From Outside the Fence
It was a welcome call. I was nineteen years old, and one of my former high school teachers, my favorite, was asking me to house sit while he and his wife went on a two-week vacation ... “It’s too long to let the grass grow, and we’d really rather have someone staying here to keep an eye on things. We’ve talked it over, and agreed that you were the ideal person to help out.”
“Sometimes groundhogs get a little close to the house and upset the cats. If you see any, there’s a shotgun here by the door.”
Let’s see, drive the old car, mow the yard, try not to be attacked by Hissing Tripod, and shoot the wildlife.
When they returned, a day or two early, the yard was knee high, the transmission in the old car was fried, the bed was unmade, there were dishes in the sink, I had called an old girlfriend long distance every night, there was a cigarette butt burn on the brand new Corian countertop, the trash can contained beer cans, and I had failed to dispatch any groundhogs, who were planning a theme park in the backyard. And the angry, three legged cat, who had scratched me bloody when I tried to pet him, was missing.
How it all got completely away from me, and became such a horrible disaster, I have NO recollection.