Browsing Archives for January 2008

Show Cats!!

January 19th, 2008

Over Thanksgiving we had a house full of company. The Country Doctor’s large rambling family of eight siblings descended on our new house along with all their spouses, children, and varying political persuasions. We had sleeping bags on top of sleeping bags, on top of sleeping bags. Children were squashed so closely together on the floor that it was difficult to tell where one sleeping child ended and another began. In fact their dreams all bled together into one long nightmare where they were trapped in an endless game of twister with their cousins, while their parents argued over presidential candidates. During their wakeful hours, one of the activities that greatly entertained this large pulsating mass of sweaty childhood was our cats.

Here we have Arod

and the limp shaggy blonde is Cookie.

Of course, I am not giving you their real names. I am much too protective of my cats to post their real names on the internet for all the world to see! Plus, they have too many real names and I can’t really keep track of them all. Jack – my real son and maybe that is his real name and maybe it is not, all I know is that is what we call him around here – but JACK – likes to re-name the cats just about everyday.

ANYWAY – the point of this story is that these cats were very popular over Thanksgiving. They were carried and coddled, and hugged, and snuggled, and placed under blankets, and inside of sleeping bags and on top of teetering pillow piles and then the cats would make a break for it and try to escape to find some peace, only to be searched for with great anxiety until they were found and carried and snuggled and dropped and snatched back up and chased and hugged until they meowed for mercy.

Fortunately they are very mild cats. They are also somewhat striking cats. They were also free cats – given to us by a local couple that has a pickle court! Have you ever played pickle? Very fun game. Anyway – we got these little kittens and they grew and grew and got fuzzier and fuzzier and more and more beautiful – so when my brother-in law (Mr. Panties) saw them, he was so awestruck by their fluffy loveliness, that he dubbed them the “Show Cats”. And they have been our “Show Cats” ever since.

My sister, April loves our “Show Cats” and so does her daughter Bellers so whenever they visit, they always try get me to give them one. At which point I tell April the entire “Show Cats” story and then she says, “Rechelle – You’ve told me that same story a hundred times! “

And I Say, “But it is sooo funny.”

And April says – “Not really – not anymore…”

And then I say – “Show Cats Show Cats Show Cats…”

And then she says – “Actually, I don’t think it was that funny to start with…”

And then I say – “SHOW CATS!!”

And then April says something really, really, super, mean or she imitates my laughter making a horrible screeching noise while puckering her face into a wizened old hag as if I look like that while I am laughing!

And then I say – “It is still funny – because I say so! Show cats! Show Cats! Show Cats!”

The point of this story?… I have SHOW CATS! And they are better than April’s old boring NOT “Show Cats”! The end.

God is a Muskrat

January 15th, 2008

We have a policy at the garden center that states that if a tree or shrub dies in the first year after purchase, we will replace it for free.   

But the guarantee does not cover quite everything…

Customer – I bought a weeping willow here last year…
Me – Oh – what a nice tree!
Customer – Well… it died.
Me – Oh dear!
Customer – I have my receipt.
Me – Thank you.
Customer – So can I get my free tree now?
Me – First, can you tell me how your tree died?
Customer – It looks like a muskrat ate it.
Me – A muskrat?
Customer – Yes, it’s been chewed clean in half.
Me – Oh… Well I’m sorry to tell you that our guarantee does not cover acts of God.
Customer – It wasn’t an act of God… it was an act of a muskrat.
Me – Okay… But I am pretty sure that falls under the category of an “act of God.”
Customer – Are you saying that God is a muskrat?
Me – Uh… No… I am saying that when nature intervenes in the life of a plant… like an ice storm… or a lightning strike… you can’t say that the plant died because we sold you a bad plant…
Customer – So you are saying that God sent a muskrat to chew up my willow tree?
Me – No… not exactly… well sort of… but not really…
Customer – Why would God send a muskrat to eat my tree…?
Me – Uh… I don’t think God sent a muskrat to eat your tree… 
Customer – So then it wasn’t an act of God!
Me  - Not literally… no… probably not.  
Customer – So can I get my free tree now?
Me – No… I’m sorry…  
Customer – That’s alright.  I probably deserved that muskrat eating my tree for some reason.
Prolonged slightly uncomfortable silence.
Me – Um… Can I help you with anything else?
Customer – Have you got any of those burning bushes?
Originally published August 27, 2008

Beware The Dreaded LBS Deer!

January 13th, 2008

Sometimes customers at the garden center are so determined that the problems with their plants are absolutely, impossibly, absurdly, difficult to diagnose – that you have to get a little inventive to give them a solution.

Fortunately – this is not a problem for me…
Customer – I have a strange question for you…
Me – I bet you do.
Customer – Uh…   Well, I have a Little Princess Spirea…
Me – How strange!
Customer – Uh… that is not the strange part.
Me – Thank God!
Customer – Is there anyone else here that can help me?
Me – (In a high pitched mimicking tone) Is there anyone else that can help me?
Customer – Is that supposed to be funny?
Me – Are you ever going to get to your question?
Customer – Oh… okay – So I have this Little Princess Spirea and all the bottom leaves are gone!
Me – Gone?
Customer – Yes, they are gone!  The top leaves are still there, but the bottom leaves have completely disappeared!
Me – Fungus?
Customer – Impossible!
Me – Insects?
Customer – Never!
Me – Disease?
Customer – Surely you jest!
Me – Too much water?
Customer – Do you think I am an imbecile?
Me – Not enough water?
Customer – Ha!  Do you realize I have an advanced degree in every known horticultural science known to mankind?  I think I can properly water a plant!
Me – Okay then… do you have a cat?
Customer – Absolutely not!
Me – Are there any deer in the area?
Customer – Deer eating the bottom branches of a shrub!?!  What are you… an idiot?  I think the deer would eat the top branches  not the bottom branches!
Me – Yes well… have you not heard of the pygmy legless belly sliding deer?
Customer – The what?
Me – The pygmy legless belly sliding deer!  Surely someone of your garden knowledge stature has heard of them?  They are extremely rare – but oh how they love the Little Princess Spirea!
Customer – They do?
Me – Yes they do… and of course the poor creatures can not reach the top branches of any shrub.
Customer – Of course they can’t!
Me – Yes, because of the… you know… the legless part.
Customer – Why didn’t I think of it?
Me – That is what we are here for.
Customer – So what can I do?
Me – An infestation of the pygmy legless belly sliding deer is virtually impossible to combat.  
Customer – Oh…
Me – I have heard that midnight modern dancing around a campfire sometimes helps.
Customer – Really?
Me – Uhuh – but uh… it only works if they dancer is um… is um… completely naked!
Customer – Oh…
Me – Yes… buck naked AND you have to spread butter and jam all over your backside!
Customer – Well… I guess it is worth a try.
Me – Good luck!
Customer – Thanks!
Originally published September 4, 2008