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Mullens: Modern conveniences and other iSigns of spring

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 9:29 p.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 9:35 p.m. CST

Today I saw my first crocus popping up after the long winter. It was in a picture a friend posted on Facebook. Suddenly, it seemed everyone was posting pictures of buds on trees, robins on the lawn, green shoots coming up in the garden. It was almost enough to make me go outside and take a look for myself.

But not quite. I’m only on level 156 of “Candy Crush,” and it may take me most of the year to get to the 560th level, where I will find total and complete understanding of the universe. Or become a vegetable.

Yes, spring is in the air, but my pollen filter catches most of it and scrubs it before I have to breathe it. I see other people posting pictures of themselves out of doors, pretending to enjoy the weather, and I wonder why they take the risk of going outside. Why risk getting stung by a bee or killed by a zombie or being hit by a meteorite when they could be inside playing “FarmVille” or growing a digital garden from the safety and comfort of their own basement? My weather app says it will be near 70 today, but they never tell you what the wind chill will be when the temperature goes above freezing. It may be 70 degrees on the thermometer, but it might “feel” like it’s 65. I don’t think that’s warm enough to go outside in my PJs.

Besides, if spring means anything, it means baseball. That’s right, it means the long wait for Fantasy Baseball is finally over. “Take me in to the ball game, don’t make me go to the park. Make me some pizza and Hot Pockets, ’cause I don’t care if I ever go out ...”

Why on earth would I leave the house to go to a real stadium when I can sit at home in my jammies and manage my own team? I never have a bad seat, and I’ve got my own personal concession stand only a few yards away. And the parking’s a breeze.

Spring, of course, is the time for me to start spring cleaning, or as Sue calls it, spring re-hoarding. She says I never actually throw anything away, I just put it in different places – which is not true at all. Why, only yesterday, I threw out a connecting cable to a computer I haven’t had for 15 years, a VCR, VHS tapes of things you can get anywhere on the Internet for free, and a box of unused floppy disks. I was happy to get rid of them; they were becoming a burden. Besides, I had to make room for a bunch of new stuff I bought on Amazon.

Of course, like everyone else, I have a case of spring fever – I’ve set the ringtone on my smartphone to chirp like baby birds, my screen saver is a picture of apple trees in blossom and I watch a lot of videos of half-naked, drunk college kids on Spring Break. Face it, who needs to relax more than a bunch of 20-year-old kids who get up at noon and can afford $50,000 a year to go to college? I mean, it’s not like they could possibly wait for the summer to do this.

Spring also means the first commercials for weed killers, lawn fertilizers and riding lawn mowers. I have to say that I have never fertilized my lawn, and it looks pretty healthy – at least the part I can see from my security cam. I think the neighbors’ dogs keep it pretty well fertilized. And it’s funny, I’ve never seen an ad for that particular kind of fertilizer.

Well, I’ve got to go. The weather’s so nice, I think I’ll play some computer golf.

• Contact Jim Mullen at JimMullenBooks.com

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