Why Gardening Sucks (Part One)

Well, the Spring is finally here in the deep South and the Sun is shining brightly and the trees are beginning to bud and the whole world is shrugging off the dreariness of Winter. That’s when the dreaded gardening bug hits and all you want to do is get outside and root around in the dirt like a drunken, blind hog looking for grubs. It’s a primal thing to want to plant vegetables when the Spring comes although it could possibly be infinitely cheaper to buy the stuff at the grocery store. But I have no time to think of that now. I have goaded myself into the delusion that I have a proverbial green thumb so out I go to do battle with nature, and grow some plants to show off to the neighbors and take pictures for my Facebook page spouting my new mantra “I am gonna be ultra-cool this year and be greenly hippytoristic and/or naturally organismic!

I an one of the dirt people now!  An agriculturist!

An “agriculteur si vous plaît !” (to be posh)

Putting on my most fashionable garden outfit (consisting of my oversized “fat” shorts that are two sizes too big and covered with paint spots; a holey, turkey-turd brown XXL tee-shirt from my military days covered with paint spots; my favorite old gray, sweat-stained J3:16 baseball cap covered with paint spots;  my battered Nike sneakers from ancient jogging days covered in paint spots, that I just knew would come in handy again one day) I can now jauntily venture out into public like a multicolored leopard, to grow my own food like the peasantry of yore.

But what ho!. For some reason all my fossilized gardening tools, the one’s I can find anyway, have degenerated into what looks like rusty metal and petrified wood sculptures conceived by some stoned art students in community college. And the carefully stored cadre of vegetable seeds I had collected for the highly anticipated Zombie Apocalypse  seem to have disappeared into the waste land of my garage that looks remarkably like a Mad Max movie set. This will not do! I must venture forth for more.

So it’s off to the big box stores to purchase more “stuff” so I can make more work for myself to do on the weekends.

Apparently everybody else in town has been bitten by the same gardening bug as well, and have decided to occupy the garden centers I frequent just at the same instant I planned to invade. The parking lots are full of white, soccer-mom SUV’s full of baby seats and oversized, penis-envy pick-up trucks with sports decals all over it. And the place is over-run with a crowd of gardening miscreants pushing and shoving like it’s Black Friday, creating check-out lines reminiscent of  a  spring break Disney World ride. And the sun hasn’t been up for more than an hour!?!

All the good seeds are now picked over and gone, and I get stuck with the stuff like chard and cabbage and collard greens. You know, the plant fodder that nobody really likes and smells like crap if you cook it. The little plants that have already been started at some nursery in Bolivia have been picked over as well and all that’s left are the wilty twiggy guys that some brat has stepped on repeatedly. There is no humanity in a garden center in the Spring.

When I get to the new  gardening tool section to re-gizmo myself with the most modern utensils of the 21st Century, I find basically the same implements that were used during the Renaissance. Maybe the metal is a little better but I doubt it. Where’s the newest computerized LED display toy tools that tell you the Ph balance of the soil or if you’re a millimeter too deep in your plant to dirt ratio? Where’s the garden drones? The driverless rakes? Apparently gardening tools haven’t evolved much since Shakespeare wrote Macbeth. Something must be wrong here.

As I stand there in my paint spotted finery vainly searching for just one vegetable plant I could lavish all my attention on this season, or a gardening tool that couldn’t be found in a prehistoric peat bog, I realize I am just not into farming as much as I thought. I do some qu

ick mental calculations in my head and figure I can buy a can of sweet peas for $0.69 at Wal-Mart…or spend $26.75 for the same amount of sweet peas 90 days from now considering the birds, rabbits, squirrels, rats, mice, ants, caterpillars, etc…don’t get them first and allow me a measly cupful. Ole Mother Nature can be a bitch like that.

I guess I’ll just have to settle for a quick  salad at the Olive Garden.

Touché.

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