I consolidated the stories about Fred.


...long live, Hill Blocks View. I miss writing. But the thought of one more round of "welcome backs", or obsessing over stats, or thinking of the clever response to a comment, or the obligation to read everyone else's blog... not so much. So I'll try and write. No pressure. If you feel the need to respond, you can email me. I like email. flipaul@yahoo.com

Friday, April 13, 2012


I think the key to making money, is to go where the work is. Every since I was a little boy I have always aspired to that most noble of all trades; the professional landscaper. After High School I joined the Marine Corps. Not so much for the fighting and heroic derring do, but because I heard that they obsessively raked dirt and picked up trash. It was great! They even sent me to exotic locals to manicure their terrain.

   Eventually I got out of the Marine Corps. It became clear to me that they didn't really care about landscaping, they were all about invade this and overthrow evil despot that. So I moved back home with big dreams of opening my own landscaping business. Where nobody could tell me what I could landscape, and when. Except the customer, of course. I mean it's their lawn, you have to listen to them.

   The problem was, there were a million landscaping companies out there. Everywhere I turned there was a crew of predominantly Mexican workers, raking and mowing and pruning. I tried to get business, but they always had a landscaper that they liked. There was simply no business available... here. But if all the Mexicans who could landscape were here. There must be a shortage of landscapers down in Mexico. Eureka!

   I packed up my leaf blower, my mower and my pruning shears and headed south. Good-bye New Mexico, hello regular old Mexico. Hmmm. There was a problem. There seemed to be an appalling lack of lawns. No matter. I would just fix up the yards they did have, you can rake dirt just as easily as grass.

   I went to the first door I saw and knocked on the door. I avoided the shotgun blast directed at me and ran back to the truck. I guess they weren't taking solicitors right at the moment. I went to the next house, but I couldn't understand a word that crazy old woman was shouting at me. It's like she was speaking another language, although the machete she was waving around said plenty.

   I finally found a kindly policeman who spoke a little English. He explained the Geopolitical events that had led to Mexicans crossing the border to work in America and pointed out the fallacy of my thinking. One, people in Mexico were spending a rather small amount of time in their yards at the moment, what with the bloody gang/drug war going on and all. Two, the majority of Mexicans in Mexico didn't have the need for a landscaper or  enough money to pay for a landscaping service. And three, I should give him all my money and my lawn mower or he would throw me in a Mexican prison.