always put salt in your eye

January 10, 2012

We're determined to turn our backyard into something delightful, a painfully drawn out process which I throw myself into with vigor each spring and by mid-summer completely abandon.

Spring: Okay, we'll move this tree over here and plant grasses, and I'll line the edge of the garden with recycled stones.

Summer: Hey! There's a beer can in the yard. Who did that! The nerve!

Fall: There's that beer can, still sitting in the yard. Huh.

Winter: Oh look, it snowed on the beer can.

Spring again: Hey, I'll pick up that beer can! And let's put in a fountain!

Our outdoor space has improved gradually each year, one project here, one project there, despite my attempts at self-sabotage. I'm open to yard suggestions and inspiration, so often I'll be driving along and there they are, other people's nice plants. Except instead of thinking, They have a lovely yard, I bet we could do something like that, I find myself thinking, I could come back in the night and dig those up. Yeah. I could, because I can't stop thinking about stealing other people's plants.

I asked Jon about it one time, after it occurred to me that this might not be a normal thing to think about pretty much all the time. As we were stopped at a red light I pointed vaguely out the window, "Do you think we could come back after dark and take that tree?"


"You know, just dig it up and take it home."


"They probably wouldn't even notice. And there, look at those bushes. They're in the median! That means they're free."

"No it doesn't."

"Nothing's stopping us from just digging those up and walking off."

"I'm pretty sure that's stealing."

"Who's going to question us? If we put on some gardening gear no one would even look twice, because who just stands around digging up plants for nefarious purposes in broad daylight? No one."

"Look, I will BUY you some plants."

"I don't want to BUY plants, I want to take them."

"I'm done talking to you."

It's probably not advisable to take things from private property, which is fine, but then we were driving along last night and happened to park directly next to this:

The universe is speaking to me, and I think it's saying take all the plants. That right there looks like fair game, ripe for the picking. It's just sitting there on the sidewalk asking to be carried away. It's not even in someone's yard. If you saw a delicious looking treat sitting on the sidewalk alone you would know that means it is free. Like dogs. See? Same difference.

It's calling out, Hey, I'm not even planted in the ground. Someone, please love me, and that person could so be me. I love trees! I would buy it a flowers and treat it real nice, candles, bubble bath, loam, water, the whole four and a half yards. Besides, who leaves a tree on the sidewalk like that after dark? PEOPLE WHO WANT IT TO BE STOLEN. ...I mean.... "rehomed." Yeah, that's what we're going to call it. That sounds so much less like a felony.

And then it happened again, because god hates me. Coincidentally, this was in the exact same neighborhood that always has the most deliciously stealable looking plants, the ones that are just sitting around like frosted cuppin' cakes in manicured yards, begging to be carried away. I have to grit my teeth every time I drive through there and look straight ahead. Those people have gardeners anyway, so there's no way they'll notice. If they really cared about their plants they would water them themselves. They're practically inhuman.

I'm coming back after dark with a shovel.
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