July 18, 2013
Ten 'Til Ten (Part 1)
On August 1st, Rude Cactus will turn ten. Yes. I know. I've been doing this for ten years. For the record, that's 11,883 posts, 88,260 comments, a few million visitors and a dozen or so terrifyingly awkward bathroom encounters. This tenth anniversary's gotten me thinking about all the stuff I've written about here over the years. I went looking back and found some highlights. Today? That time I was nearly killed in my kitchen by a crazed gardener.
MY BRUSH WITH CRAZY
OR, HOW I SURVIVED THE GREEN THUMB KILLER
May 25th, 2004
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. Dammit. 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.