Sunday, August 21, 2011

Where the Wild Things Grow #GBE2

Today our hero Best Dad Evar is standing in the small, multicolored back lawn of his faded home, clutching a cheap hose with a plastic nozzle. Water shoots out in uneven fountains from the nozzle into a surprisingly lush garden nestled into the back corner of the yard, the kinks being so bad that occasionally they lessen or completely interrupt the water pressure. “Cheap piece of shit.” He exclaims, but not loudly, and despite his foul words he seems almost, dare we say it… content.

The familiar voice of the narrator quietly rises, as it typically does, when Best Dad is out of earshot of the rest of the family. “Best Dad, I’ve noticed that you have a number of…” he pauses, searching for the right term, “plants growing wild around your property.”
“You mean weeds?” Best Dad replies with a wry smile.
“Well yes, those, too. But you also have a number of flowering plants and even vegetables sprouting up in odd places.”
“Ah, yes, our volunteers.”
“That’s what we call plants that we end up liking that we didn’t actively plant ourselves. We have a bunch of them. We have flowers: our lilies and our four o’clocks. Our mint, too. Did you know that fresh mint makes a very tasty tea?”
“I hear it grows like a weed.”
“Yeah, it does, but it’s manageable.” Best Dad says. For once he doesn’t seem annoyed by what could be a very vexing problem.

“What about this pumpkin plant coming out of your flower patch?”
“Oh, that’s actually transplanted from my compost. So not a volunteer, but pretty cool anyway. We’re going to get three pumpkins out of that plant!” He’s proud, it’s obvious.
Suddenly, a commotion can be heard from inside the house. Screams and the pounding of footsteps can clearly be heard even outside in the yard. Best Dad doesn’t move. The narrator asks curiously, “Um, shouldn’t you check on what’s going on in there?”
Best Dad sighs deeply. “Yeah.” He walks over to turn off the hose. Clearly he doesn’t think the commotion is an emergency. “I’ll be back in five minutes.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah. Ten tops.”

A whirlwind is passing through the home, carrying with it presents and sweets. The children are jumping up and down and shouting, and it’s now apparent that these are gleeful shouts. Best Dad and his wife are briskly whisking toys and laundry off of the floor and the furniture, but are failing in their attempt to make the home presentable for their guest. As quickly as it arrives, the whirlwind is gone again only minutes later, leaving the children huffing and puffing as they come down from their sugar highs, and the parents slumped against the kitchen counters, shaking their bemused heads almost in unison. Best Dad rolls his eyes and returns to the back yard and his hose.
“Best Dad, what was that?!” the narrator asks with high-pitched alarm.
“That,” he pauses, gathering his breath, “was my brother.”
“Did you know he was coming?”
“Of course not, we never know when he’s coming. We never even know when he’s going to be in the country!”
“Surely you’re exaggerating.”
Best Dad chuckles softly. “You’re right, we know when he’s arriving in the country, because he always needs a ride from the airport.”

“Does he always stir everything up like that when he comes?”
“It’s just his way. The kids love him, of course. He’s fun. He plays with them. He’s loud and boisterous, which, let’s face it, kids find irresistible.”
“But he always seems to leave the grown-ups perturbed.”
“Yeah, well, he’s a shit-disturber. He can’t help but mention some complaint or gossip whenever he visits.”
“What was it this time?”

“He has a favor to ask.”
“That doesn’t seem like much. What was the favor?”
“Well, he couldn’t just come out and ask me the favor, could he?”
“No, he says ‘I’ve got a favor to ask, and it’s kind of a big one.’”
“And then?”
“Then he says, ‘But I don’t want to bother you with it right now. I can see you guys are busy. We’ll talk about it later.’”
“What did you say?”
“I said, ‘Why wait, just ask me?’ But he was already heading out the door and he pretended not to hear me.”
“So you’re left speculating and worrying about how big a favor it could be.”
“Exactly. See what I mean? Shit-disturber!”
“Well, it could be worse.”
“Really, how?”
“Well, uh, I don’t know. It was just something to say.”
“Yeah,” Best Dad says with a smirk and a shake of his bald head. His watering complete, he tosses the hose loosely onto the lawn and looks longingly at his pumpkins, as if wishing everything in life could be so productively simple.


humor after 50 said...

I enjoyed this...thanks...I can relate..I have relatives like this as well. Gotta love 'em.

Paula Martin said...

Great little story, really enjoyed it. Love the idea of the 'volunteers'!

Anonymous said...

Now I want to know that the favor is. Shit-disturber is right!

Darlene ~Bloggity Blogger~ said...

LOL...I love your blogs!!! So down to earth and poking fun at the mundane.... Great post!!!

Kathy29156 said...

Ha ha!! We have some volunteer tomatoes that have came up in our garden this year. The best was those pesky little shit disturbers. Ha!! Great post!


Jo said...

Again, you made me smile and shake my head in the affirmative. Don't we all have one of those relatives? Loved it.