My wife ought to be happy.
There’s one less TV show on my packed viewing schedule. The fifth season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” came to its typically violent and fatal conclusion last Sunday.
I’ve sat through each episode since the show premiered, even when it was so shocking all I wanted to do was turn off my TV. But I’ve stuck with it and have read all the books because at some point, something good has got to happen to the kids of House Stark, right?
That may be wishful thinking, but I want to be there if the Starks ever stop falling victim to the so-called Lords and Ladies of Westeros, a ruling class whose cruelties exceed even those of our cat when she’s caught a mouse.
For now, however, I’m left to scour the internet like all the other “Throneheads” who are looking for clues to what the future holds. The show has largely caught up with where the books have left off. And since the author, George R.R. Martin, has yet to finish the book series, the story is ripe for all sorts of crazy theories.
But even I’ve got to step away from time to time. And, when I do I play a different sort of game.
The conclusion of season five means I’ve got a whole extra hour each week to play a game that should actually please my wife instead of frustrating her – call it the “Game of Lawns.”
The “Game of Lawns” is a simple game played by suburban dads. Instead of a sword with which to take off an opponent’s head, all that’s needed is a lawnmower and the wherewithal to stay ahead of your rivals.
It’s a game my wife fully understands. She plays her version during the winter when she strives to be the first among our neighbors to clear the driveway of snow.
But while she regularly triumphs, I’m usually one step behind.
Okay, maybe I’m more than one step behind. It might be more like three or four.
The point is, there’s nothing like arriving home from work to find most of your neighbors have mowed while your yard looks as if it’s way overdue for a visit to the barber.
This week, however, was different.
I actually got the jump on my rivals.
I got up early Wednesday morning, pulled out my rickety old lawn mower, crossed my fingers and actually got it running, which was quite a trick. The previous week it spewed so much dirty oil onto its deck that I feared it would never start again.
But it surprised me. It roared back to life after I replenished its oil supply.
It ran so smoothly, I happily mowed the front yard, secure in the knowledge that, for at least one week, I was on track to win “The Game of Lawns.”
But then I made catastrophic mistake.
I took a break before mowing the backyard.
I can only assume that the sound of my mower must have spurred one of my neighbors to action. When I came back outside after an hour or so I found he had mowed his ENTIRE lawn, front and back.
It was a move worthy of those consummate schemers of House Lannister.
That’s what I get for not remaining vigilant.
On the bright side, at least the consequences I faced are not as severe as if I were playing the “Game of Thrones.”
You either win or die playing that game.
I was just left to play catch up, again.