How I’m Like # 43

Yesterday was former President George W. Bush‘s birthday.  And to celebrate, I spent the day clearing brush.

Okay, it wasn’t brush per se, and the whole thing was about 90 minutes, not the whole day, but still…  a wild coincidence (I had actually planned on invading the nation of Qumar, but, you know, those things are so political).

The neighbor stage left of us is an interesting, accomplished, wily (and now old) man with a bushy white beard that wouldn’t be out of place in Brooklyn.  Anyway, he borrowed my father’s mighty electric chainsaw and hacked down a portion of bushes that he proceeded to stack in a neat approximation of the jungles of Vietnam.  Seriously, it was high, it was dense, and at some point I saw Sean Penn pulling the gasping body of Michael J. Fox from the wreckage.

As the days piled up it became clear no one was going to clear what I’d come to call ‘the brush’–  the neighbor, though it was his folly, wasn’t up to the task;  my father had enough to worry about, what with the back nine every other day;  and the cleaning crew who regularly did the yard–  well, ‘No mas.’

So my father asked me, as the crew would consult to cleaning up the clean up yesterday.  On the hottest day of the year.  When I had already been to the gym.

But no matter.  I pulled on my Death Cab t-shirt, my Mets hat and fired up the iPod to listen to podcasts of KCRW’s The Treatment (all things W. would do, right?), and proceed to commune with the former President by hauling brush to the edge of the property, stacking it loosely so it would decay.

And while I didn’t gain any insights into the privatization of Social Security or how you create a permanent Republican majority, I have to say, I did understand why those things never came to pass:  Clearing brush is exhausting.

I mean, I was bushed by the brush.  I was tired.  I was sweating.  I was done.  Now, imagine doing this for 166 days.  I mean, I’d get nothing accomplished too.  Aside, of course, from clearing brush.  And unlike writing a screenplay or cratering the economy, I have to say, when you look at the brush that is now gone, the jungles of Vietnam dismantled, there is a pure sense of accomplishment.

Of course I always though I’d be a bit more like President Barack H. Obama.  Which is why this August 4th I’m going to use the treadmill and then sit and sweat nothing.

I kid you not, this was me. Literally.

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