Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Garden Gnomes

For the last week we have had two of the creepiest landscape guys on the planet working at our house. When they first showed up in our driveway, I let out my super friendly dog, Remy so he could greet them. Remy ran down to their car, took one look at these guys and began to bark in an intensely serious, warning manner. Baffled, I ran to the door and called him back inside. What the hell had gotten into him? He never barks at anyone. I always pegged him as one of those dogs that invites the robbers in and shows them where the valuables are kept. I didn't even know he possessed such a menacing bark. Now I was curious as to what it was about the landscapers that made him react in attack mode. The two guys appeared around the corner of the house, aluminum ladders in tow and I instantly recognized what had made Remy's hackles go up. They looked like they could have come from Middle Earth and their clothes appeared as though they had been buried for a few years, then dug up, given a brief shake and put back on. I gave them a half hearted wave and mumbled an apology for my dog nearly attacking them. "No problem", said the slightly less filthy of the two and he gave me a crooked smile. The other guy looked at me sideways through glasses that were slightly askew on his face and suddenly my pervert alarm went off in my head. " Enjoy the day", I yelled over my shoulder as I ran back inside and slammed the door. I wonder where the owner of the house found those two? I gave Remy a pat of thanks for actually coming across as an intimidating guard dog, rather than his normal bounding goofball self. Who says that dogs don't have a sixth sense about normal people vs. creepy people? These guys were first class freak shows and I wasn't happy that they were lurking around our yard armed with sharp gardening shears. For the first time since we moved here a year ago I locked the doors.
For three days straight Perv #2 stood on a ladder pruning the giant lilac tree right outside my kitchen window. By pruning, I mean he clipped one leaf every three minutes, or so. Think of Edward Scissorhands in slow motion x100. At one point I was sure he had fallen asleep up on the ladder, but then he moved ever so slightly and clipped another leaf. Perv #2 always worked with a hooded sweatshirt pulled up over his head and he chain smoked cigarettes like a fiend. The hoodie gave him a sort of Grim Reaper effect, minus the sickle. Even Jonathan insisted we lock the doors and usually he accuses me of being paranoid if I suggest some kind of extra safety measure. "No, you're right about these men", he said to me, " There is something not quite right about them and I don't trust them one bit".
Finally, after days of poking around in the bushes and gardens in front of our house the two Pervs appeared to be done. But what had they actually done in all of this time? It seemed to me that the only actual work they completed was to make our beautiful, leafy Lilac tree resemble the pathetic needle-less tree in A Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon. Amazing. I can't tell you how thrilled I was to see Perv #2 aka Grim Reaper pack up his ladder and troll down the hill to his Ford Escort wagon, of course, still smoking his perpetually placed cig. As he drove out of our driveway he gave the house a final leering glance through his crookedly placed inch thick glasses. Perhaps my imagination had been working overtime about these two dudes, but I was still happy to see them heading down the road. Right then I decided that life is too short to have to deal with nasty, sketchy landscape guys. Why couldn't we have a nice pair of tan, lithe, hippie types with golden locks and perfect white smiles? I would bring them ice cold coca-colas and we could chat about horticulture together. But maybe that makes me the pervy one. Guess we're stuck with the Dirtbag Brothers, who probably moonlight as players in re-enactments for Lord of the Rings. Freakin' freaky garden gnomes.

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