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Posted by on Jun 5, 2023 in Retirement Humour |

Living Retired — ‘Mulch Man’

Living Retired — ‘Mulch Man’

Living Retired — ‘Mulch Man’

By Gary Chalk.

Ring! Ring! Ring!

“Hi Dear, I am at the garden centre to buy the mulch you want. They have pine mulch, pine needles, shredded bark, bags of oyster shells, cocoa hulls, and bags of rubber mulch pellets. You can even get organic mulch.”

“Gary, we want cedar mulch.”

“Well in that case, I can buy red, sierra red, deep forest, or natural cedar mulch.”

“Gary, we need black cedar mulch.”

“Oh, here it is. Would you like Classic Black cedar mulch or Black Beauty cedar mulch? They both look the same to me.”

Jan decided on Black Beauty cedar mulch — that was easy. The hard part was slugging a bazillion bags of mulch into my Jeep. It is hot. I am sweating like the Democrats when Trump won the election! Finally, with enough bags to sandbag the Hoover Dam if it ever overflowed, I begin the drive home which was, well, harrowing…

My Jeep looks like a NASA surface-to-air missile launch system from the Gulf War. The payload of garden mulch is so heavy the front of the Jeep points up on a forty-five degree angle towards the sky; and the rear bumper sags down dangerously close to the road! My four-way flashers blink. I know it looks nuts, but to be able to see where I am going, I hoist myself outside the drivers’ side window. My foot barely reaches the accelerator.

Half an hour later…

There’s got to be a mile of cars behind me. Anxious drivers leaning out their car give me the royal salute!

Ring! Ring! Ring!

“Gary, it has been an hour. Where on earth are you? When will you be home?”

“Jan, I can’t talk. The police pulled me over for driving twenty kilometres an hour in an eighty zone on the highway.”

“Gary, you driving too slow? That’s a first!”

Turning onto our cul-de-sac I spot neighbours outside chatting. They stare at me — no, they gawk! I creep towards our house.

BANG! The rear bumper is so low it scraped the curb as I backed into our driveway.

Jan meets me. The neighbours walk over. I step down from the Jeep. I have Black Beauty cedar mulch stains on my face and forearms and all down my T-shirt.

Jan howled with laughter! “Gary, you look like Dick Van Dyke the chimney sweeper in Mary Poppins.” With that the neighbours chimed in singing “Chim Chim Cherie.” Such fun.

When I opened the Jeep tailgate the aroma of fresh cedar permeated the air. Lyle next door gasped, “Gary, that’s a bit mulch!” Everyone laughed.

It was when I pulled out the wheelbarrow that everyone scattered home. The hard part was about to begin.

The sun is blazing. It is stinking hot! I’m a madman running behind the wheelbarrow. The faster I wheelbarrow bags of mulch to our gardens, the more I sweat! The more I sweat, the more water I drink. The more water I guzzle, the more I have to pee. I look like a Japanese sumo wrestler at a hot yoga class!

It is noon hour. Finally, the job is done. Empty mulch bags litter our lawn. Jan arrived with a beer and cannot contain her laughter, “Gary, you look bagged! Instead of macho man, you’re going to be my Mulcho Man.”

Our flower beds smell wonderful!

Me? I stink like your grandson’s hockey equipment bag.


Living Retired is written by humour columnist Gary Chalk.


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