The Idiot Gardener

WARNING: This site contains information on gardening, brewing, curing meat,

building shit and hunting, all done in a piss-poor manner. It is not suitable for the

feeble-minded, the weak and lame, those of a nervous disposition, vegans and

vegetarians (and those other ones that only eat fish and the occasional bacon

sandwich - I think they're called 'hypocrites'), those who practice any

manner of folk singing or dancing, people named Colin or fans of Barry Gibb.

It’s time to say … goodbye!

Now, if I mentioned dragon-slaying, some out there might grin (predominantly immature men) whilst others will need an explanation. It transpires that many men, whilst young and foolish, indulge in a certain pastime which, quite frankly, cannot be condoned. It is a bad bad bad thing, okay? Very bad, and disrespectful, and hurtful too. It’s childish, boorish, moronic and insensitive. It says more about the inadequacies of the individual concerned than anything else. It marks them out as crass, ignorant and puerile. It is, in a nutshell, disgusting. Okay? You all understand that? Good, then let’s continue.

Dragon-slaying involved a group of males at some local hostelry or place of entertainment competing to ‘pull’ the ugliest girl. You see; just as I said, disgraceful and feckless and cold and pathetic and … ummm, okay, some other stuff. It’s a cruel and reprehensible way to behave, which is why I never did it, ever, except once, in the presence of third parties, and no animals were hurt.

To be honest, I wasn’t a frequenter of places where normal males met normal females. My world was the dank and dark cellars of old buildings where the air was thick with cigarette smoke, stale beer, sweat and the jangling refrains of the typical three-chord thrashing of punk rock. On the one occasion I found myself out in the ‘normal’ world at a nightclub with work colleagues, I too needed an explanation of dragon-slaying. However, as someone used to ending up with an array of weird girls, I saw nothing really unusual about it. I’d been doing it for years, out of necessity! After all, a girl was a girl, and they didn’t grow on trees if you had green hair, acne and a scowling face.

Because I just liked women of any description, I was quite good at dragon-slaying. I thought the girl I ended up with was okay, quite nice really in the grand scheme of things, but the others slapped my back and bought me a pint of vodka. I said I’d take it with me (the drink, you fools), told the girel to get her coat, and they all laughed. They told me that pulling the girl was enough; I didn’t have to take her home. I thought such an approach wasteful, and took her home anyway.

The next morning she changed from a giggly oddball into an angst-ridden freak. I guess she had sobered up. I was readying myself to chuck her out of my flat when she blurted out, ‘Am I just a curiosity fuck?’

I was shocked; well, I acted shocked, as she accused me of only wanting to sleep with her out of curiosity, to say I’d done it with a one-eyed girl with a limp. I strenuously denied that any thought of curiosity had entered my head. I figured it best not to mention that I’d done it to win a pint of vodka in a bet!

I was suddenly in a strange place. I had to see her again. The one eye didn’t bother me too much, but having to keep waiting for her because of her limp did get a bit boring. I saw her a few times, but every time I wanted to call a halt to things, I couldn’t. A few dates turned into many dates. It dragged on and on, until the thankful day that she dumped me. I thanked her, kissed her tenderly, and skipped off into the night.

I missed her for a while!

Looking back, she reminds me of the Jerusalem Artichokes. Everyone warned me. They said they were invasive. They said they’d make me die farting. They said they were bad, wrong, ugly, malformed and evil. I planted them anyway. It was a bit like a bet. A gardening version of dragon-slaying. I fed them to unsuspecting visitors, the neighbours, even Mrs IG. They took over a corner of my garden. I gloried in their lofty heights, their gas-developing tubers, their steady creep across the soil.

Deep down inside, I wanted them gone, but it didn’t feel right. I felt guilty, like I owed them something. We were linked by a bond (which didn’t even net me a pint of vodka, or a curiosity fuck either, for that matter). I feel dirty for planting them, but wore that shame like a badge of honour. Other gardeners ran and hid like girls, but I kissed the artichokes right on their mono-oculared faces, and proclaimed my love for them.

Now, as you can see from the picture, they are gone. I killed them, not with love, but with glyphosate. I needed the space, and to be honest, they gave me a right royal pain in the arse. However, I knew that like the one-eyed girl with the limp, I might miss them … so I saved a dozen tubers and planted them at the field.

Dragon-slaying? It might be nasty, but an artichoke is forever, and forever is a long long time!


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4 thoughts on “It’s time to say … goodbye!

  1. Anubis Bard

    Yeah, I’m afraid I fell for your one-eyed siren and planted the tubers this spring as a bulwark against the raspberries. Then the deer ate every single leaf and I thought that experiment was done. But they’ve come back with a furious enthusiasm (both deer and artichoke) that’s a little disconcerting. I do like plants that don’t need to be coddled.

  2. Tom Stephenson

    A mate of mine (now 80) ordered artichokes in a posh restaurant to impress the dragon he had just slain as a young man. At the time, he didn’t understand that you don’t eat the entire plant, so he did. It took him a while.


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