Humor by Michael Showalter

I feel the "good news/bad news" axiom really holds true.

Like, one year ago my wife and I moved out of our tiny little apartment and for a great price bought a beautiful and spacious 100-year-old town house out in the far reaches of Brooklyn. That's the good news.

The bad news is that to purchase said beautiful 100-year-old town house, we had to move to a neighborhood that is, how can I put this, post-apocalyptic, or perhaps more accurately, really crappy.

One of the things I love most about our beautiful and spacious new home (did I mention that it's a 100 years old?) is that we have a backyard. For 20 years I have been living in New York City and this is the first time that I have ever owned a backyard. Now, with all this land to look after, all of my deepest suburban dad instincts have arisen out of me full force. For instance, I have discovered that I love mowing the lawn. No exaggeration: I have already mowed my lawn 12 times this summer. I love having my own backyard. That's the good news.

My next-door neighbor has a backyard, as well. However, my observation is that he seems a lot less enthusiastic about mowing his lawn. And I base that observation on the fact that his lawn does not appear to have ever been mowed. And I really do mean ever. Like, if you told me there were dinosaur bones in there, I'd be certain it was true. Like, I used to want to visit a rain forest, but now I don't need to because I have one next door to me. It's lush. It's verdant. It's what the earth must have looked like 4 billion years ago. Amazingly this is not even the bad news.

One day my next-door neighbor decided that he wanted to take a very large and very loud power drill and dig a deep, extremely wide hole in his backyard, thus creating a haystack sized pile of unearthed sediment and rock. Then after drilling the gaping hole for the better part of two days, the end result being, as I mentioned earlier, a giant pile of mud and rock, he admired his work: the hole, the pile, and the overgrown fauna, and he just left it there. He left it there for months. Yeah, OK, that's the bad news.

So, I did what any good aspiring suburban dad would do. I built up my fence so that my wife and I wouldn't need to look at the giant pile of sediment sitting in the rain forest every time we used our backyard. Now, as a result of this, I do believe that I am the world's foremost authority on lattice-wood panels. I know things about lattice-wood panels that will blow your mind! (That is, of course, assuming that you are super curious about lattice-wood panels, which, let's face it, most people aren't. But! To the few, the merry few, who are . . .)

One night, at around 3 a.m., I was awakened by the sounds of a someone shoveling sediment into a hole. My neighbor was finally filling the hole! No more pile! That's the good news!

It was 3 a.m. Who fills a hole at 3 a.m.? Random episodes of "The Sopranos" started spinning around in my head. That was the bad news.

Maybe he's just one of those "night gardeners" I've been reading about lately. At least that's what I told myself.

The next morning, the hole was completely filled in. The pile was gone. It was as if neither had ever existed. And a few days later, the lawn had been mowed, too. Then a plumbing truck came. I could see the plumbers in his backyard tending to the area where the hole had been dug. My neighbor's pipes needed to be fixed. He had tried to fix them himself. Now he needed professional help. He really WAS a night gardener, I guess.

Man, this was a lot of good news for me to absorb. Too much, I think. Maybe I won't mow the lawn for a little while. Shake things up around here.

Humor & Satire

Humor & Funny Stories - I Have Good News . . . and Bad News

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