you and our marriage, despite my new feelings for Chuck Norris."

"Have you been reading The Bloggess again?" he asked.

Well, yes, I admitted I had read a post by my favorite blogger this past week. She's obsessed with Will Wheaton, though. And William Shatner until that whole Twitter incident that probably resulted in a restraining order.

He laughed.

We walked around and looked at the yard and decided which weeds and brush we'd tackle this season. We always try to claim a little more of the land each spring. The land had grown up quite a bit before we bought the house 6 years ago. It's taking us some time to make headway.

"In tribute to Chuck Norris, I think I'll make a Zazzle store and sell shirts that say "Chuck Norris blows," I said.

He gave me that strange look, but over the years he's learned to just say okay and hope that I never have enough time to do these things.

Then, it was time to get ready to meet some friends for dinner. "I can't wait to tell Lori about Chuck Norris," I said.

"You're really that crazy about this leaf blower?" Jim asked.

"Chuck. Norris," I insisted.

So, at dinner I tell Lori, "You've got to come down and see Chuck Norris."

Jim looks at Bryan and explains. "She's named the leaf blower Chuck Norris."

I offered to do some more lawn work today, but we put up the trampoline. Jim was going to mix the oil/gas to fill up Chuck Norris, but ran out of time before going back to work. I told him I could get a lot of lawn work done this week while he's at work. He pointed out that I never offer to do lawn work.

"Well, Chuck Norris is the one who will really be doing it," I reminded. But I didn't want to push because today is his birthday and I figured he'd rather play his Star Trek MMO game instead of going to the gas station.

So, Jim left for work without mixing gas. He knows I won't do it for fear of harming Chuck Norris. I'm afraid I'll put the wrong oil in or the wrong gas, or a myriad of other things that could go wrong when I have a gas can in the trunk of my car that is still filled with Christmas clearance items.

I figured Jim would miss Chuck Norris while he's at work. I know I would. So I went to the shed and snapped a picture. When Jim arrived, he called and asked what was wrong with Chuck Norris.

"Nothing. I just thought you'd miss him. And I wanted to see him, so I thought I'd snap a pic for you."

"So you went to the storage building to take a picture of the leaf...I mean Chuck Norris?"

"Yeah." I said. "That's it. Is that weird?"

"Oh, no. Not at all," he assured (I think).