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Dandelion Blivet – or – I Can Handle the Truth, I Just Don’t Like the Maths

dandelion blivet

A highly technical military term (wink, wink), as my father explained it to me, a blivet is ten pounds of crap in a five-pound bag.

This weekend produced a close-to-real-life example: I took that leetle beety plastic pot out front to hold all the dandelions I’d dig up. Surely there weren’t many so early in the spring. . .

To loosen the nasty weed’s grip on the good earth — the over-wintered ones had roots the diameter of small carrots and I’m not talking baby carrots — I used the Japanese all-purpose garden knife available exclusively, in the 1990’s, from Smith and Hawken. Now available fine big-box stores everywhere.

And pardon the Britishism, too much Masterpiece Theater, but the blivet wasn’t the maths that were getting to me. The truth is, by trading a large chunk of my time for money these days, only so much of anything gets done. This weekend, the dandelions. Not enough time to do a proper weeding. Other items on the weekend to-do list loom large and the hours vaporize quickly. A time blivet of sorts — how much to cram into a too-short timeframe.

The dandelions, however, don’t care one whit about my schedule. And I’m gonna need a bigger bucket.

Visions of Kerosene


I’m not a violent person, but when provoked my thoughts can go to a nasty place.

This year’s weed crop has driven me to mental extremes. These crawly weeds generally don’t take hold until June, but they’ve swept across the dry creek already thanks to an early spring. At least three times I’ve tackled the onslaught already. It’s hard to get hold of the slimy green b?#$rds with gloves on, so my bare-handed efforts have left me with shredded fingernails. The gloves stay handy to tackle the larger prickly invaders.


Each time I approach the task with a shoulder-to-the-wheel attitude. One hour of hard time today and another tomorrow. Fifteen minutes in and I’m tempering thoughts of why we try to be “environmentally friendly” and don’t just spray Round Up all over, everywhere, all the time. Half an hour in and I’m contemplating the cost efficiency of a flame thrower. Do those use kerosene?

As the end of the hour comes closer, the look in my eye is frightening the dogs and the neighbors have taken their children inside. My mental picture is me dressed in olive drab, viewing the scene through aviator sunglasses, and piloting a drone filled with napalm over the whole area — chin jutting out, chomping on a stogie, grinning and laughing. The 1812 Overture plays in the background. (Odd how I swap out details in my head to avoid the possibility of perceived copyright infringement. . . )

Then I stand up and walk away with a bin full of weeds. Tomorrow we shall meet again on the battlefield. Sigh. Or maybe the day after; the weeds will still be there.

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