Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Gardener's Revenge

You see a pretty caterpillar, I see Chucky.

            Oh, petunias! I have some that are apple blossom pink, deep purple with a white star in the middle, magenta, and red. Their stems are sticky and covered in little hairs and, despite this unbelievably irritating quality, I pick off each individual wilted flower head before it can go to seed. Sometimes I miss the dead ones and end up playing catch up. This requires a lot of dedication. It is a labor of love. My grandfather informed me that his friend, Dick Tipple, deadheaded his petunias daily and subsequently had them bloom through October. Who would argue with a guy named Dick Tipple?
            My petunias are carefully located in pots on the back deck of the house. They are not in the ground. I keep them close so that I can talk to them, and so that I don’t have to exert extra energy to take care of them. I also keep them separate from the other vegetation in our yard with the hopes that they will be separate from the miniature vermin that eat vegetation.
I know that even caterpillars need to eat. I just don’t understand why they have to eat my petunias. Perfectly cultivated, daily deadheaded, fertilized, precious petunias. They used to have such beautiful green leaves, and now they are perforated like crappy paper. The blossoms will start to open, ready to shower me with colorful affection, and the next day I come to find a raggedy edged trumpet, petal free. I pick at least six of these green caterpillars off each plant per day. I don’t use pesticides. That would be too kind. Of every plant in the entire block, these blasted caterpillars chose to eat MY petunias. That is an offense against me. They have declared war. Lethal injection? I don’t think so.
Guess what, little caterpillars. I dream about setting you on fire. I would like to stab you through with mini scabbards. If I could rig a mini electric chair I would – fry your little brains like eggs over easy. Sadly, you don’t have a neck to snap and some of you even hang from things for fun. I’m not a killer. I’m a kind person. In my mind I smoosh your little heads, but I can’t follow through. Instead, I will offer you a gift. I shall send you on a trip! Off you go, you little shits! A free flight through the air, no wings required. Don’t come back.  

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