Nature is still trying to kill me. I’m certain of it. A few weeks back I wrote about the parade of animals coming through our yard. Deer, coyotes, snakes, hawks, etc. And I don’t live in the country. I can be at a Starbucks and/or a Jiffy Lube in less than 5 minutes! 

And since then, my trees are trying to kill me. Twice after mowing, a giant branch has fallen off one of our trees. It’s like the tree is telling me both where and how it’s going to take me out. I’m going to have to start cutting the grass while wearing a football helmet and shoulder pads. 

When the second branch fell, my neighbors were close by. They had lots to say about my trees. I’m assuming because they hang somewhat over their yard. As I walked over to survey the damage, the wife called out, “That tree is very dangerous. You shouldn’t stand there.” 

But it was the next thing she said that troubled me most. 

Neighbor: “What is your dog’s name again?” 

Me: “Gizmo”

Neighbor: “Ah, that’s right Gizmo. He’s put on a lot of weight.” 

What? My tree is hurling down branches that could impale me and she’s got to point out that my dog is fat? 

She continued, “Our dog put on a lot of weight. He died.” 

She’s a very direct person. As if I’m not traumatized enough by my homicidal maple tree (or oak or ash, I really have no idea), now I’m worried the rest of the day that my dog is going to die. 

I go outside to get away from the terror of the news cycle. I don’t need it from my trees and my neighbors. So, I’ve decided to have the tree cut down. I would do it myself, but that would end up with me being sued and the video of the mishap being uploaded to YouTube. 

I’m not the most adept when it comes to home projects. I once pointed out to my wife that Hemingway once got a nasty scar from dropping a light fixture on his head while fixing it. “I’m not the only writer who is bad at house projects,” I said. 

She quickly pointed out that in contrast, he has sold a ton of books. “When you sell a million copies, feel free to drop anything you want on your head.” I think she’s been talking to the trees.

Until the tree is cut down, the grass is going to be much longer under the tree than the rest of the yard. I checked my garage and I don’t own any football equipment.

And I’ve told my dog to pee on the neighbor’s fence whenever he feels the urge. 

Carry on, Citizens!