Leave it to Farmer H to set off fireworks one day early. I'm not talking about actual fireworks. He's had his era of setting the neighbor's field on fire, and a narrow miss at blowing up my mom's car from a tipped-over roman candle lighting the grass. That's back when the boys were both still at home, and we made a big deal of picking out fireworks, and inviting the grandmas to come watch.
No, this time, I'm talking about TEMPER TANTRUM fireworks. I'm sure you're feigning surprise.
It all started with my trip to The Devil's Playground. Farmer H has a way of disappearing on shopping days, and turning up just after I've carried everything in and put it away. I've broached the subject with him and he has various excuses. Either he's over at his Freight Container Garage, and doesn't know I'm home, but just happens to drive over when it's all done. OR he was asleep in the La-Z-Boy, and didn't see me come up the driveway. OR he saw me come back, but didn't know I needed help because by the time I said anything, it was all carried in.
Tuesday, as T-Hoe turned into the driveway, I saw all three dogs come running across Shackytown Boulevard. The Trailblazer was under the carport, but the Gator was not. As I got closer to the garage, I paused to fold in the side mirrors, and jab the garage door opener several times. Mine never seems to work right.
While paused there in the driveway, just before the concrete, I looked to the right, and saw the John Deere green tractor at the beginning of Shackytown Boulevard, with the Gator parked behind it, and FARMER H squatting in front of one of the themed sheds. I could not tell if it was The Pony's Sword Shack, or The Fishing Lair. I knew it wasn't the Little Barbershop of Horrors, because that one is on the end.
Anyhoo, I could see Farmer H squatting there, plain as day, his face fully turned toward the driveway and T-Hoe. "Oh," I thought to myself, "he'll be over here on the Gator, and help me." There's no way he didn't see me.
It was SO HOT! My face was the color of a tomato, and my hair stood up like a troll doll. That was from the sweat, and the hot air from T-Hoe's not-quite-working air conditioner blowing at full blast. I really have a problem with the heat. I only have a scrap of my thyroid left, you know. And the thyroid helps you regulate body temperature. Besides, I've been telling Farmer H since May that T-Hoe's air conditioner must need more of that Freon kind of fluid they use now. With no action on his part.
Anyhoo...I parked in the garage, and listened. I could hear big ol' hot Copper Jack panting behind T-Hoe, just outside the garage. But no Gator. I got out and opened the back hatch, and carried the first batch of bags to the side porch. This was BULLARKY! That's BULLcrap and malARKY! Where was Farmer H?
I went down the brick sidewalk and looked over at Shackytown Boulevard. There went Farmer H, a railroad tie on his shoulder, walking to the far end of the gravel boulevard. As he turned to come back after dropping that tie, he looked right at me. "WHAT?" he hollered.
Let the record show that I made no movement. I was just standing still, looking through the columns of the front porch, past the steps, past the tractor and Gator, my lower half blocked from his view by the porch itself, and the almost-white picket fence. Funny how Farmer H noticed half of me standing silently, and didn't notice great big T-Hoe with his engine running in the driveway a few minutes earlier, and the pack of dogs rushing over, barking their fool heads off.
"Wondering why you're not coming to help."
I went back for the rest of the bags. I'd left the two 4-packs of Strawberry Water, the 6-pack of Diet Mountain Dew, and the 6-pack of Diet Coke sitting it T-Hoe, along with the 12-roll pack of Charmin (they were out of the 6- and 9-packs), and the box of trash bags. They were the heavier and more awkward items that I was hoping Farmer H would arrive to carry. As I stepped out of the garage people-door with my bags, there was Farmer H, starting to pick up the lighter bags that I'd already put down.
"The heavy stuff is in the car."
Of course he huffed and had a fit. I got the toilet paper and trash bags and my purse and 44 oz Diet Coke, as he was storming into the garage. I unlocked the kitchen door. Then here came Farmer H, bellowing, with the beverages. I went back for more bags from the porch, and Farmer H stormed past me to grab a bunch of them, which he took to the cutting block and plopped down, making a bag of pork steaks and another bag of my precious Chicken Bacon Ranch Pinwheels slam to the floor.
"You didn't even shut the back of T-Hoe after the soda. Or close either of the garage doors! I guess I need to go back down the steps to do that, too? I can't believe you watched me come up the driveway, and weren't going to help."
Farmer H exploded like a truckload of Park Department fireworks after an errant spark. "I DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE HOME!" I'm surprised the windows didn't pop out from the reverberations of the slamming door.
Happy 3rd of July.
You know it's not the act of helping that set him off, right? It was being caught in the act of PRETENDING he didn't know I was home.