‘Mommy comes from a different country, Massa – what the heck? I can’t even say it’

I realized I’m a complete mismatch for my current city when I saw a man on the curbside, chopping piles of wood with an ax, and assumed something illicit and dangerous must be going on.

I mean, there were big frigging logs next to him. It was clear what he was doing. How many Coen Brothers movies must I have seen to be damaged this way?

To put it simply, I see an ax, I assume the blond guy from “Fargo” who plays lots of Russians, disturbed computer nerds and Swedes is just around the corner with a woodchipper.

Another part of me thinks, hello, I live in a city, Why the hell are you out here like a lumberjack, you jerk?

Did I mention I’m from the East Coast? Which to The Elder, is, of course, “another country,” as in, “Why do you and Daddy have to come from another country where they don’t let kids watch ‘Star Wars?’ (For the record, our policy seems to be to let our New England-American children see it at 5½.)

For a few minutes, I had to stand near the would-be elderly woodsman — yes, elderly. Did I mention he was really old, and yet I still felt like I had just happened upon Dexter in a room full of plastic wrap? Meanwhile, The Younger oohed and aahed outside a nearby house that’s decorated with lots of pretty little kittycats.

And I suspected then that I had that affliction where Manhattanites and the like are terrified by the woods and even big yards for fear of serial killers, and possibly possums. Danger lurks in the woods.

My online self-diagnosis was confirmed the next day when I saw a figure in the distance wielding a large object, straight up in the air. Oh! Is someone being hit?!

Oh, a it’s rake. But what is happening there? Might I be struck with that?!

Oh, it’s an older woman carrying a rake to go … rake a yard. Leaves. Uh-huh.

If it helps, I now realize I truly need help, and a greater familiarity with Pacific Northwest yardwork habits. –Jillian O’Connor 

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