Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Interrogation

Nagging Voice: “Do you remember what your garden looked like when you first bought your house?”

Self: “Uhuh”

Nagging Voice: “It required some cleaning up, didn’t it?”

Self [eyes wide]:Some cleaning up? Now there’s an understatement. It was a holy mess! I don’t know how many yard waste bags I filled up. I thought I’d never finish removing unwanted and overgrown bushes, trees and plants”

Nagging Voice: “What about weeds?”

Self [cringing]: “Don’t even go there. It was like a war. By the time I was finished battling with the weeds, I was ready to drop”

Nagging Voice [getting louder]: “And after you were finally done weeding, did we discuss mulching?”

Self [squinted eyes; suspicious now]: “Why are you asking me all these questions?”

Nagging Voice: “Just answer the question. Did we or did we not discuss mulching?”

Self: “Yes, we did. So what?”

Nagging Voice: “And did you decide you would mulch this year or not?”

Self [realizing this is a trap]: “I don’t remember”

Nagging Voice: “You’re lying!”

Self [upset]: “Alright, alright. I decided I would not mulch this year; that I’d remove the weeds by hand regularly to keep them at bay”

Nagging Voice: “And did you?”

Self: “Of course I did! Hey, what are you implying? That I don’t take care of my garden? I’ll have you know that I’m out there every single day removing weeds and taking care of garden business”

Nagging Voice [produces photo]: “Do you recognize these photos?”

Self: “Absolutely. These are the ‘before pictures’ of one of the most difficult areas in the backyard that I had to clean up. Quite a mess, huh?”

Nagging Voice [shows another set of photos]: “What about these two pictures?”

Self [looking pleased]: “These photos depict the transition of the area as I cleaned up. Pretty impressive, huh?”

Nagging Voice: “And you kept up with the weeding in this area?”

Self [annoyed]: “Yeah, I did”

Nagging Voice [whips out one last set of photos dramatically]: “So how do you explain all THIS?”

Self [gasps]: “Where did you get these?”

Nagging Voice [shines a bright, blinding strobe light on self's face]: “Let me ask you again? Did you keep up with the weeding in this area?”

Self [mumbles]: “Sometimes”

Nagging Voice: “What? I can’t hear you”

Self: “I said sometimes”

Nagging Voice: “How often? Every 2 days? Three days? Once a week?”

Self: “I don’t know. Maybe every three days”

Nagging Voice: “Three days, huh? And it became this weed-infested in three days?”

Self [sweating]: “Hey, I don’t know okay. I did what I had to do. Maybe it was the backyard critters that did something to sabotage my work. Yeah, that’s it. It was probably the squirrels. They like to bury things and whatever they buried probably sprouted”

Nagging Voice: “The squirrels? Maybe I should bring the squirrels in to be interviewed”

Self: “What? No, don’t do that! They didn’t mean any harm; they didn’t know what they were doing. You know, they’re just trying to stash food for the winter”

Nagging Voice [pounds the table with fist]: “Why don’t you just tell the truth instead of blaming innocent squirrels?”

Self [cracks under pressure]: “Okay, you caught me! I confess! I got lazy and didn’t bother with that area for a couple of weeks. Maybe more”

Self drops head in hands and sobs hysterically.

Nagging Voice: “You know that you’re going to have to go out there and clean it up all over again”

Self [still sobbing]: “I know. It’s going to take hours...”

Nagging Voice: “So what do you think about mulching now?”

Self [swallows hard because pride is tough to swallow]: “I should have listened to you the first time and mulched after the initial cleanup”

Nagging Voice [sounding smug]: “Well, I hate to say it but I told you so

Self [sighs]


  1. Oh my goodness, Martha, you had me laughing out loud with this one---so funny! At the same time, I was wincing a little in recognition that...ummm...maybe, just maybe...I might sort of recognize myself in this. Darn it, you just can't turn your back for a second before those weeds start sprouting and growing like...ummm...weeds! I like to blame it on all this rain we've been having. And you know how it is, when it's raining, how can you pull weeds? :-)

  2. Thanks Beth; I'm glad you enjoyed it. I had fun writing it. My sense of humour will help me deal with with this massive (second time around) weeding job. Or else I'd go nuts. I did slack in this area, I admit, but since nothing is being planted there until the spring, I guess I didn't bother with it. But I didn't think the weeds would invade to that extent!

  3. Awwww, I feel your pain. My weeds are rather out of control too, and it's nothin' but neglect on my part. I rationalize it daily, and of course SWEAR to do better next year. Top dressing with compost worked really well for me, just spreading a three inch thick layer (or more) all over the place acts as mulch and the weeds that do show up are super easy to pull. We can do it! Next year...

  4. You are hysterical! I love it!
    I know, it does seem like such a hopeless task, doesn't it?
    Are your children gardeners in the making? Weeding is a great job for kiddies. ;) I know that's all I did in my garden when I was growing up!

  5. Tatiana, I spent a whole afternoon (again!) trying to clean up this area (again!). My fault... And you're right, it's neglect. I should have paid more attention to that area. Next year I'll do better. No really, I mean it...:)

    Pale gardener, it does seem like a hopeless task! My kids don't garden. They don't even show an interest yet. I was very much like that when I was young and now I'm in love with all the outdoor stuff. So maybe the horticultural genes that I've passed on to them are just dormant for now...LOL