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Genetically averse to tidying up - R.H. Joseph

Should I consider the numerous pine tree seedlings growing in the rain gutters of my house indicative of some sort of personal character flaw?

A glass-half-full kinda guy, I'm content knowing I clean the gutters more often than I wash my truck. Alas, someone else in my house (who shall remain nameless) perceives the situation otherwise.

What is it with women? What is this obsession with cleanliness?

I'll never forget the time I was descending the grand staircase at Spivey Hall when an older woman next to me (Not Baby! Not only is she younger than I, she barely looks a day over 19. [You lads out there, pay attention. Chicks forget you've made them angry when you toss in a little blarney.]) bent over to pick up some bit of paper. Though dressed like Cinderella at the ball she felt compelled to tidy up.

I just don't get it.

Right now the bed of my truck is reddish brown. I had transported a load of mulch for the garden around our fish pond and hosed out the residue. As far as I'm concerned, the latter effort is tantamount to going the extra mile.

As for the stain, sufficient rainfall over the next year or two should take care of the situation. Notice I didn't say "problem." It's a pickup, not a fashion accessory.

And the inside is equal to the outside. I was at Pond Bloomers this past Sunday not only to pick up a tropical lily but to acquire three different examples of those kind of marsh plants that eat live things n flies mostly.

If I might digress, is it just me or are plants that eat living creatures particularly appealing? For sure it's a guy thing.

We've all seen nature shows that magically capture irritating pests seduced by the sweet dew and, once entrapped, struggle in vain until they succumb, exhausted.

Am I a sadist, a Nazi at heart? Am I seeking retribution for all those unprovoked attacks upon my barbecued chicken?

Or is there some sort of pre-verbal harmony between carnivores? A deep-seated union betwixt the plant and animal kingdoms might confirm a common ancestor to those recognizing the preponderance of evidence supporting Darwin's surmise.

But back to my truck. Because Maureen repotted the attack plants so they might co-exist in a single container there was much soil clinging to the periphery.

"Let me put it in a plastic bag so it doesn't get your truck dirty," said she of the feminine persuasion. Chortle, chortle!

Fortunately you could see the seat. Prior to going to Pond Bloomers I had dropped off a ton of newspapers at the recycling dumpster and necessity demanded I make room.

The floor of the cab is a different story. Whatever is there (I dare not dig too deeply!) is better compressed than unduly jostled. If pine seedlings are growing in my rain gutters God only knows what life forms are gestating beneath the residue of a score of guy years.

That glass-half-full aspect of my being prefers to think of the cab floor as the equivalent of the Grecian earth Schlieman probed so diligently in his quest for ancient Troy. If memory serves, the German archeologist found seven distinct layers. I dare say my floor would prove both more challenging and rewarding.

I know for a fact, if caught in the rain there's at least one umbrella down there as well as a raincoat. From time to time, when the stuff shifts due to a particularly high g-force turn, hints of raincoat-yellow break through the otherwise industrial grayness of my mobile landfill.

And there's a quart of oil down there somewhere from before the truck's first engine went KABLOOEY! Yeah, it's been there a long time, but unless my ancient transport dematerializes this engine too shall one day require frequent refills of its lifeblood. I'm prepared.

For reasons I cannot explain, there are at least three different tire irons embedded in the aggregation. And receipts: parking lot receipts, car repair receipts, ATM receipts, dentist receipts, doctor receipts, grocery store receipts n in short, a chronicle of all that I do, all that I am.

These days folks worry about having their identities revealed via electronic prying through the internet. Those who attempt such intrusions into my privacy would find little.

Ever since Baby did something to our home computer I don't even get messages reminding me "Teenage girls want you." (I remain content, however, knowing this to be the case.)

If my character is to be exposed it is through a cursory glance at my rain gutters and a Herculean purge of that bottomless pit I call my truck.

R.H. Joseph is a longtime employee of the News Daily. His column appears on Wednesdays. He may be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 252, or by e-mail at rjoseph@news-daily.com.