When to Say No to Gardening

thI never felt moved to garden. A weekly CSA full of carrots would be delicious, but why squander good money on compost when Andres and I pitch it from my room every day?

Madam, on the other hand, swoons when the spring seed catalogs arrive. Daffodils, mums, heirloom tomatoes – she sticks them the ground the minute she can chisel a hole in the dirt.

Armed with this information, I shouldn’t have been surprised when she asked Spruce and Yours Truly to help her tidy up last year’s garden beds.

“We’ll need to employ your Comfy Sundowner trailer for this undertaking,” she added. “All that moldy litter and leaves will never fit in the Subaru Outback.”

“Um, how about bagging the stuff and leaving it on the curb for Aspen Waste Management,” I suggested hopefully.

The idea of thawing rabbit poo and rotted hasta leaves joyriding in the Comfy Sundowner just felt wrong. And sharing space with random rodent carcasses did appeal to Spruce either.

So, with a bit of coaxing, Spruce and I agreed to help. We packed up our rakes, and Madam drove us to her home for a morning of garden prep.

Once we filled the Comfy Sundowner, she announced, “Okay boys, jump in. We’re off to the neighborhood compost site.”

Spruce tied a dishtowel over his muzzle—small protection against the Eau de Rodent fragrance. Fortunately the ride took just minutes, and Madam quickly pulled up to the nearest pile of rubble. We waited inside the trailer.

“What’s all that shouting,” whispered Spruce.

I stretched hard to get a look, just in time for a decayed tomato to smack the window. More shouts. “It’s coming from that red van,” I whispered back. “Can you see anything from your side?”

“Yup, I can see Madam pointing at a sign that says No Fighting or Bad Language Allowed. Violators Prosecuted.” A muddy cantaloupe ricochet off the trailer door as Madam yanked it open and jumped in, armed with a pitchfork.

“You boys don’t move,” she commanded. “I’m tossing this stuff right behind us and we’ll be out of here in a flash. “

The shouting continued. A woman bellowed at her boyfriend Frank. A guy named Billy threw a punch at a full-bodied fellow the next car over. A can of beer made it through the van driver’s open window. That’s when the foul language struck a high note.

Meanwhile, Madam shoved garden remains out the trailer door, slammed it shut, jumped in her Dodge Ram, and drove for home like her hair was on fire.

“What the heck was that about?” Spruce squeaked as we bounced over a curb. “I thought compost sites were friendly places where folks traded tips on planting sweet corn.”

“Hmm… I suppose that sign should have been our first clue,” I reasoned. “Wow, that woman had quite an arm to pitch a full can of beer through the driver’s window.”

“Yes, but do you think this will keep Madam from gardening this year?” Spruce croaked, wincing at the prospect of getting beaned by a Leinie’s pale ale.

“Not a chance,” I replied.




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