Humorous gardening article


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Staff member
PREMO Member
My wife is a gardener.

For most people, this is a healthy thing. Flowers add beauty to a home. They attract butterflies. They bring color to our lives.

But what most people don't realize is that there is a dark side to gardening that I am only beginning to understand. It has to do with drunkenness, killing and stealing.

I know what you were thinking. You thought flower gardens were a hobby for sweet, little old ladies who bake muffins and wear funny hats and drive cars the size of tanks - people who wouldn't harm the hair on a caterpillar.

You would be wrong.

My wife took up gardening two years ago and I have seen a change in her. It started out harmlessly enough - a little Mexican heather here, a Gerber daisy there. It gave her a chance to get her hands dirty. It was cute.

Then it got to where we couldn't drive anywhere without peering into vacant lots for signs of plants blooming in the wild. She has been known to jump out of the car and rip up milkweed by the roots. Or worse, pull over and force her sister or her nephew or me out of the car to do her thieving for her.

In her service I have been pricked by thorns and bitten by fire ants. I have stepped onto the shoulder of freeways where the whirlwind of passing trucks would knock you down.

Why do I take such risks?

It is because when I step out into snake-infested roadside weed patches to pluck a new plant for her garden she says I am being "chivalrous" and "gentlemanly." Some people would say I am aiding and abetting. But her flattery makes me putty in her hands.

Even so, I draw the line at killing.

Not so for my lovely bride of seven years, who has lately been confronted with the problem of snails eating the tender leaves of her most treasured flowering plants.

Not one to let her garden go, she did some research. And through the gardening grapevine, she learned that there are ways to kill off the slimy little beggars.

It takes beer!

Though we don't drink beer, my wife sent me into a convenience store to buy one single bottle of brew. I assumed she was having a digestive problem.

But when we got home she took a pair of little plastic cups, filled them to the brim with our recently purchased Michelob Light, and set them out in our yard. Very strange.

I thought perhaps she was leaving the beer out for a neighbor who was ashamed to buy their own. Or, more likely, that she just wanted a cup of brew handy when she was doing her weeding.

Then, the next morning, I saw her standing over these little cups of beer cackling like an evil super-genius.

Then I learned that the mother of my children was taking delight in the fact these little cups of ale were filled with the rotting carcasses of DEAD SNAILS!

Apparently, snails love beer.

In fact, they will come from every corner of the yard - by dark of night and through the untold dangers of the tall grass - for a fine German lager. If you set out out a good English ale, they will even cross the street.

The problem is that these tiny little beer lovers don't know when to back away from the bar. Nor do they understand that if they take a dip in my wife's little alcohol-laden pools of death, they won't be able to drink their way out.

The result is massive snail carnage - and a delightfully healthy garden.

There's no way of knowing whether the snails drown or die from alcohol poisoning.

But judging by the number killed, I would say that the snail population in our yard has a very serious drinking problem. The cups she set out were half full of pickled snails - each of them with a smile on its face.

My wife was quite pleased with herself and the snail keg party she had hosted on our front lawn. In one night, her snail ale had done more damage than a whole neighborhood of little boys with saltshakers. She's a remorseless woman, but I love her.

Snockered Snails