Maybe I’ve been self-isolating for just a little too long. I’m talking to weeds now, and it almost cost me a friendship.
But it wasn’t my fault that I apparently phoned my very nice neighbour and told her she wasn’t welcome at our place. No; the blame lies with our strawberry patch, and rampant weeds. (It’s good to be a fiction writer — we can manufacture bullshit to rationalize even the most egregious behaviour.)
Here’s what happened:
Our garden is in full swing, which is my oblique way of admitting that we planted far too much as usual. I’ve picked 150 pounds of strawberries so far, and everything else is doing its best to compete with that over-the-top-abundance. And when I say, ‘everything else’, that includes the weeds.
But the strawberries didn’t quit after yielding 150 pounds. They were still pumping out ten pounds of berries every second day when I cried ‘Uncle’ and started inviting friends and neighbours over to pick. (Thank goodness we have lots of room so social distancing was easy.)
One of our neighbours planned to drop by sometime in the late morning, and she said she’d call before she came. I was outside weeding and enjoying the beautiful weather, so I stuck the phone in my pocket.
Spotting one of those long vine-like weeds wrapped around a potato plant like a malevolent steel cable, I hunkered down to unravel it.
“You’re… not… welcome here!” I growled, just as the phone handset beeped.
When I took it out and checked the display, my heart plummeted: “Missed call”, along with my neighbour’s number.
I dialled her back, and she picked up immediately.
“Um…” I began sheepishly. “Did I just, um… hang up on you?”
“No,” she replied, sounding puzzled. “I didn’t call you yet.”
Whew! I had pocket-dialled the call list; not my neighbour.
I sagged with relief and explained the situation, and laughter ensued. It was a little embarrassing, but I figured it was better to be that weirdo who talks to weeds than that rabid bitch who invites people over and then rudely rescinds the invitation.
And as soon as I got off the phone, I yanked out that weed with extreme prejudice.
I’d love to report that I’ve learned my lesson and I don’t talk to weeds anymore; but that would be a lie. The only thing I’ve actually learned is not to carry the phone to the garden.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who talks to weeds…
Book 16 update: Initial plotting is almost complete, and I’m hoping to start putting words on the page this week. Woohoo!