Flower bedThis is my flower bed (or will be once I actually plant some flowers).

DeckThis is my backyard deck (yes, hello, I know it needs refinishing).

LawnAnd this is my lawn (I mowed it yesterday, I swear).

Quick Quiz: What do all three of these have in common? If you answered, “They contain organic, carbon-based substances grown on Earth,” you’re wrong—the deck is coated in non-organic polyurethane (well, OK, it used to be). Also, thoseimage spiky little balls (did you notice them?) are not from Earth. They are the cell-pods of an attractive and otherwise harmless-looking alien vegetation called a Sweet Gum tree. Its perfidious pods are commonly referred to as “gum balls” or “spiky balls.” But their correct name is COVID 18.

Note the resemblance to their sister organism, commonly called “*%$#@!-ing virus!”

How to determine if you’ve been infected by COVID 18:

  • You can no longer actually see your yard: the cell-pods reproduce at the rate of eight hundred million pods pfm (per frickin’ minute).
  • When you step barefoot on one you spontaneously produce a series of sounds along the lines of “*%$#@!-ing pods!”
  • When you mow your lawn, the cell-pods, perceiving it as a direct attack, defend themselves by flying violently out from under your mower and striking you in the face, resulting in a distinctive red mark called an Ow-dammit!

Sweet gumball tree ornamentsThere is no cure for COVID 18, aka Spikyballyard Syndrome, but research continues. Some have tried selling them online as decorations, even as Christmas tree ornaments. But I doubt they will sell well this year.

COVID Christmas, anyone?

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, Humor and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Yardemic!

  1. ellie894 says:

    I have covid 18!!! I recognized it immediately in your photos. Good luck mowing. I’ve totally been there 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eliza Ayres says:

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal and commented:
    Hilarious. Sweetgum has wonderful autum foliage… but those spiky balls!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cyranny says:

    Do you know if wearing gloves and a mask can help? My front and back balconies haven’t been infected yet, but you got me worried now! (LOOOL)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. barbara runck says:

    Y0u made me laugh, something I have not done for awhile. Thank you Mitch

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Those little devils look even worse than our ubiquitous New Mexico goat head stickers. Ouch — our goat heads can puncture tires. But at least we don’t get nearly as many!

    Our massive white mulberry tree, on the other hand, whose leaves are the preferred food of silk worms — our front yard looks like a Worm Apocalypse Invasion every year, for at least two months. Oh, the horror of it all!

    Nature is a bad mother, sometimes…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Bob Martin says:

    Our house has also been attacked by the “*%$#@! monster. The gum balls it produces are the only organism for which science has found absolutely NO useful purpose.(They do provide a source of income for those we have to hire to remove them.)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Heidi Viars says:

    Maybe vaccinating the tree would help … with a chainsaw???

    Liked by 1 person

  8. trE says:

    We call them “Sticky birds.” Lol. I have no idea why, it’s what they’ve always been while I was growing up.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’ve always rather liked the sweet gum balls. Not anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Are those similar to the pods from Invasion of the Body Snatchers?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I used to think those things were right out of “Horton Hears a Who.” (ALMOST harmless, until I stepped on one on the pavement and went flying … )

    Liked by 2 people

  12. haha its good to laugh at times like this.. another great blog…

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Nancy Ruegg says:

    I used to feel sorry for us. Our neighbor’s massive oak tree produces thousands of acorns–some years more than others. The squirrels have a great time burying a good many of them, and then in the spring we have a yard full of baby oak trees. They look like weeds. But your sweet gum ball-problem far outweighs our yardemic of oak sprouts. You have my sympathy.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. anitashope says:

    They do make great crafts for children or in floral arrangements. But as many as each tree drops…well…you get over run quick.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I have a similar situation with a Black Walnut. The shells aren’t spiky but they produce a lot of black sap. The neighborhood squirrels LOVE the walnuts and leave the shards of chewed shells all over the place. Walking across the yard barefoot is like walking on knives. Raking them up does no good, they magically reappear! So, I totally understand!

    Liked by 3 people

  16. gregoryjoel says:

    Love it! I’d been trying to figure out what COVID-19 reminded me of. Now I see the family resemblance!

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Garfield Hug says:

    Hi Mitch thanks for this fun post and teaching me what these little spiky things are – from Gum trees! I saw these in Australia’s Kangaroo Island and no one there I knew could tell me what these little spiky balls were. Now I know! Thanks again!

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Eliza says:

    It made me smile
    I recognised the pods.
    We have some weird weed growing in our grass which is killing the grass:(
    Love, light and glitter

    Liked by 1 person

  19. 🤦🏽‍♀️At least the recovery from it is a bit quicker than its twisted sister’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. revruss1220 says:

    I HATE those! But I think you’re on to something. Spray paint them gold, tie a little red ribbon to the stem and BOOM! Instant Corona Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. boromax says:

    Great for creating a textured background for photo-art….

    Liked by 1 person

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