Cutting Corners = A Black Hole

A fun story but, at the time, I would rather have not been there..

Why hire professional landscapers when you can just do it yourself?

We were two weekends deep into raking, macheteing and whacking the seller's HUGE backyard. With only about a week left till the house was set to hit the market.

I'm standing on the front porch adjusting a potted plant into the perfect position when I hear liquid behind me...

I turn around and see the seller pouring gasoline over a hill of shredded yard debris..

"What are you doing?"

"It's goin' down dude!"

"You're gonna burn that whole pile of yard debris?"


"That's gonna cause a whole lot of smoke man"

"It'll be fine, we do it like this on the island all the time brah"

He loves Hawaii.

The fire was lit.

10 Minutes later, the block becomes mysteriously busy with cars driving by..

Two boys on bikes, not more than 13 years old, show up and say "There's a crowd of people coming man, somebody called the cops. You guys are in trouble."

The seller realizes that the pressure cleaner is out of fuel and decides to walk over a near-by convenient store for more fuel.

Shortly after his departure, the Fire Department arrives.

I'm still standing on the front porch of the house. Alone.

"Hello officer"

"I'm not a cop"


"What's going on here?"

"Oh, the owner of the property decided to burn the yard debris instead of getting a truck to come out and pick it up..."

"Ok. First of all, you can't do that. If you were to do that, the largest it can be is 4X4 and it has to have a concrete barrier and has to be less that 12 inches tall. This pile here is about 10X12 and about 5 feet tall..."

"You know, know I'm sorry, he must not have known..."

"We're gonna have to put this out."


"Is he here?"

"No, he left just a few minutes ago to get more fuel for the pressure washer.."

They pulled out the hose and thickened the carpet of smoke that filled the neighborhood as they extinguished the fire. The firefighter* approached me with a small piece of paper..

"We won't fine you this time but we'll leave you with a warning because you didn't know but now you do."


As he is getting back in his truck, the seller appears..

On a positive note, this can be seen as a marketing advantage considering the amount of attention drawn to the house. Although, I don't think associating smoke and fire to a house draws the right buyer...

Additionally, after moving the left-over residue, a huge black circle was stained onto the ground of the front yard.

Cutting corners = The Black Hole

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