It seems when I'm out gardening, the number of people who want to talk to me is inversely proportional to how bad I look.
I swear, I could be out there in a ballgown and a tiara, sipping mint juleps and no one would say so much as a "good morning."
But if I'm in my yard for two seconds in my bag-lady mismatched clothes, my bangs in a barrette, glasses smeared with pollen, dirt on my elbows and my nose running, everyone in the neighborhood suddenly wants to stop by and discuss life, the universe and everything.
Thing is, when I get gardening and sporting the Ugly Betty look, I don't really WANT to talk to anyone. I get in the zone. And I need to be in the zone because my yard is fairly uneven and a missed step can mean rolling down the incline of the yard.
I imagine whole crowds would show up for a chat as that was happening.
I also tend to be unable to garden without injury. Why, one summer not so long ago, I set out to dig up and replace a couple of nuisance shrubs with something more ornamental, and I got so into working out the roots that I didn't notice the branch coming up and just missing my eye.
Can you imagine me driving myself to the hospital with no depth perception and explaining to the emergency room people the reason for my empty eyesocket was Puncture By Shrub?
"When Shrubs Attack--- Coming up next on The Discovery Channel!"
The irony being that "removing a shrub" is also one of the big keyphrases that seems to lead people to my home and garden blog.
The fact that people come there thinking they can learn shrub removal from a person who almost had to change her name to "Popeye," just goes to show that Search Engine Optimization isn't a perfect science.
And then, of course, there are the tasks that I try to take on myself that would be better left to the droves-- but the droves are strangely AWOL when they'd be truly helpful. Like the massive wrought-iron trellis I assembled last year.
It was in pieces to start with...
Lots of pieces...
And I spent the better part of an afternoon assembling all of the screws and nuts and putting Part A to Phlange B, etc.
All of this, I assembled flat out in my backyard with little problem, and I looked at my work with a smile of satisfaction...
Until I realized the arch needed to be standing upright.
The arch-- and I know this because the box said so-- weighed 150 pounds. It was also about seven foot tall.
The problem here is that your average five-foot eight female cannot LIFT an 150-pound, seven-foot-tall garden arch to a standing position. I mean, I know the ancient Egyptians built whole pyramids bringing giant blocks up slopes without a single piece of equipment made by John Deere....
And yes, the Celts dragged the stones of Stonehenge all the way from Wales in order to place them in the middle of a field in Salisbury because they hadn't invented the wristwatch yet.
But these ancient people were clearly a lot smarter than I am, and didn't get all cocky about Panel A and Phlange B.
Also, as my friend Greg pointed out, they had slave labor. Whereas I just had a few neighborhood squirrells laughing their fluffy tails off.
Well, a week later I was able to get a friend to help me right the darned garden arch. And let me tell you, TWO average females lifting that sucker was a huge improvement when it comes to Garden Arch Physics. What was my Arch Nemesis now is my Arc de Triumph.
So today, as I go out to garden, it will be interesting to see just what sort of injury awaits. Scratches or punctures, trapped under metal architectural structures... it's all up for grabs.
But if you were thinking of popping by, I'd recommend stopping to say "hello" at about 11am today. I should be rolling down the front hill about then. And don't worry, admission is free.
Or you could also stop by and see my fellow bloggers at Humor-blogs. Unless, they're trapped under an 150-pound, seven-foot-tall garden arch, too.