There's an annual game in my neighborhood. Well...maybe "game" is too tame a word. Perhaps "competition" would be better.
No. Still not enough.
There's an annual war in my neighborhood.
And I am consistently listed among the defeated.
You see, a nice little perk here in the Minnesota suburbs is when the street cleaner comes through and sucks up all the leaves that we've raked from our front yards to curbside. The conflict revolves around me getting my leaves to the curb before the totally unannounced and completely random suck-up day.
Last year, the combination of a late fall and early winter had me raking leaves and shoveling snow at the same time...and the leaf removal didn't happen at all.
The year before that, the street cleaner went through sometime in late August...just a little too early for me to have climbed up my trees and plucked the leaves off.
But this year...oooooh...this year, I got the upper hand. My normally-delinquent hickory...the one tree that holds on to its leaves until February...gave up its bounty of golden leaves during an early fall windstorm and I got my whole yard raked clean before the municipal marauder came through.
Yes! Victory at last!
As I drove home from work yesterday, it was apparent the sweeper had been through our neighborhood. The curbs and gutters were pristine...
...until I rounded the corner and saw the street in front of our house.
The leaf-sucker had clearly driven up to our property line, swung the rig to the left, avoided my leaf pile, then snuggled back up close to the curb at the neighbor's property line.
I am not kidding.
Next year...expect an escalation into shock and awe territory.