The Haven
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The Haven

Forget Airbnb…My Hammock is for Rent

Hey, vacationers, are you looking for some reasonably priced sleeping accommodations this summer? Somewhere to lay your head without fear that nasty COVID-19 germs are festering beneath you? A place where you can peacefully slumber as long as you’re up by 5:30 a.m. to avoid getting drenched by an underground sprinkler system?

If so, then look no further. My hammock awaits.

I began envisioning my backyard slumbering sling as a source of income after stumbling on Swimply, an online marketplace for the swimming pool industry. Taking a page from the Airbnb business model, pool owners can list their private watering holes on Swimply and then pray they didn’t inadvertently rent the pool to a group of frat bros looking to recreate the Spring Break trip that was cancelled due to coronavirus.

My next-door neighbor has a wonderful pool, and I have two other neighbors with pools in various states of construction. I have alerted all of them to Swimply but also mentioned that I should still be allowed to swim in their pools for free. That’s the neighborly thing to do, right?

Meanwhile, fearful of becoming known throughout the neighborhood as “the guy without the pool,” I decided I needed to justify why I don’t have a construction crew digging a 10-foot hole in my backyard. Now I need only point to the hammock. Since receiving it for Father’s Day many years ago, my hammock has been the source of unbridled pleasure. And naps. The hammock is that dangling carrot that awaits me after mowing my lawn in sweltering heat. I’ve devoured books, snacks and assorted beverages while lounging in it. My children, when they were younger, would climb on and look at the stars with me. I’ve tried coaxing my dog onto it but eventually realized dogs don’t like to sway while sleeping. Their loss.

Now I’m ready to share my paradise with strangers. I even have a name for this venture: DYNAMIC HAMMOCK! OK, “dynamic” may be overstating a flowered piece of canvas hooked on a slightly rusting metal frame but it’s catchy, right?

Dynamic Hammock is available to anyone providing you abide by one rule: You must prove you know the correct pronunciation of hammock. It’s HAM-mick, not ham-MOCK. Pronouncing it incorrectly will get you banned from my yard.

But, once I approve of your diction, you are free to use the hammock however you please. My backyard is free of trees, hence the aforementioned metal frame that holds the hammock in place; but that’s advantageous because now your sleeping quarters are mobile. Move the hammock closer to my outdoor speakers and let Simon and Garfunkel or Steely Dan lull you to sleep. Or move it closer to my neighbor’s speakers and let Aerosmith keep you up most of the night.

I will provide a pillow, bedsheet and blanket. Oh, and also insect repellant. My yard is not normally a mosquito paradise, but they have been known to appear in force, depending on weather conditions. Please don’t give me a poor rating should you get eaten alive. Remember, I did supply the insect repellant.

I should also probably mention that an occasional coyote has wandered into my yard. This shouldn’t be an issue because, from what I’ve read, human flesh is not a staple of a coyote’s diet. But anything you order from Uber Eats might be, so just use the same judgment campers are supposed to use when they know grizzly bears are in the area.

The checkout process is remarkably easy. No need to return a key, strip the bed or tidy up the kitchen. Just leave. Preferably before noon so I have time to throw the fabric into the wash in preparation for the next guest. Thanks for staying at Dynamic Hammock.

Oh, one more thing. There’s no bathroom in my backyard. But my neighbor with the pool has one. I’ll let you two work something out.

Greg Schwem is a business humorist, motivational corporate comedian, corporate emcee, nationally syndicated humor columnist for Tribune Content Agency and creator of the web series, “A Comedian Crashes Your Pad,” now streaming on e360tv. Greg has stayed in a hammock as part of the series.



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Greg Schwem

Greg Schwem

Business humor keynote speaker and MC. TV host, “A Comedian Crashes Your Pad (I’ll sleep w anybody!) Nationally syndicated humor columnist, Tribune Co.