Pink Picnic Table

By Michael J. Legeros


"Nickel and dime-ing," the special privilege of home ownership that
sends We the Deeded to Wal-Mart, Lowes, or Hundred-Dollar Depot on a
near-weekly basis, for the talking dolphin, er, expressed porpoise of
adding, upgrading, or replacing Something Else in the House.  (Occu-
pancy obviously being the deciding factor here and probably why we're
*way* less accessorizing when renting.)  Old house, new house, or
*brand* new house, it doesn't matter.  The cash drip begins the moment
the mortgagee moves in and immediately begins noticing the this's and
that's that need purchasing.  e.g. door stops, outlet caps, and exten-
sion cords.  Add a lawn and you *double* your fun, as that's both a
first-time *and* seasonal expense.

Sure, everyone has to buy (or at least bring along) a mower, blower,
trimmer, or clipper.  But there are *annual* expenditures, too.  Like
grass seed, garden mulch, anything else that may have rotted, with-
ered, or weathered over the last twelve months.  And if you've been
*living* there for a few years, then the "ideas" start.  (That is, if
you haven't been thinking of them all along.)  Ideas for change, per-
haps a landscape tweak.  Or a fence.  Or a radical hedge-trimming.
Or, as happened last week to Yours Truly, a picnic table painted...
pink.  Bright pink.

See, there's this science store at the mall, the Cary mall, that's
closing.  So everything's on sale and thus why, two weeks ago, I pur-
chased a *second* pinwheel for my backyard.  You know, one of those
Technicolor deals that wind-spins and which I staked right next to the
other.  Alas, the backyard *still* seemed drab.  This being Spring and
all, I pondered what *else* to add.  And there it was, and right where
it's always been, a decrepit, dirty white picnic table hiding behind a
unkempt bush.  What better color to brighten a backyard, I realized,
but pink?  And what better warm-weather activity then playing with
spray paint??  So, as of April 8, 2001, on a certain street in Bren-
twood, in a neighborhood obviously without convenience, the following
seasonal expenditures were recorded.  Enjoy the scary mental pictures.


Picnic Table
------------

   $29.00 - Pink spray paint, seven cans

    $2.75 - Spray paint can holder, with trigger

    $4.00 - Very large plastic sheet, to protect ground

     none - Nasal membrane air filter, included with body


House
-----

     none - Bright green tape to wrap around white porch pole,
            candy-cane style.  Already have

    $2.75 - White paint pen, for covering rust on newly wrapped
            porch pole

    $2.75 - Light blue paint pen, for drawing hieroglyphics and
            other symbols on second porch pole


Yard
----

     none - Pink spray paint for touching up faded flamingos in
            front yard, see above

     none - Cleaning solution for sign in front yard, at edge of
            circular patch of mulch:  "Alien Landing Site, $3.00
            Admission."  Already have

     none - Weed killer for killing weeds, already have

    $7.50 - Cedar mulch, two bags (so far)

    $2.00 - Spark plug for lawn mower, replacement

    $4.00 - Second gasoline container, because the first one was
            at the house and the author wasn't


Car
---

    $4.00 - Pink fuzzy dice, replacing faded fuzzy dice

    $7.50 - Red rubber trim, for door edges

    $4.00 - Red reflective trim, for rear bumper

     none - Hula girl, for hip-shaking in rear window.  Already
            have

Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros

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