The Murder of the Banana Trees
I have some really weird neighbors.
Maybe ALL neighborhoods have such weird neighbors, or maybe I'm just different because I get to know my neighbors. But...
You've already heard about Mr. Clean. But I have a neighbor on the other side of me who is a devout Jehovah's Witness but otherwise a kindly widow. We'll call her Maude.
When I spray for weeds, I go over and spray for weeds there (with her permission). When I need to borrow a tool, Maude loans it to me. I helped her mourn her husband, and she's been a sympathetic ear when I've had my problems.
But Maude has her moments.
A year ago the house on the other side of her was up for sale, so Maude thought she'd be helpful. She got the owner's permission to do some pruning and ended up over-enthusiastically mowing some prize azalea bushes to the ground.
Maude gets that way sometimes. She'll start to prune something and get carried away, manically reducing the victim to nothing but a stump while cheerfully proclaiming that it will come back better than before.
When the new owners moved in, they were fit to be tied and wouldn't speak to Maude for a couple of months. In fact they wouldn't speak about Maude except through their teeth, hissing like geese.
I work out in my yard every day, so I never imagined that Maude would be "helpful" over here.
Never the less, I went into my backyard the other afternoon, and stormed inside to find Pov.
"Why did you cut down two of my banana trees?!" I demanded indignantly. Pov was sprawled out on my couch, watching TV. He looked startled.
"I didn't do any such thing," he protested mildly. I had reason to suspect him, as he'd been doing a little pruning in my backyard a couple of days previous to that.
"Well then who did?" I asked somewhat unfairly, as he would have no idea.
We tramped out there again, with my pointing out the two banana trees that had been razed to the ground.
Puzzled, we came to the conclusion that it had to have been Maude. Pov is a great favorite of Maude's, so he went over and tried to figure out what she had been thinking, but Maude denied it adamantly. She told Pov that she had only gone over to do a little pruning and take out anything dead, and had carried home a baby banana plant to put in her back yard.
The next day I happened across Maude while we both were gardening and I put it to her again. She looked at me with wide-eyed innocence and told me the same tale, but I could see certain tell-tale signs that showed she was lying.
So, I dropped it. There is no sense lambasting a sweet but slightly mentally deranged widow.
But I am getting a padlock for my gate today.