I admit it. I’m a hoer. Now that the weather is beginning to cool off, I’ll soon pack it in for the winter, because it’s pretty much a fair-weather pastime for me. But most nice warm days in the summer, you can find me by the side of the road, waving at all the passing cars.
A few weeks ago, I even caused an accident because drivers were gawking at me. That’s no mean achievement, when you consider the fact that I was out in the middle of nowhere, and the average traffic load on that road is about one car an hour.
I’m talking, of course, about hoeing my garden. Wait, what were you thinking…?
And before you ask, no, I wasn’t wearing anything gawk-worthy. Quite the opposite, in fact. Dirty, baggy jeans and T-shirt, with a too-big long-sleeved shirt over top, along with my white Stetson (I’m from Calgary, I can get away with it) and a pair of geeky sunglasses.
I have a big vegetable garden by the side of the road at our acreage outside town. I don’t know what the protocol is these days, but when I grew up in the country, you waved to passing cars, whether you knew the driver or not. So I waved, as usual.
Apparently, the two drivers were lost, and the one in front decided to stop and ask for directions at the same time as the one behind turned to wave at me.
Seconds later, there was a crash, and then I was gawping like an idiot at the sight of two cars mashed together on an abandoned gravel road in the middle of nowhere. Pandemonium ensued as one of the passengers went into hysterics.
I’ve never actually witnessed hysterics in real life. If I get a Chrysler suppository or some other unpleasant shock, I’m more the ‘swear-loudly-and-hit-something’ type. So observing hysterics first-hand was… enlightening.
Fortunately, nobody was hurt, the drivers apparently remained friends, and the two cars limped off into the sunset. I think I heard one of the drivers mutter something about giving up and going home. I stood there, hoe in hand, feeling vaguely guilty about the whole thing.
I’ve heard that hoeing is a dangerous undertaking, and now I understand why. So if you happen to pass a badly-dressed middle-aged woman working in her garden in the country, please don’t be offended if I don’t wave.
Just throw money. I’m a hoer, after all.