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A garden story

Web posted on May 24, 2005

The Electric Couch Patato

Ahh, it's springtime in Guelph -- time to watch all the worms crawl out from under their rocks and greet the season. And, boy oh boy, there are lots of worms in my neck of the woods.

I know what most of you are thinking right now -- you're waiting for me to start calling our local politicians spineless worms and start ranting about how bleeping pathetic these last several Guelph City Council meetings have been. Or perhaps even talk about how some of those political red wigglers are bulking up on self-importance and trying to become the biggest worm in the rain-filled pothole called Guelph. But I'm not going to do that today.

I like worms. They aerate my garden, fertilize my lawn, and feed the local birds. They're pretty single-minded and not too bright -- a lot like me, from what the neighbours say. Myself, I say they're more like elected officials (and you can decide if "they" refers to worms or my neighbours).

The neighbours and I saw some absolutely huge worms during the last daytime rainstorm a few weeks back. One in particular had to be over a foot long, and was breaking all sorts of wormy land-speed records as it wriggled across the sidewalk in front of me. Ol' Speedy was absolute poetry in motion -- until he hit the crack in the sidewalk.

I'm being generous, calling it a crack. Rightfully, it would be called a large surface irregularity, or, to the layman such as myself, a big crater. It's about 12"x10", and about 3" deep at its worst. The concrete slabs have cracked around the hole, and shifted vertically. Sort of "sidewalk tectonics" -- and if you don't understand that, go read a book. In any case, it's like the Grand Canyon to a worm.

Anyway, back to the story of Ol' Speedy. He went in head first, and valiantly swam across Crater Lake. He had a heck of a time pulling himself out of the water, but he did it. Then he lay there, exhausted, on the sidewalk -- until the paperboy gished him with a mountain bike.

Said paperboy (or should I call him an independent delivery contractor) proceeded to say some rather nasty words to me as I yelled at him for riding on the sidewalk - again. And he kept on riding on the sidewalk -- until he hit another large surface irregularity on the sidewalk and landed butt-first in a mud puddle. Now, that was poetry in motion!

In summary, this story says "Innocent creature overcomes adversity, only to be cut down by a breaker of the law, who ends up paying for his crime in public". Just think what Hollywood would do with that one!

Now, kids, what's the moral of this story? People who do bad things get what they deserve? Nope. People must not ride bicycles on the sidewalk? Although true, that's not the moral either.

The moral of the story is: watch where you're walking, because the City of Guelph has lousy sidewalks.