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June 01, 2002

I Probably Should Be In

I Probably Should Be In Therapy or Blame it on Dad.

Ahhh...the Worm Farm.

That takes me back a ways. I can remember the golden Summers of our youth spent trying to breed worms in that busted freezer. How many children do you supposed carried the goal of a worm farm through their youthful years, through young adulthood, into comfortable married suburbaninity? Hell, how many children spend any part of their life attempting to convince worms to be fruitful and multiply? I can't guess that there are many. I don't even remember why WE did it. I guess ostensibly the worms were for fishing.

You know, the more I think about the things we did as children, the more I am convinced that we are wholly abnormal. I blame it on dad. The gardening instincts certainly come from dad.

They say that man is made in the image of God. I think that if this is true, then it is most evident in the desire of man to create and grow and govern his own world. What better way to do that than through gardening? What better place than your own back yard? I am sure that Dad, being a man of the cloth, reflected God's image in this way. Dad is a man who, every April or May, plows under his entire back yard in obeisance to some primal call that's been passed down through the ages ever since Adam hitched up his plow-mule, laid aside his hunter-gatherer ways, and moved into the Garden. I remember those Spring days of my childhood vividly. He would plant tomatos. He would plant peppers. He would plant squash, and sunflowers, and pumpkins, and watermelons, and marijuana, and this stuff that I never could identify, but which dripped milk-white sap that made you itch like you had the crabs if it came in contact with your skin.

At first, it would be this beautiful, organized, well-planned garden. The tomatos were neatly tied to their stakes. The sunflowers tracked the sun in neat rows. The pumpkins nestled gently in the freshly turned soil. Dad would water the garden daily. He would weed with vigor. He would crap his own weight in fertilizer daily, adding roughly 11 times the potash to the potash starved soil of our lawn. And then the cyclical rebirth that is the Spring would give way to the soul-sucking heat of Summer.

Satan tempted Eve, Eve tempted Adam, Adam ate the apple, God gave 'em both the boot and the Garden of Eden grew thick with weeds.

By mid-June, the back yard was for all intents and purposes, impassable. Thanks to all the fertilizer Dad crapped into the garden, the weeds grew as high as an elephant's eye. The tomatos were overrun and dropped yellow from the vine. The smell of rotting tomatos lingers like the stench of death over my childhood memories. The sunflowers, overshadowed by a thick canopy, tracked in all different directions, individually guessing at the approximate location of the sun. The pumpkins grew voluminous, only to develop, in their gluttony and sloth, festering bedsores on their pale, fetid underbellies. Several neighborhood children wandered into the jungle that was our backyard and were never heard from again.

Anyway, I forget what my point might have been. I guess if I were your wife and knew the family history of gardening, I'd probably be annoyed if you bought a worm farm too.

Posted by Kehaar at June 1, 2002 09:07 PM | TrackBack
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