The burning bush & 6th sense wonders -- A not so short (horror) story

For three years I've been noticing a few flowering plants mysteriously disappear from our front garden. I decided to take the high road and assume that they had just died or that maybe I was going a wee bonkers in the upper floor.

Last wednesday I found a huge hole where this little beauty used to live. This happened while the hubs and I were on a romantic thingy away from the crib.

I thought, oh, a crime of opportunity. Well that stinks.

But then...the following Friday, whilst we both were home, our sapodilla tree went too. I was beside myself. A 75 dollar mail ordered tree! So I went full on paranoid. I'd go out in the front garden and weed and look at every single passerby with a face that said "I know it was YOU!" while pointing my imaginary finger right at them.

Meanwhile, in the back of my head, a detective was born. I thought of the pattern. I thought that this person is likely Latin, and before all you bros and sis' go up in arms: I am Hispanic too...the reason for this thinking was that most of us Accent Ridden Folk with Highly Temperamental Personalities, do love plants. As a race, we do love our plants...so I started weeding neighbors out. And the person who was left was a guy three doors down. An odd kinda fella. Hispanic. With an odd family that has always creeped me out.

Meanwhile, while I did my thing at home I would constantly poke my head by the window hoping to surprise the culprit in fraganti. Deep down thinking, really, what are the odds of that happening?

Well, well, well. Saturday night was my night my friends.

But first let me lay the comedic background to the whole act. By Saturday I had a stiff neck & back for two days and I was in some serious pain. Breathing hurt. So I was moving like a block person. Each time I had to look at something to my left or to my right I had to move my entire body as a block...you folks over 40 probably been there and get it. This also made it hard to get dressed like a proper lady (not that I ever do)...so all day I stayed on my morning chores little number: T-shirt with stains from several painting expeditions & shorts...oh those pitiful shorts...holes all over...and I don't mean cute little sexy shorts that show some skin just so that it looks kinda nutty...oh no, these are full-on homeless crazy person shorts. And the hair, that's a whole other paragraph... but to prevent you from having nightmares tonight I'll just say I'd put Medusa to shame.

Now, right at the very moment in my existence when I was at my ugliest most dreadful self I saw said fella through my kitchen window cutting a huge branch out of one of our fruit trees. I am talking four feet long and with fruit on it. In hindsight, I am so glad I had the sense of putting the chopping knife down before I ran out after him, all in one blocky scary looking self. That must have been the only smart thing I did that day.

Now remember I could hardly walk and I was actually trying to run after this guy. Legs swinging from side to side (instead of front and back), Medusa hair waving in the wind, short holes exposing parts that will scar children and small animals for life.

I see this guy, whom now I know is named George, go into his home...so I went to the home next door and asked the kids playing outside if they could ask their parents if I could take a quick look at said dude's backyard real quick. In my Nancy Drew mind I was going to take a quick look, see that all my missing plants were there and then call the police and report the heinous crime.

All the while truly not believing my eyes that I had actually seen the guy take a chunk of our tree.

Meanwhile as I am waiting for the parents to come out of the house where the kids were playing, this other neighbor comes to me and says: Hey I just saw this guy break your tree and also, I think he stole some plants from you the other day...

These were the exact words that I needed to hear. So I was not losing my mind. I was right!

And then all went blank.

Latin-crazy full-on I went. Like I never even knew I was capable of.

So I walk into this uncovered narrow corridor to ring the guy's door bell...and I decide to walk back outside in their yard because that little entryway hall feels very claustrophobic to fit both me and my anger.

**** I never said this was a short story*****

So as I am walking out, still thinking perhaps I am wrong, perhaps this is just a series of bad coincidences, I glance to my right and there they are, in plain view: ALL of my beloved missing plants, in little pickle jars and ceramic pots...and then I see my tree, and my shrub with their tops chopped off and looking all mangled and I lost it. L.O.S.T. it!

This happened at that very moment George opened the door. Oh my gwad. I am not a yeller. But I think all of my suppressed yelly-self came out at that very moment.

I did all the wrong things. Like telling the dude (please, keep in mind that I had been terrified for days that whomever was stealing from the garden would soon graduate to the interior of the house) that if he ever so much as walked down our sidewalk I WOULD shoot him.

And then the coup de grace took place. This guy had managed to stick my large sapodilla tree (now a tenth of its size on account of having its top chopped off...but roots were large according to its size) in a medium size ceramic container...now as I am yelling and such I was trying to free my tree from said pot to no avail, the top was narrower than the bottom making it impossible for a deranged lunatic with a bad back moving in blocks to free the tree...so in a most dramatic gesture worthy of an ancient Greek play, I pushed through the pain, lifted both arms up with pot in hand and smashed it on their walkway...I looked up triumphantly and departed by saying "THERE, that is MY TREE!" "The police will be coming around soon."

And I turned around to see half my neighborhood standing behind me watching in horror...with was was left of my dignity I did my blocky walk into the sunset and into the safety of my own home.

So yeah people, don't you ever piss me off because you don't want to be on the business end of my rage...who knew?

Now here is the real bad part. As I am in the middle of my yelling and threatening tirade I hear the guy say "But I only take the skinny ones, I only take the SKINNY ones!!!!" And then it dawned on me: said dude is mentally handicapped. Oh crap. Then the mom comes out and she does not say one word. She just stares. I am secretly glad her hair looks way worse than mine.

Multiple conversation with neighbors and police confirm the following: everyone except the step dad has a drug problem. Dude appears to be a sex offender of some kind because the police and step dad mention that he is not even supossed to be here (there's a school a block away from us). Dude suffers from AIDS. Mom is also sick. Most of the family has been in and out of jail during their lifetime. Including George's biological dad.

So if you don't hear from me or if you hear of me in the news you can always say to your family (while pointing at the tele) "Oh my, see that ol'bag with the crazy looking hair? she is the GardeningFool, the GetSoiled woman! I know her!"

The reason I say this is because George, after being told by the police not to ever come close to me or even our side of the street while he is still home (he was supposed to be out yesterday but it did not happen) decided to challenge authority and came to hang out in our front garden at 1 AM on the evening of the incident. Donning two large duffel bags...just aimlessly wandering through the garden and when he got suspiciously close to our front windows a sweet neighbor across the road (who was aware of what was going on and was just coming back home from work) decided to shine his car lights on George, which prompted him to run away.

Honestly, a part of me feels bad and wishes I knew before hand that he was mentally handicapped (although it is a mild form of it) and I would have softly explained that if he wants plants he can just ask and I will gladly share with him...but then the other part of me, whilst feeling for the step dad, also thinks: seriously? what is Mr StepDad thinking each time George goes for a walk in the middle of the night and comes back ten minutes later with an assortment of greenery? Does he really think he bought it? Beats me.

So that's my story. Apparently my growing older has not rid me of my knack for attracting odd people into my life. If we should ever meet for tea and scones...oh boy, do I ever have crazy stories to keep you entertained. And I promise to wear proper attire and at the very least wash my hair.
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Heiko said...

Man! Looking forward to that tea and scones. Next Wednesday suit? :)

GetSoiled said...

Sure thing, bring something I can violently smash whilst I nibble on some scones.

Mr. H. said...

Plant thieves..really?...wow, that's pretty sad/pitiful. Might be time to get that dog.

And one of these http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=driveway+patrol+&_cqr=true&_nkwusc=drivewaypatrol&_rdc=1

with one of these -

and if that doesn't work you might have to resort to this...I know, this last one is a bit much but still.

Patrice said...

You are my kind of nut. Like you, when abused I don't get scared, I get mad - so I can appreciate your tale all the more.

Feel better - and be a little careful..

GetSoiled said...

Mr. H, you made me laugh belly laughs...we can't wait for the dog ...but it will come after a long vacation we are planning.

Patrice, well thank you! Actually I do get both, mad *and* scared :) The guy freaks me out every time I see him out...I drove by his house (three houses down from mine) a couple of days ago and I saw huge industrial type buckets full of stolen plants, about 20 of them...plus the smaller jars he has stowed away everywhere in the front. Just plain crazy. And mean.