Me and Columbus

According to my calendar, today is Columbus Day. As I have written previously, I have an issue with Columbus Day in general. I just do not get why Columbus gets his own holiday. I know he supposedly discovered the new world but I still have a problem with that given that there was a Native American welcoming party when he arrived. As near as I can tell, if you discover something you probably should be the first guy there otherwise it defeats the whole discovery concept.

But hey, you have to give Columbus credit, even though he got here late to the party he had the right propaganda machine in place to take credit for something he didn’t really do and was able to cover up the whole fact that he was actually just lost.

I started wondering, could I pull a Columbus trick myself? Was it possible for me to cover up all the screw-ups I ever make and instead focus on something completely unrelated to divert people, in particular my wife, to instead look at my actions as worthy of a holiday in my honor? It was worth a shot.

This morning my wife announced that today was not actually Columbus Day but was instead National Lawn Seeding day. For those who live in the colder parts of the country let me explain what this means. In Arizona we have two seasons, Hotter than Hades Summer and Almost as Hot as Hades Winter.

Growing up in Idaho where they had four seasons – Winter, Waxing Winter, Waning Winter, and Feels Like Winter; I was used to the grass going brown and going dormant during Waxing Winter season. I just assumed that the grass went dormant due to the cold and frigid weather.

When we moved to Arizona I just assumed that grass would stay green all year long since winter was much nicer than the summer in Idaho. I was alarmed to find that in the fall my grass went brown and dormant. After a frantic visit to the nursery I learned that to have green grass I had to “overseed” my lawn with a winter grass. By the way there are two kinds of nurseries. Do not under any circumstances confuse the two. Hospitals get really ticked off if you bring dead grass in and start asking questions. Trust me on this one.

So if you want green grass during the winter months you have to plant a different type of grass in the winter than in the summer. In order to germinate the winter grass should have daytime temperatures in the 70’s or low 80’s making this time of year the perfect time to “overseed”.

Today happened to be the day that Trina decided we would go through the changing of the grass ritual. I was responsible for going to the store and getting the grass seed while she prepared the lawn. I always thought preparing the lawn meant giving it some kind of druid blessing but it really means cutting the summer grass down to its roots and spreading gypsum and fertilizer over its surface.

Before I left Trina gave me specific instructions and a shopping list of supplies I was to bring back. I can only imagine that Christopher Columbus went through a similar thing with Queen Isabella. I can just hear her saying, “I need you to go pick up a few things for me. Do you think you can handle this simple task?”

Chris was probably in the middle of watching a baseball play-off game and only half heard what Izzy was saying. It was only when she threatened to turn off the ballgame or even worse to change channels and force him to watch Oprah that Chris agreed to going to the store.

Columbus like any guy decided to call his buddies and see if they wanted to go to the store with him. And since Chris had the best flat screen television of all of his friends he had some leverage to force them to have to go to the store to get his girlfriend off his back.

I was in a similar quandary and after a few calls I found a couple of friends who like me were being sent out to pick up a few things. In an effort to be more green we decided to car pool and since I had the only ship with gas I was elected to drive.

I stood at the harbor (driveway) and made a brief speech on how I was about to embark on a great adventure to faraway lands in search of treasures to bring back to the queen. Like Columbus, my neighbors stood around the ship and whispered, “what the heck is this idiot talking about, his wife just needs some grass seed.”

I set off on my adventure, the brisk sea air and spray pounding against my vessel (ok in my case I drove through the sprinkler with the windows down but stay with me here). After picking up the rest of my crew we started out on an unknown journey.

Sometime within the first few minutes of our journey we completely forgot not only what we were supposed to go get but we even forgot who it was that sent us on the journey. We wandered around engulfed in the discussion of rosters and free agents and weren’t really paying attention to where the ship was headed.

After a while we ended up at Best Buy where we discovered a treasure chest of values on flat screen televisions, Blu-Ray movies, and a cornucopia of computers. Being the leader of this crew, I shook hands with the natives that we found at Best Buy. After a quick evaluation I believed that we were much more intelligent than these natives and that we not only could conquer the Geek Squad tribe but could control them to do our bidding.

I unfurled a small Diamondbacks flag that I had in the back of the car and made a small speech claiming Best Buy as an official territory of Spain. I have to admit, my speech was pretty good. It had to be given the number of people who stood around staring at me.

We spent several hours exploring before returning home, our ship laden with treasures from our newly claimed territory. I was met at the dock by the queen who had a simple question, “did you return with the items I sent you to get?”

I threw open the door of the ships cargo bay to let her gaze at our bounty. I began explaining how we had discovered a new trade route and how I had discovered a brave new world filled with treasures and exotic natives dressed in odd ceremonial robes.

After listening for a few minutes the queen said, “You didn’t bring grass seed did you? I asked you to do one simple thing and you screwed that up. I can’t send you to do anything can I?” I don’t think she appreciated the importance of my discovery. Mark my words, 517 years from now people are going to celebrate my adventure and I’ll have a town in Ohio named after me. Postal workers and banks will take the day off in tribute to me.

Instead the queen shook her head, took the keys to the ship and as she drove off she said, “I’ll be back in five minutes with the grass seed. In the meantime why don’t you try and find the edge of the Earth and fall off while I’m gone.”

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