Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Growing Pains

I’ve been meaning to log some of the old growth weeds out in the side yard, and being male I welcome any excuse to fire up the chain saw.

I also haven’t seen the kids for a few days, and their machetes are missing, so I figure I better go have a look.

Which brings me to the actual topic of today’s column – “Failure to Thrive,” or “Gardening” as some people call it.

All weed evidence to the contrary, I find myself growing rather fond of the pastime. I’m also rather fond of my kidneys and the intriguing mole between my toes too mind you, but this is different somehow. I can actually see a long term relationship growing here (ha!) and I have some control over it, so I enjoy it. I have not yet been able to grow another kidney.

I’m also not at the stage where I know the Latin names for everything (well, anything) yet. The people who can do that (Obnoxium insufferabilia) have also been known to snort pure, uncut Miracle-Gro up their noses, so you have to be careful about who you garden with.

I just think its fun planting stuff and tending it, and by “tending” I mean “squirting water onto its general region.”

For some reason, my wife believes watering constitutes ‘Yard Work’ so I am not about to disabuse her of this notion any time soon. Watering is what I do. Gentlemen take note.

Watering is also good in that I get to practice my aerial gunnery on flying moths and other insects, who rarely know what hits them as I dive out of the sun, water guns blazing, engine shrieking as my Battle of Britain Squirtfire claims yet another victory!

Yes. Well…

There have been other moments of joy scattered amongst my many hours of bewilderment out there.

For example, the other day I was once again staring down at the Alien Infestation thing (Buttuglia thinkitsaweeden) and noticed for the first time that it was actually kind of pretty.

The Alien Infestation is an odd looking plant with tentacles and scales and it is really quite hideous. It looks like what might burst out of your chest after you’ve been impregnated by something obviously not of this world.

Every time I approach it with malice aforethought, my wife intercepts me and assures me that it is, in fact, a plant and not some disgusting Weed From Beyond.

She then replaces my hat (removed for a good Scratch and Ponder), steers me gently towards the overgrown side yard, and watches me mutter my way towards the day’s weed harvest.

Then there were some seeds the kids and I planted. We bought little envelopes (Packetphotoshoppia notactualsizeums yourresultsmayvaryens), actually read the instructions on the side, and did as we were told for a change.

The little pots were watered daily for many, many, many weeks.

We finally decided growthing or spurting or whatever was not going to happen, so we tilled the little cups of soil and seeds into the dirt beside one of the pathways in the yard. Where of course a single plant emerged, looking rather feisty, branches on hips, as if to say “Why didn’t you plant me here in the first place, Bozo?”

Lately though, despite all of my attention to this plant, it is thriving. Which I find quite annoying since I haven’t a clue what I am doing to produce such a result.

Now that I think about it, this perpetual state of cluelessness is reminding me too much of my real job. I may have to change occupations.

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