“Final Hold Out” By Chris Zito

The back yard is filling with leaves as raking season approaches. The front yard? Not a single leaf. That’s because my next door neighbor’s tree has some dysfunctional, unhealthy attachment to its leaves. I’m lucky if the finally fall and cover my front yard by Thanksgiving.


This tree is in denial.

The first few years we lived here I marveled at how it would hold out. “Man, that is some hearty tree!” Not so much. Two years ago we had a major clog in the main drain pipe from the house, the big pipe in the basement that sends everything out to the sewer. I’ll spare you the details but I will say this. Richie, my plumber, earned every penny we paid him that day and then some. It was dirty work and he did it with good humor and professionalism. Well, as professional as a guy can look with shitty water up to his elbows.


Shitty plumber. Not to be confused with shit covered plumber.

Richie found tree roots in the pipe, cleaned them out, took my check, and went directly to his in-home decontamination station. He explained to me that the neighbor’s tree was rooting its way into that sewage pipe. He educated me as to benefits of something called Root Kill. Pour the stuff down the john every spring and fall and viola! no more crappy laundry room! The stuff costs about $9 a bottle. Seriously? Most homeowners would pay a lot more than that. Thank God it’s sold at hardware store and not Nieman-Marcus!


“Let’s see…Coach bag, Chloe boots, Root Kill. Apple-tini time!”

Mystery solved. The relative warmth from the sewage pipe running under that tree keeps it green longer than any other tree in the Commonwealth. Just my luck. If these leaves fell any later I’d be hiring Santa’s elves to do the raking. But as long as the Root Kill works its magic, I won’t be paying Richie to disinfect the place again any time soon.

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito

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One Response

  1. HA HA! If it makes you feel any better, we hope to move next year so the tree will be ALL yours! LOL

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