The Patriot

“The mower moved so fast that it seemed to hover and basically did all the work for you. But still, I managed to work up a sweat while riding it, which caused me to take off my shirt, which got me into some trouble with my neighbors, my male neighbors (no women mowed lawns in Camelot; in this way we were like the Muslims), who all wore big, padded recording-style-type headphones while they mowed, and also, huge floppy hats and safety goggles and heavy-duty gardening gloves and long-sleeved oxford shirts and paint-spattered khaki pants tucked into the top of work boots. Except for tiny swatches of upper cheek and neck, there was no skin visible on them at all. My barechestedness ran counter to some unwritten subdivision behavioral code and had earned me some hard, disgusted stares from my neighbors. Every Saturday I reminded myself to remain fully clothed, but once I started sweating I could never remember to keep the shirt on and in this way fell into my own little unintentional piece of rebellion. I was like the patriot who kept forgetting not to dump the king’s tea into the harbor.”

– Brock Clarke, An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England

3 thoughts on “The Patriot

  1. Tom says:

    A fine piece of writing! Perfect for my morning procrastination. Bless you Gather Round Children

  2. Jeff says:


    If we could only have more. My morning procrastination has ben lacking some these days. Any ideas?

  3. Jeff,
    Many people have found that the best way to beat the morning blues is to print out Gather Round Children fliers on your office’s color copier and then go to the nearest grocery store parking lot and attach them to windshields. That way you have fun, get out of the office, and atone for your many transgressions (see “Count Your Sins” on GRC Best of Improv).

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