The roach­es back at the Vault were ENORMOUS! I hatd them PLENTY back then, I'm cer­tain­ly not a fan of them now that they can KILL ME. WFT, science?

Codswroth and I took out some HOUSEFLIES that were the­size of myy TORSO. It took both of us and half a 10mm mag­a­zine to take them down. That's NOT a frig­gin' HOUSEFLY. I said as mcuh to Codsworth.

"I belive they are called 'bloat­flies' in the ver­nac­u­lar, sir."

Bloat­flies? BLOATFLIES?

I fell down and laughed for 15 minutes.

Right there on Max Johnson's front lawn, WHEEZING at the cara­pace of a dis­gust­ing 3‑foot housefly.

I didn't know a robot could look awk­ward, but Codsworth did not dis­ap­point. He just hov­ered near­by, ocas­sion­al­ly asked me if I wojuodn't be more com­fort­ablt stand­ing up, or if I wouldn't care for a glass of water or an aspirin. I just laughed harder.

Because this was Max's "prize-win­ning lawn" that he was SO PROUD OF, all dried up and full of weeds and now also a giant dead bug. OH NO! There goes the neighborhood!

He was the pres­i­dent of the HOA. He MADE UP the prize. Jesus.

Oh, Max. You made me a bet­ter person.

Not BECAUSE of you. You were a crotch­ety old ass­hole. I became a bet­ter per­son in SPITE of you.

I under­stood crotch­ety old *MILITARY* ass­holes. I'd grown up with one. Hell, I WAS one. But I had no idea how to deal with NEXT-DOOR ass­holes. You were a whole new breed of ass­hole I had to learn.

When you tried to offer me some "help­ful" advice that MAYBE my lawn wasn't up to par with the rest of the block, and I'd be wel­come to come by and ogle your won­der­ful, hand-trimmed lawn, I laughed at you and told you I'd rather be stuck on Mass Turn­pike at 5:00 after eat­ing an entire pan of bran muffins. You fumed and stalked away.

I felt bad. In your own crotch­ety, ass­hole way you were try­ing to give me some advice–namely that my lawn sucked and that you were going to fine me if I didn't do some­thing about it. This was your inter­pre­ta­tion of "help thy neigh­bor." Gee...thanks?

So I sucked up my pride and went to apol­o­gize. I brought you cook­ies (EXTRA BRAN, ass­hole). And I ogled your AMAZING lawn, and lis­tend to your pre-script­ed lec­ture on the best lawn care products.

Because, DESPITE IT ALL–despite that Nora was on manda­to­ry bedrest from almost los­ing the baby, despite my arm still being in a sling from the surgery, despite that I hadn't slept a full night in over 2 years, and despite that every one of you MOTHERFUCKERS KNEW ALL THIS, because we had become the favorite gos­sip of the neigh­bor­hood, it was STILL not worth you being pissed off at me for the resst of for­ev­er because my lawn wasn't less than 2 inch­es high and the per­fect shade of green.

Which is why we got Codsworth in the first place. To help us because we could bare­ly help ourselves.

The Army taught me how to make war with our most dan­ger­ous ene­mies. But you, Max, taught me how to make peace with my every­day ones. You can­tan­ker­ous, self-right­eous prick.

So thanks, Max. I got 99 prob­lems right now and a lawn ain't one. But because of you, I still have one friend left in the world.


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