t i m m y    r e e d

Men Digging Holes in Their Backyards

 

Signs of Warning


Men digging holes in their backyards can be scary and if you are scared of these men you should not be ashamed. You are right to be cautious. When a man is spotted digging a hole in his backyard, you should be prepared to dig a hole in your own backyard. As a rule, men digging holes in their backyards are asserting power (through the construction of a monument, such as a swimming pool or gazebo) or are hiding something, a bit of evidence from the last time their power was asserted perhaps (a deceased mistress, a microwaved pet, a refused wedding ring). Either way, they are to be avoided. If all the men in your neighborhood have begun digging holes at the same time, you should make urgent plans to move residence. You should be prepared to live under a bridge for some time.



The Role of Sweat


Sweat plays a critical alchemical role in the ritual of men digging holes in their backyards. Sweat mixes with the wood or composite plastic of the shovel handle and the leather blend of the work gloves. Sweat drips into the dirt. The dirt responds accordingly by shifting and sinking away from the source of the sweat. This shifting is what moves the earth in circles. As dangerous as men digging holes in their backyards can be, they also serve to make the world oblivious to the fact that it is dizzy.



Women


Women put up with men that dig holes and often dig holes of their own. In fact, the holes that women dig in their backyards are nearly identical in every way, which is why these hole-diggers are able to mate successfully and produce offspring. I only refer to "men" in a generic way in this document because that is traditionally what the backyard hole-diggers have been called, although I concede it is not the most accurate term. Most humans are capable of digging holes in their backyards and many do, regardless of the shape of their genitals.



Tools


A variety of tools are used for the digging that is done by men (and women) in their backyards because it is such a complicated business. Some of these tools include shovels, hoes, rakes, trowels, buckets, sticks, spoons, bulldozers, tractors, plows, pigs (in search of truffles, which we will get to later), axes, slaves, and even their own fingers.



Grass


To the ears of the men digging, the grass does not scream when they cut it. The crickets, who are wardens of the grass (along with rabbits and snakes), hear them though. Millions of tiny voices screaming. The cricket rubs his wings together to drown out the sound.



Sex (a)


Occasionally a hole is dug for the purpose of becoming a setting for sexual intercourse. This is very rare and most often happens at beaches.



Death (a)


Death is often accompanied by a hole, usually at a cemetery. A cemetery is not a backyard. A cemetery is the house itself.



Blisters


Blisters form on the hands of the men who dig too much.



Callouses


Callouses form on the hands of the men who dig so much they feel nothing.



Childhood


Children are small underdeveloped men. Despite their lack of maturity, they are avid hole-diggers and even have boxes filled with sand in which to practice their digging.



Sex (b)


Sexual intercourse is a form of digging.



Swimming Pools


Swimming pools are backyard holes filled in with a layer of concrete, usually white, and then filled in with another layer of water and chemicals. Humans swim in the water and chemicals and often create a temporary layer of plastic and air on which to rest a final layer consisting of themselves, and maybe a drink.



Death (b)


Holes are often dug in backyards by men for the purpose of interring a recently deceased domestic animal. These holes are sometimes marked with a small monument, as is the custom for humans buried in cemeteries. Humans buried in backyards do not usually have markers.



War


War is a time when some men dig holes for protection. This was particularly popular during the conflict known as the First World War, which was not, as the name suggests, a war between two separate worlds, but rather a war between several of the wealthier nations claiming territory on just one world. These holes were long hallways called trenches and some likely did cut through multiple backyards.



Truffles


Truffles are a delicious fungus found in very few places (mostly not backyards) but enjoyed all over the world as a delicacy. A delicacy is something special that tastes good. Truffles live underground waiting for holes to be dug down to them so that they may be picked and eaten. Pigs (as mentioned earlier) are the preferred method of finding and digging for truffles. The pig uses his nose, or snout, as a tool for the dig. Truffles are usually then shaved onto human food or infused in oil.



The Future


The future involved more holes than any could anticipate.



The Past


The past can be discovered, measured, and tracked by the digging of holes.



The Present


I have been digging a tiny hole every day for the last ten years, with a thimble. The hole is located just over the property line in my neighbor's backyard. He hasn't noticed yet.

 

next

TIMMY REED is a writer from Baltimore, Maryland. He has recently published or has work forthcoming from a number of places including Akashic Books, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Chaffey Review, and Everyday Genius. He edits the What Lit section for What Weekly magazine and recently published a collection of short stories, Tell God I Don't Exist. Learn more here: http://underratedanimals.wordpress.com/tell-god-i-dont-exist/


I S S N     1 5 5 9 - 6 5 6 7