2197. The treehouse

It wasn’t much fun being the only boy in a family with seven girls. For starters, the house had only one bathroom. You’d think after twelve years that Chad would be used to it. He wasn’t.

Chad decided to build himself a treehouse in an old sycamore at the back of the property. That way he could escape with his friends and have his own space.

What a magnificent treehouse it was! It could be accessed only by climbing a rope. That was something some of his sisters wouldn’t be seen dead doing.

One day he came home with two of his friends from school and there was a ladder propped up against the tree. Inside the treehouse was a pink plastic tea set.

Even though Chad had been taught at school that there was no difference these days between girls and boys, the treehouse trapdoor soon had a padlock on it

2196. Organic gardening

Esther was beside herself with excitement. Her garden had been chosen by a panel of judges to be one of only fourteen gardens in the city included in the Annual Organic Garden Tour. One of only fourteen!

The Annual Organic Garden Tour was staged every early summer. Entry to each garden was by gold coin. Esther had all of spring to prepare. She had planted all sorts of spectacular things. What a picture they were going to be! At present they were just beginning to poke their heads above the earth. Welcome to the world, O hundreds of plants!

If there was one thing that riled Esther it was her gravel driveway. It was full of weeds.

“Look,” she said to her husband Darren, “they might want organic gardens but the weeds in the gravel are a shocking sight. Can you get up early, before anyone is about, and under cover of darkness spray with weed killer? If we’re careful no one will know it’s not organic.”

“I’ve done it!” declared Darren one morning. “Those weeds will frizzle up and die. While I was at it, I sprayed all those weeds in the gardens as well. That should save you a lot of time.”

2195. I plead innocence

Sometimes, Your Honour, one gets up in the morning and one has no idea of the dramatic events that will unfold even before one has a mid-morning coffee.

Honestly, I had no idea when I got out of bed on that Thursday that I would stab my wife to death with the kitchen carving knife even before we had breakfast. Usually we do the dishes in the evening after dinner, but on this occasion the dishes weren’t done. We had had a little disagreement the night before and my wife had stormed off to the sitting room to watch some facile television program which is what she usually does. I went to the computer and looked up things about nothing. If we hadn’t had the disagreement we wouldn’t have been doing the dishes the next morning and I wouldn’t have been drying the carving knife and spontaneously plunging it into her bosom.

I’m not telling you this to get off the charge that my wife is dead, but I have no idea why such an event happened. I was going to spend the morning in the garden. She was going to town to buy a knitting pattern to make gloves for the grandchildren. And suddenly, WHAM, I had stabbed her. So it wasn’t at all premeditated. It is an unexplainable action for which I would plead leniency.

I believe the claims made by the detectives are false. Someone must have planted something. I certainly wouldn’t have typed into the search engine: What is the most effective place to stab someone dead with a carving knife?

2194. Life in the swamp

Ever since Janet had been a tadpole she had greatly admired the head frog, Queen Japonica. Queen Japonica’s greatest feature was that she didn’t let fear rule her life. If it was a sunny day she would bask in the shallow waters with the water barely covering her back.

“It is idyllic lying in both water and sunshine. Only a fool would fear the wading birds messing around in the swamp. Fear of wading oystercatchers is an unnecessary fear. I need to rest after laying so many eggs. Besides, as their name suggests, oystercatchers aren’t interested in frogs.”

And now Janet herself had grown into a stunningly beautiful frog. She still admired Queen Japonica greatly.

“That frog is almost a goddess,” said Janet. “She fears nothing, and rightly so.”

It therefore came as a great surprise when Charlie, the Head Sycophant in the Frog Court, approached Janet, bowed low and said, “Your Majesty – you are now queen.”

“Goodness gracious,” declared Janet. “What on earth happened to that magnificent queen we had?”

“Sadly, she passed away last Friday.”

“I first shall mourn for the late Queen Japonica,” said Janet.

“Japonica?” declared a surprised Head Sycophant. “Japonica was queen forty frogs ago. Queen Frogs keep getting eating by oystercatchers while basking in the sun. However I can understand your misunderstanding; we frogs all look the same.”

2193. I’m pleased to be a bee

Let me tell you; I just love being a bee. Some say that the Queen Bee is a slave-driver, but I can say without a skerrick of doubt – I’m no slave. My job is to go around collecting pollen. I love it, love it. It gives me a buzz.

And it’s so interesting. My area of expertise is a nearby flower garden. There’s such variety. One day it’s a poppy and the next day it’s an agapanthus. I like to mix up the pollen from all sorts. Of course, I get criticized for it: “This is primarily a tea-tree hive,” the other bees claim. “We are here to make tea-tree honey. It’s one of the more expensive varieties in shops” But I don’t care. A little bit of variety never hurt anyone.

Just the other day the Queen Bee commended me for my dedication to duty. I said, “It’s nothing Your Majesty. I am here to serve and it’s an honour to work for you.”

The other bees called me a “greaser”; I was greasing up the Queen because I wanted a promotion. How silly! There’s really no higher for a female worker bee to go. I’m content with my lot. How awful to be a drone. Those males sit around doing nothing but wait for an opportunity to do their business.

The other day, Alexandra was attacked by a human smashing around a rolled up newspaper. She had no option but to sting. But that’s the irony of being a bee; one stings to save ones life and having stung, one dies. Alexander passed away quite fast after her dramatic ordeal. The stinging was so sudden and so sad.

 Look, I haven’t got all day to talk. I have to get off to my garden. There’s a lady there now picking flowers. They’re laden with pollen. I’ll just take a quick dip in a flower before she takes the flowers off somewhere…

I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t help it. It was in self-defence.

2192. Jet pack

I’m a little bit out of touch, so I can’t instantly recall what those things are called. You put them on your back like a weed-spraying pack and take off into the air. It’s sort of jet propulsion or something. I remember when one was used during an Olympic Games Opening Ceremony years ago. These days they’re so common that a loaf of bread at an Olympic Games Opening Ceremony would be more spectacular. Everyone, just everyone, has got one.

The air can get quite cluttered. It always amuses me to see a parent taking their kids to school. It’s like a parental duck and the babies – except ducklings can’t fly.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about my great-aunt Sylvia and what happened to her when she donned one of those things. She had been harping for years about wanting to try flying. Are they called jet packs? I don’t have one. Everyone calls me old-fashioned; I still drive an electric car. And I must admit that the state of the roads these days is atrocious.

“You’re too old to fly alone in the air,” we told Aunt Sylvia. But she wouldn’t listen. She made a heap of dough with that pretend money they have so she’s not short a pretty penny, and before you knew it she’d gone and bought one of those contraptions.

“Look Aunt Sylvia,” we said. “If you must try it let’s go to the park and try it where there’s space.”

But Aunt Sylvia would have none of it. She put the thing on at home and went out to the back yard. I swear I never knew those things could take off so fast. Aunt Sylvia shot into the air like a catapult out of a cannon. She hit the top of a tall maple tree and got hooked up there.

“Just use the machine to come down,” we all shouted. But she said she didn’t trust the thing. So we had to call the Fire Brigade to come and rescue her. These days, of course, they don’t use ladders; they simply put a couple of those packs onto a couple of Fire Brigade people and they do the rest. So Aunt Sylvia was rescued.

She said that never again would she touch the dangerous things. But she must’ve because we found her with a broken neck about a month later when she’d flown crash-bang into the concrete wall of an outside handball court.

2191. Full moon

There was to be a full moon this coming Saturday. Monica knew that Crispin would propose. He was such a dyed-in-the-wool romantic. He loved the full moon, the stars, the night sky. In fact, Monica was so convinced he would propose that she changed her mind three times as to what she would wear.

The day arrived! The evening arrived!

“Let’s not go to a film or a concert tonight,” suggested Crispin. “There’s to be a full moon so let’s go to the park and wander around the duck pond as the moon rises.”

Monica was so glad she had opted to wear sensible shoes instead of the high heels she had initially planned.

Together they sat on a park bench at the duck pond. The moon rose. The evening was as clear as a bell. Monica sighed. It was a heavenly sigh of happiness and expectation. The moon had fully risen.

“Let’s go get a coffee,” suggested Crispin.

2190. The corrugated iron shed

You see the roof of that shed? It’s silver. I can just see it from my dining room window. My late husband planted those fast-growing trees quite a few years back to block the unsightly view of the corrugated iron shed. The elderly couple used to keep hay in the shed for their horses. They had two horses.

“It’s none of our business watching the neighbours feed their horses,” he used to say. “And the shed is unsightly. It ruins the view.”

With that, my husband planted the trees. They’re on our side of the fence. If the truth be told, it worked both ways. It stopped the elderly couple from looking up and into our dining room. Not that we were doing anything untoward. But it’s a question of privacy.

Well! The elderly couple died – as does happen – and the property was sold. It was bought by a couple of men who are – as Maggie from up the road says – “an interesting couple of blokes”. I’m not sure what goes on in that shed, but they ain’t got no horses.

Every day I curse my late husband for his lack of foresight when he planted those trees. Every day, around 11 o’clock, those two park their pickup just shy of the corrugated iron shed. They get out and go presumably into the shed. They’re there from several minutes to about an hour.

Maggie from up the road says they’ll be growing marijuana under artificial light, but I pointed out that it has a concrete floor and there didn’t seem to be any cables going into the shed for electricity. At least that was the case when I went down to the shed when those “interesting couple of blokes” were away for the day. Of course, the shed was locked, so I’m none the wiser.

Tomorrow’s a public holiday. They seem to go away on most public holidays. Goodness knows where to, although I have my suspicions. Maggie from up the road and I intend to go to the shed and find out what’s going on, once and for all. We’ll let you know.

2189. Garden weeding, garden wedding

It was to be an early Autumn wedding. The timing was so that Olga could prepare her substantial grounds and garden for the occasion. In fact, Olga had spent the entire Spring and Summer preparing for the occasion. The colours of the garden blooms would match the bridesmaid’s dresses. The pagoda was painted a garden green. The bridge over the huge frog pond was fixed. The work had been tireless. The wedding guests were invited to dress casual. Perhaps a straw hat might do the trick.

Of course, Olga could afford the time to prepare. She had retired early, if forty-seven could be considered early. The divorce had thrust a substantial income her way. She was now a woman of means; a creature of leisure. Except her preparations in the garden could hardly be called leisure; she was there morning, noon and night in rain, hail or shine. What a perfect wedding it was going to be for daughter Naomi!

A stunning mix of red and white dahlias lined the bridal path. The only unpretty point in the arrangement was that it would be ruined by her ex-husband stomping down the garden aisle. It would be a brief but ugly sight. Hopefully the radiance of the bride reflected in the dahlias would distract from her ugly ex.

Honestly, if an alien craft accidentally landed in Olga’s wedding garden they would undoubtedly have construed Earth to be the loveliest planet in the Cosmos.

All was ready. Olga’s daughter was to stay the night. Tomorrow was the day! At last! At last!

That night saw the biggest storm in over a century.

2188. Talula Does the Hula

It was preposterous, said the judge. The poor little girl’s parents had named her Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii. The parents must have been drunk when they settled on a name. The little girl had told everyone that her name was Kay. Few knew that her registered name was Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii.

Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii was currently the victim of a custody battle, which is why she came to court and her name came to light.

The mother explained that Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii was conceived in Honolulu while they were on vacation. It was normal in her culture to name a child after something significant that occurred from conception until birth. Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii seemed reasonable at the time.

The father during the custody battle was nowhere to be seen. Your explanation seems reasonable, said the judge. I hereby award Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii to the custody of her mother, Hole In The Condom.