Humor by Mark Bazer
Medusa was back, and she was after my family.
Not the Gorgon from Greek mythology. She's been dead thousands of years.
Rather her namesake, the plant/monster that climbs up the side of a narrow archway at the entrance to our backyard and then coils above it in an unruly mass that warns outsiders: You are about to enter the home of people who have little to no control over their lives.
I don't blame Medusa alone for our state of affairs. I blame the entire plant kingdom.
If there's one thing I've learned since owning a small backyard full of weeds, many of which I'm sure are as yet unknown to horticulturalists, it's that I'd rather there were bears back there.
You can stop bears by chopping off their heads. Or, more cruelly, by naming an underperforming sports team after them so they slink away in shame.
But you can spend entire weekends in your yard hacking and yelling away at every protruding green thing. You can hire professional landscapers, even ones not secretly on your plants' payroll.
It doesn't matter. The protruding green things will return. It will end in tears. These tears will land on the protruding green things, causing them to grow more.
Sometimes the things aren't green. We have mushrooms in one corner of our backyard. They grow in a ring. It looks like a mushroom cult. I fear one day I'll return home to see they've convinced my impressionable young son to join them.
We also have a 3-foot-by-2-foot-and-growing ant colony where grass not so long ago was. My wife first tried all-natural remedies, which involved sprinkling on the colony many types of food that no ants in the world except the ones in our yard can tolerate. Now we still have ants but not much food.
We decided to bite the bullet and buy ant poison, which really should just be called "poison." The warning label on the packaging essentially tells you to wear a hazmat suit while applying, and makes you wonder if all the world leaders working to eliminate nuclear weapons are worried about the wrong thing.
Anyhow, I have been selected as the person in my family to administer the poison, but I am stalling until I reach an age I don't mind dying at.
But the protruding green things will always be the worst. They'll poke you, block you, swallow you. Joni Mitchell sang, "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot." Right now, a parking lot sounds like paradise.
People talk about becoming one with nature. The people who say that don't have yards.
When I'm out there, in 90-degree heat with the hazmat on, there's no oneness, no peace. I want to kill the plants. I pretend I hear them screaming as I bring my garden shears to their necks. My only regret is that they don't bleed.
But the last laugh is always on me. We gave Medusa a trim at the beginning of spring. She didn't see it as an act of kindness. A month later, she hadn't just grown back, she'd let herself hang down. When it rained, passing by Medusa to get to the garage was like walking through a car wash.
This past weekend, we went to Minnesota, hearing that people liked nature up there. Maybe the plants were kinder, we hoped. My in-laws, meanwhile, who had fled the Soviet Union, paid a visit to Medusa.
And they destroyed her.
I opened up the lawn bag containing her remains this morning. "I'm sorry," I said.
And I can swear she hissed, "Not as sorry as you will be a month from now."
- A Smashing Time That Was Good for Some
- Boy, Do We Like to Watch
- Please Don't Feed the Twins
- Parenting: Don't Think. It Can Only Hurt the Team
- Regrets. People Should Have a Few
- What I'll Miss About Bachelorhood
- Get That Nut Away From My Child!
- For the Love of the English Language
- It's Time to Win One for the Zipper
- Does Whatever a Lousy Title Can
- I Prefer My Preferences
- What Do You Do With a Gift Shop Gift
- Life and Religion
- The Action Pile
- Why I Hate Myself for Going to Starbucks
- Kicking the Bucket List
- The War of the Sandwiches
- In Praise of the Common Cold
- Nobody Wants a Bummer Ending
- The Anti-Social Network
- I Have Been Known to Save Things
- I'm King of the Burger!
- My Kids Have Weird Names, Too
- Get Off My Lawn
- Money for Nothing
- 50 Ways to Beat the Heat
- Things Not to Do Today
- Desire is a Terrible Disease
- Home, Sweet, Wet Home
- Bed-Buggin' Out
- I Want to Like Soccer
- New Jersey is the New Black
- I'm Not Looking Forward to 40
- Charity is Never Easy
- Is There an App for That?
- Paying Taxes is a Blast!
Humor & Funny Stories - Man Versus Plant | Diane Farr
Article: Copyright © Tribune Media Services