Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Monday, May 7, 2012

He Might as Well Paint Addresses on the Curb

Is anybody missing a bee? Because I have one buzzing around in my bonnet at this very moment. I cannot resist the urge to let it out. So if you value your bee, get on over here with a Mason jar and scoop it up.

Genius mows yards in the summer. This is his second year. One of his customers is my aunt, who lives in town about a half mile from my mom. Genius was busy last week with the school carnival. He tried two or three times to contact Auntie in the middle of the week, so he could mow her lawn before going to build the float at six o'clock. Auntie was unavailable. Genius spent Friday afternoon and night, plus all day Saturday, working on the carnival. Auntie worked at it on Saturday night as well. Neither of them mentioned the yard.

Sunday, Genius said he was going to town to mow his grandma's yard, and then Auntie's. After finishing Mom's yard, he told her he was heading over to Auntie's house. Mom said, "Are you sure? I went by there yesterday and saw a lady mowing it with a riding mower." Genius did not believe her. After all, Auntie had used him all last summer, and once already this summer. He left to check it out.

Indeed, the lawn had already been mowed. Genius was disappointed. He counts his chickens before they hatch. He already had plans for that payday. He was worried that Auntie had switched lawn-care providers. That she was dissatisfied with his work, and had hired somebody new.

I got ahold of Auntie after school today. "Do you still need Genius to mow your yard? He came by yesterday, and it had already been mowed. Mom said she saw a lady on a riding mower."

"Yes! That's the neighbor I told you about a couple weeks ago. She mowed my yard. Then she asked for $50. I told her she was crazy. That I'd pay her $40, but not to do it again, because my nephew was going to mow for me again this year. When I pulled into my driveway Saturday, there she was, mowing again!"

"Did you pay her."

"Yes. What was I SUPPOSED to do?"

"Well, I wouldn't have paid her. She was told not to mow it. And she did it anyway. Because you paid her the first time, and she figured you would pay her again. She'll probably KEEP mowing it, because you pay her."

"But I don't WANT her to mow it. I told Genius. And he does a much better job. She didn't weed-eat, and I had to rake up the trimmings. I put them in a wheelbarrow, and now it rained, and they're soaked. My son saw the yard and said, 'Mom, she didn't mow that right. She doesn't know what she's doing.' "

"She's trespassing! You told her NOT to mow it, and she did. She'll keep on until you don't pay her."

"Tell Genius to mow it whenever he mows your mom's yard. He doesn't have to ask me first. Just mow it, and I'll pay him."

Just so you know...Auntie's yard is fenced. It's not like Neighbor Lady might mow across an imaginary boundary between the yards and think, "I might as well finish this part, too." She has to leave her yard, go to the front sidewalk area by the street, get off her riding mower, open a gate, get back on her riding mower, drive through, get off the mower to close the gate, then get back on and mow. 

I relayed Auntie's message to Genius. He said he normally mows Auntie's yard once a week, because it grows faster. She's down by the river. Mom's house is on top of a cliff with a thin layer of topsoil and sparse grass. I recommended that Genius mow Auntie's once a week, on a specific day, or else that neighbor lady would beat him to it. And that if he ever saw her there mowing, to go get Mom's mower and go back and join her. Maybe she would get the message if her pay got cut.

So...am I wrong here?

If you think so, then please email me your address. I'll be off work Thursday to take Hick to the doctor, and I might just swing by and castrate your AKC registered Cocker Spaniel while he's out in the yard. Surely you'll pay me the going rate for a veterinarian, even if I don't do the job quite right. Even though you didn't ask me to do it. Even though you specifically told me NOT to do it, because you're going to make stud fee money off of him.

Same concept, right?


Sioux said...

No, Val, you are completely in the right. That grass-mowin' neighbor thinks she has struck gold.

May I suggest a few solutions...

Electrify the fence. If the trespassing neighbor becomes a crispy critter when she reaches for the gate, she won't do it again.

Digging a moat to encircle your aunt's yard, filling it with water (and perhaps an alligator or two) might also curtail her hightailing it over and beating Genius at the mowing of the grass.

Finally, you could always lay down one of those nail strips--the ones the police put down on the highway to stop speeding criminals. Four flat tires will take the wind out of her sails...

If you choose to use any of my ideas, I expect a cut from one of Genius' lawn jobs.

Linda O'Connell said...

Is that neighbor lady nuts? You tell the boy to get his over there and show her a thing or two, OR Mama's coming to buck her off that riding mower.

Stephen Hayes said...

I wouldn't have paid any money to this neighbor ever. Thank her for her kindness and tell her that her lawn mowing services aren't wanted. The end.

ingasmile said...

Lock the gate, that neighbor lady is nuts!! I can't believe she had the cajones to ask for money after she mowed without permission. Crazy.


Val said...

I will do a feasibility study and get back to you. Make sure to hold your breath during the wait.

Here now! We may live in Backroads, but this is NOT the frontier! Vigilantism is not the answer.

While we may escape with a slap on the wrist for an electric fence, alligator moat, or nail strip...I'm pretty sure that actually removing Crazy Lady from her mower would result in several evenings of accommodation at the Crossbars Hilton.

Of course. But let's not forget, men are from Mars, women are from People Will Hate Me If I Don't Do The Right Thing.

It makes me wonder what other scams she is operating.