For some years now I have been mulling some questions about life over and over in my head.
Mostly while hand-watering the garden or raking in last season’s spent brown leaves from under the white stinkwood.
I tend to do my best mulling while busy with these essentially mindless jobs as my brain then has adequate capability to entertain a debate between more than two perspectives.
It obviously doesn’t help that my Scotty starts attacking my rake nor my wife starts calling for coffee. These interruptions seriously hamper my train of thought and cause me to water where it is already wet, or rake where there is no leaf in sight.
My thoughts run anywhere from how to make a lot of money to resign and just stay at home, to strategizing a five year plan on how to help make this country a better place to live in.
Now when I am busy with these tremendously important strategies I get very, very upset when I get interrupted by a freelance gardener who thinks that I am not capable of raking or watering my patch of nature.
Sjeez, these guys think that they can do everything in a weekend! They just don’t know how long it takes to properly wet the garden, or properly rake so that no spot of earth is blemished.
I know they work fast and hard but they will not solve this country’s problems while doing all that work – like I do.
Beyond expectation the wife takes the freelancer’s side and asks me if I need some garden help. How do I now explain to her how many problems I am working on, in the presence of said freelancer?
How do I get it across to her - while I am singlehandedly creating a lush Eden - I am also busy with project planning, politics and investment options? It also doesn’t help my case that the boy is in school, looking for a holiday job and his mother is friends with my only one.
Fine; I submit to my property’s organiser and against my better knowledge hire the opportunist labourer. I decide that while the latest employee is going to try and replicate my perfect raking skills, I can go and watch the formula one practice session. Nice try.
My better half issues me a job card to do some ceiling maintenance, upon which I stammer that the fixing of the ceiling is a job for a cool day.
Alas, she has no mercy and I find myself halfway to hell, in between roof and ceiling. I am now hit for a six because there is simply no space left in my head to think of how to better this world due to the unbearable heat swelling my brain to my skull’s capacity.
As you may well know, project planning is a testing job and one should always build in some “fat” to overcome delays or possible obstructions. I know - without testing my memory banks - that I have at least two days spare on my busy agenda. I could do the garden and the ceiling during my planned project mishap phase. So a new plan for the current day starts to take shape…
My love shouts that she’s going to the shops. Heaven. As soon as I hear the gate “click” I am outta there! I ask my job stealer if he’s any good with handy work on which he replies that “oom, Ek kan enig iets doen”. Cool.
I show him the way to hell and I carry on where he left off under the cool stinkwood branches, with my thoughts. Better get a beer because it is thirsty work. Thank goodness for that thought – while I am standing in the room underneath the schoolboy to ask if he wants some water, the wife returns.
Forgot something. She calls from the living room that she’s going again and I reply in a seemingly muffled voice that that is O.K.
Now I’m in a predicament. I have the freelance gardener schoolboy in the roof, doing my job, the formula one is blasting away on the T.V. and the beer has gone playing tricks with my overworked brain. Now I have ample room for thought but the garden work will show no progress if I don’t find a way for it to be done. I decide to phone a friend… My friend is a tall friendly fellow that always has a bottle of Red Heart close by. He always comes in a flash when a friend’s in need and this day was no exception.
While I was planning how to explain it all to my wife, I heard a crack and then a thud of note. Schoolboy had missed the wooden beam and stepped on the NEW ceiling.
I rush to where he landed and assess the damage to his frame, but he repeatedly said that he is OK and will not press charges or ask money for a doctor or tell his dad, after watching him limp. I send him home and decide to tell my wife that my friend interrupted my job with a visit.
When my wife finally returned the schoolboy was long gone, she had two giggling men watching F1 qualifying, a worse ceiling and no progress in the pristine garden.
My explanation? I fell through the roof, the schoolboy laughed at me, so I fired him and buddy came to visit un-expectantly.
I could see her thinking about it, the worst being; she didn’t even ask if I was O.K. after my fall.
That is when the fired gardener came knocking to fetch his cell phone he had left up in the ceiling… The cold war lasted a long time.