Soon to be renowned!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Man Can Dream

Pretend you never saw this.

These are Mexican Sour Gherkins! AKA cucamelons. They're all the rage this year in veggie gardening. I mean, as much as anything can be the rage in veggie gardening … which is not a lot, if I'm honest. Sure, there's often a bit of Tomatomania in May, but that's about it. Maybe the occasional hubbub. Purple carrots have been known to cause a hubbub. Oh—and there was that time a few years back when I witnessed a tizzy over beans. No rages, though. (I do wonder how you'd characterize the whole Hatch pepper phenomenon. A movement, perhaps? A falderal? A hullabaloo?)

But back to the gherkins. They're incredible! They're the kumquats of the cucurbits! You grow 'em up a trellis, pick a handful, and pop 'em in your mouth. They taste just like the tiny little, sweet, refreshing watermelons they so clearly resemble and what's more—

—oh, who am I kidding?

They don't taste like watermelons. They're just little cucumbers. Tasty, sure, with a bit of a lemony zing, but it doesn't matter how great a cucumber they are because whenever I pick one my mouth starts chanting, “Watermelon, watermelon, teeny tiny watermelon.” and then practically chokes when it gets cucumber instead. Which would be fine if it just happened the first time and then my brain actually bothered to link the visual cue that whispers “Wee watermelon” to the sense memory that screams “CUCUMBER YOU IDIOT”. But instead my mind just redacts the experience altogether so that I am fooled Every. Single. Time. I eat one.
Like Charlie Brown blinded to Lucy's timeless treachery by the imagined bliss of actually putting foot to ball, I walk past the stripy little impostors and stop in my tracks. What's this? Minimelons!? Don't mind if I do …

And then I bite down, my tongue's feet go flying out from under it yet again, and we're talking a different sort of rage.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


There's a reason you never hear of any unhappy writers. The fame, the money, the lifestyle—it just comes so easy for them. I mean, for us. I always heard that writing books was a surefire path to celebrity and fortune, but even I never dreamed, when I first sat down at my Great Grandfather's writing desk twenty years ago, that it could happen to me. All I had to do was actually finish a book. That was the catch. I've got the bones of half-a-dozen different manuscripts littered around the office, all of which showed promise and momentum in their day, none of which came close to completion. But then—Bang! This Twenty Reasons Not To Garden thing came to fruition and a couple weeks after its release, my life is changed.

That's right, it is with excitement, humility, gratitude, and a little … je ne sais quoi that I announce—due to the overwhelming success of my book—my decision to temporarily retire from all current endeavors and occupations in order to more obscenely bask in the rich rewards of my achievement.

After consulting with my accountant (yeah, I've got one of those now), the to-date and projected book sales should easily fund a lengthy sabbatical. He figures I've got a good hour/hour-and-a-half's worth of revelry in which to pursue my life's dreams. But, you know what? You only live once so I'm taking a full two hours.

What'll I fill the time with? I'm glad you asked.

First off I plan to see the world. Scotland, Patagonia, Southwest China, Fiji, Delaware—all the places on my bucket list. Then of course we'll take the kiddos to Disneyland, the Grand Canyon, the Pyramids, Antarctica to see penguins, underwater to see the Octonauts, and wherever else their little hearts desire. Then my wife and I will hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Yes, the whole thing. After that, I'm sorry to say, I'll probably just blow a good portion of my windfall at the casino. Maybe Monte Carlo, maybe Emerald Queen—doesn't really matter, I've just always wanted to say “Double Down”. Ooh—and “Let it ride”. I'll drink dirty martinis, scotch, and whatever that interesting fella from Dos Equis is drinking … as long as it's not Dos Equis, I mean. Double down.

And just to show I have not forgotten my gardening roots which thrust me atop this new promontory, I plan on devoting a full ten minutes towards getting my community-gardening-for-the-homeless charity up and running.

And after that, well, I'll probably just spend the duration of my leave swimming in the ol' money vault à la Scrooge McDuck. Which reminds me—anyone know a good contractor with vault experience?

I thank you all for your faithful readership, and though it will pain me to be away, I promise I will return to regale you once more with tales and musings from the annals of Fencebroke. Someday.

We'll say noonish.

Now, where's that martini?