Plant Thieves

Pots of flowersOne day last summer, Mother and I ran by the garden center while we were running errands, as any right-thinking person would.  As I was strolling about, measuring the beauty of the flowers against the high cost of divorce, should I purchase any more this month, a miracle occurred.  One of the vendors walked up to me and asked if I liked flowers.  She cut me off before I really got started.  She lived at ——Jones Street.  She’d collected so many flowers she couldn’t take care of them.  They were all in her yard and on her porch.  Go by and get all I wanted.

“Is this a joke?  What if your neighbors see me loading flowers and call the police?”

“Oh, that’s no problem.  Just take a picture of me and show it to them if they say anything, or tell them to call me.  It will be fine.”  That sounded reasonable.  I snapped her picture making the peace sign and sped to _______Jones Street.  The neighbors were on their doorstep watching us, probably wondering why they hadn’t been offered anything.  I showed them the lady’s picture, telling them she said we could have her plants.  They looked suspicious, but didn’t yell at us.  The plants were gorgeous.  She’d even started a couple of nice pineapples.  I was thrilled to get them when I noticed we were on ______Patterson Street.  We put all the plants back, explained to the neighbors, and took off.

We never did find ________Jones Street, but at least we haven’t been arrested, yet.  I’ll bet that woman in the garden center is still laughing.

I am a slow learner. A few days ago Mother and I made a stop by another plant outlet set up in a parking lot. They had nice plants at great prices, but I forced myself not to buy much, since my beds weren’t ready yet. It as a bit of a challenge loading them since we were in Mother’s car instead of my truck, like usual. We unloaded at my house and Mother headed home with her plants. I didn’t count mine, just put them on the patio till I could get them out.

The next day, she called and told me she’d gotten an extra plant in her bunch and had to go back to pay for it. I’m glad I didn’t have to hear her explanation to the clerk, but she paid for the one she thought was extra and picked up several more while she was there.

When I counted my plants, I realized Mother had kept one of mine, accounting for her “extra.” She’s going back up to see the poor plant lady today to straighten it out. I’d be willing to bet the lady gives her extras in desperation I am glad I don’t have to go.

Follow up on Ralphy

Several people asked for a follow-up on Ralphy, the kid I mentioned in a previous story. I still see Ralphy occasionally. He is a very pleasant, likeable guy, but never set the world on fire. He holds down a job and putters round. He married and divorced and lived with his mother between relationships, but has been a stable relationship with a nice lady for a couple of years. He is good to his mama, an excellent recommendation. Alas, he didn’t grow up to a be a poet, and I don’t know who he calls now when he wants to talk on the hone.

Happy as a Pig in Slop

pig in slopRalphy was a quirky kid who lived just down the road from us. When he was eight or nine, he’d call on the phone, asking to speak to Daddy. We were always interested in hearing what he had to say.

“Mr. Bill?”

“Yeah, what’s on your mind today, Ralphy?”

“My mama just bought some of that new White Cloud Bathroom Tissue. You should come try it! Bye.”

Another call:

“Mr. Bill?”

“Yeah, Ralphy. How are you today?”

“Fine. I just got my report card. I had all D’s and F’s.”

“No, Ralphy! Surely not!”

“Yep, and I’ve got the papers to prove it! Bye!”

Next call:

“Mr. Bill?”

“Hey, Ralphy. What’s going on?”

“I wrote a poem in school today. Want to hear it?”

“Why sure!”

“Rabbits love cribbage and cabbage.

Pigs love slibbage and slobbage.”

“That’s good, Ralphy. What did you make on it?”

“An F. It was supposed to be about the Flag. Bye.”

We all hung on those phone calls like a pig in slobbage.