May 25, 2004

My Brush With Crazy


I have seen crazy, for he is a gardener. We’ve got a front yard that’s not in such great shape. Because of that, we decided we’d hire a professional to come out and take a look, let us know what could be done. Draw up a plan. He came today. It was a surreal experience. Look away if you’re easily scared.

First off, let me describe this guy who we’ll call Mr. Perch. Mr. Perch is about six feet tall and has longish brown hair that’s longish because he just hasn’t gotten a haircut since, well, 2002. He’s got a sparse mustache, bad teeth and wears thick glasses which went out of style much earlier than he last cut aforementioned hair. He was outfitted in a button down Hawaiian shirt, corduroy shorts, dress socks and loafers. Around his waist, he carried a tool belt, a cell phone and various writing and measuring implements. Mr. Perch doesn’t make eye contact or if he does its completely by accident. Instead he stares in the opposite direction of the person to whom he’s addressing. He’s got a laugh that, despite the fact I’ve never met one, I bet rivals even the craziest of serial killers. He stinks of sweat, has terrible breath and makes this constant choking sound that’s very uncomfortable to listen to.

Mr. Perch arrived at 4:30. He just left. For the record, its 7:30. To say that Mr. Perch works slowly is a slight understatement. The onset of the Ice Age would truly test Mr. Perch’s speed and endurance, as a matter of fact. And the conversation, what there was of it, was truly frightening. I give you the following example.

What I heard (and keep in mind I’m no gardener so I may have made up some of the plant names):

We plant these here, these here because they like the sun, the sun. I think it measured five by seven by seven by seven by seven by eight, eight, five, eight, five and eight, five by seven. Yes it measured five by seven which makes it okay to plant the Stella D’Oro Breadsticks right here because they like sun. They’re so pretty. Yes they’re so so pretty. Hi kitty cat! Oh your phone is ringing. You’re not going to answer it? Who is it that you don’t want to answer it? One of those ‘out of area’ calls then, is it. If we plant these Sub-periodontal Geraniums you’ll be happy, so happy with the flowers because they bloom from now, well, not exactly now because I haven’t planted them yet have I? But if they were in the ground now then they’d be blooming all these pretty, oh so pretty, purple and white and pink flowers until, oh, around Labor Day. Then the Urethra Majora would start to bloom with its chocolate colored leaves against the white of the bloom. Oh my. I think I’d use nine, nine, nine, ten, nine, nine, uh, three in this space here, do you see? When does your wife get home? Or is she one of those people who works all kinds of crazy hours and your name is short for Christopher, right? I can spell that. Let’s see. C-H-R-I-S-T-O-P-H-E-R. Correct? Right. If I had slave labor in China I’d sure make me some of them plastic trees because people with yards that are so small always want these really tall trees that aren’t at all wide. Yes sir, if I could get some slave labor and get those puppies on the production line, I’d find myself a wealthy man.

Here’s what I was thinking:

I’m going to die in my kitchen. Christ! He can see the knife block. I’m a dead man. I’m going to be killed by a gardener turned serial killer. A smelly gardener turned serial killer at that. If Beth comes home now, I’m just going to tell her to run. We should have worked out some sort of covert signal for times like this. Well, not exactly like this. I mean, how often is this going to happen? Hopefully, not often. And what, precisely, is that smell? My god, its him. He is a landscape guy after all. I mean, he’s probably been outside all day. But if he spends so damn much time outside, what’s he been doing in my kitchen for, oh, two hours? He’s a three name guy too. Like John Wayne Gacy…Henry Lee Lucas…Charles Nelson Reiley…oh, wait. Damnit. I’m going to die in my kitchen.

For the record, I did not die in my kitchen. I was not slain. But I’m not making any of this shit up. Ask my wife. She got to witness the last few painful minutes of this experience. She’s got my back. This does not mean we’re safe, however. I’m positive that one day, I’m going to open the Washington Post and find a headline that sends ripples down my spine. I’m thinking, “Green Thumb Killer Nabbed. Investigation Blossoms.” And I do have some sort of proof. I snapped this while he wasn’t looking.

Posted by Chris at May 25, 2004 8:24 PM

I wonder if he's related to my Scary Spa Guy who I just blogged about?

Posted by: Martha at May 25, 2004 8:29 PM

Oh Chris I am so relieved that you are still alive see I am babbling with joy and relief.
Now you and Beth just hug each other for a while, 'k? *shiver* That was some scary ass shit you just laid down.

But actually it was also hilarious. Oh god. Please sir can I have another? Hurts so good.

Posted by: jilbur at May 25, 2004 8:47 PM

Oh. My. God. That's too scary/funny/sad (sad for Mr. Perch, that is) and many other adjectives I just can't come up with right now. {Making a mental note that if I ever hire a professional gardener and he looks like that to run immediatey.}

Posted by: Lisa La Chance at May 25, 2004 10:01 PM

"Yes they’re so so pretty..."

Thanks. I'll be hearing that in my sleep now.

Posted by: Jay at May 25, 2004 10:22 PM

that picture...oh my. lol. i'm so, so sorry for what happened to you! (and yet i'm that bad? lol)

Posted by: tiffanie at May 25, 2004 10:44 PM

You know, the sad truth is that he's probably the best landscaper that you could ever hire. Of course I wasn't there for the whole experience, but some weird people are actually really great at what they do. I assume that you found him through some kind of semi-reputable source or through a recommendation from someone else?

Cute dining room, by the way. :)

Posted by: Zandria at May 25, 2004 11:01 PM

That is the funniest post I have ever read. EVER. Thanks for sharing it.

Posted by: New Jan Brady at May 25, 2004 11:51 PM

Oh Lord. Crazy-ass shit, yo. Oy.

You know what he reminds me of? Lucky's monologue in 'Waiting for Godot'. Lots of words, all of which you know what they mean, but for some reason when he puts them together? You have noooo idea what he's talking about. And he just keeps going and going and going and going and oh god make it stop!

Very glad to see you didn't die in your kitchen. Next time? Keep his ass outside, yo.

Posted by: Dawnie at May 26, 2004 2:31 AM

Woah. Ok I read along hs convo thinking "he could just be very nosey and talkative," until he started SPELLING YOUR NAME. It all went downhill from there. Really creepy.

LMAO "Urethra Majora"

Posted by: Tjej at May 26, 2004 3:48 AM

"Hi kitty cat! Oh your phone is ringing. You’re not going to answer it? Who is it that you don’t want to answer it? One of those ‘out of area’ calls then, is it."

All I can say is, if you ever don't pick up one of his calls, you'd better be packing your freaking bags. He will come down and use nine, nine, nine, ten, nine, nine, uh, three right upside your head. And then he'd plant you and your wife where you could enjoy the sun, the sun, and the Sub-periodontal Geraniums will be blooming all these pretty, oh so pretty, purple and white and pink flowers until, oh, around Labor Day.

Posted by: at May 26, 2004 4:15 AM

Oh, and that last comment? Was me. I'd cleared my cookies! Well, not literally, though I have to say I am still a little shaky from your post.

And yes, come up with a signal, please. Definitely. In Mad About You, when they wanted to be rescued from a bore, they ran their fingers through their hair. Maybe when anticipating a psychotic break, you could grab yours and hold it straight out from your head.

Posted by: Mindy at May 26, 2004 4:23 AM

Yikes! When you described him he sounded like the garage guy from the movie U-Turn.

I'm glad you survived it! :)

Hi kitty!

Posted by: Sweety at May 26, 2004 6:59 AM

I probably would have had a stroke right there. Did you at least keep your phone in your hand for fast access to 911. I tend to think just about everybody that shows up to our home is a serial killer.

'Course the last time we had someone out to give us an estimate on roof repair he looked quite similar to your description of the landscaper and showed up in cowboy boots to walk on my roof. Asked me if I had a ladder. He looked like a light wind would knock him off the roof. I refused to give him our ladder and didn't even open the door to him -I talked to him through the kitchen window. He looked not unlike Manson, only more disheveled.

Posted by: HR Lady at May 26, 2004 7:23 AM

Ho-kay, that dude is very scary. I can't believe you don't have a signal! You have to have one to be rescued from scary/crazy/psycho people who wish to converse with you. But I guess since Mrs. Cactus didn't get to see the whole thing, she wasn't there to rescue you. Better luck next time.

Posted by: Oliquig at May 26, 2004 8:00 AM

Oh man. I was giggling through the entire gardener monologue. I have to admit it - I'm still like a kid in 2nd grade who cracks up at 'naughty words'. Urethera majora. Sending me into gales of laughter again. I've got to admit it. I'm 30 now, and I'm still not mature.

Posted by: Kelly at May 26, 2004 8:16 AM

Oh. Shit. I think I just died just died oh laughing. Hee. That is some funny/scary/crazy shit. You can't tell me he's not related to Scary Spa Guy. For some reason, as I was reading I was imagining Boo Radley standing in your kitchen.

Posted by: Fraulein N at May 26, 2004 9:07 AM

hah....sounds like your average joe at any sci-fi convention. :)

Posted by: beck at May 26, 2004 10:05 AM

love the dining room!

oh, and great story :) scary men like this is why it sucks to be a single woman living alone.

Posted by: laura at May 26, 2004 10:10 AM

I trust Urethra Major wasn't a real plant? Makes you wonder what it would look like if it was, though. :P

But was he really that scary? He seems more cooky to me, like the kind of guy you keep talking to just to hear what comes out of their mouth next. "They're so pretty..." doesn't sound nearly as unnerving as "Hello Clarice" or "Oompa Loompa".

Posted by: Chrissy at May 26, 2004 11:31 AM

He just wanted to pet the rabbits. He loves to pet the rabbits. Sometimes he pets the rabbits too hard, but that's just because he loves the rabbits.

(I'm assuming he won't be coming back to put his pretty, pretty plan into action?)

Posted by: Amalah at May 26, 2004 12:40 PM

So, uh, what's going to happen to your yard?

Posted by: Nicole at May 26, 2004 1:40 PM

My Urethra Majora hasnt bloomed yet, WTF was he talking about?

Never Ever Ever Hire anyone for anything ever with three names - the odds are just NOT in your favor with that.

Let us know what signal you and beth decide on. I'm thinking something along the lines of "RUN BETH RUN, THIS MOTHEREFFER IS GOING TO MUTILATE US!!!", you know - subtetly is the key.

Posted by: Zoot at May 26, 2004 4:46 PM

This guy must be related to the exterminator that I use, "Bob The Bug-Wrangler" I call him. Put a flannel shirt, cowboy boots, spurs, and a ten-gallon hat on your gardener and you have described him physically. What scares me about Bob, though, is that he is way too heavy on the formal Texas-style politeness."Yes m'am , no ma'm"...interspersed with detailed descriptions of Auschwitz-esque insecticide applications, with a sparkle in his eyes,(which are enlarged by the bottle-bottom horn-rim glasses he wears).

Posted by: Geezitron at May 26, 2004 5:58 PM

I couldn't imagine even being in that type of situation. Scary, but sad that I'm giggling about this. I think Mr. Perch needs to stay out of the sun for a long time. Find a nice, dim padded room to chill for awhile.

I don't even like to open the door when the maint. man stops by unexpectedly as military housing maint. men often do when the husband is away. For some odd reason. Ya, that creeps me out.

Posted by: Amber at May 27, 2004 2:05 AM

LOL!!! Creepy, attack of the hippy gardner.

Posted by: T at May 27, 2004 12:18 PM

Know what I think is so hilarious? When he was talking to you... you KNEW you were gonna blog it, and lol you took a picture of him! Uh, he looks like Steve Erwin from where I'm sitting, and he sounds like Rainman with the numbers.

Posted by: Cammie at May 27, 2004 6:51 PM

You know what's really, really weird? I've got that same rug.

Posted by: Iki at May 29, 2004 12:46 PM