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May 31, 2006

The Garden of Constant Sorrow; or "Hello, welcome to my backyard lake!"

Hi! Want to go for a swim?

Maybe start a trout farm? Grow some rice in a water-drenched paddy? Begin your very own West Nile Mosquito breeding farm? Do some pre-election muckraking with REAL CALIFORNIA muck? (kind of like real California cheese, only... muckier! Ya'll. I should copyright that.)

Well, if any or all of these activities sound fetching to you, please stop by my house after work. We'll drink some beer and watch the mosquitoes breed. It will be like one of those old Southern novels that ends with someone yelling out for Sounder. Or was it roll of thunder? I do not know. Maybe my neighbor down the street will set something on fire again, but we will be protected by the moat, because my backyard is fully flooded.

Let us flash back to the past, to ... yesterday. At 7 a.m.:

Me, slightly hysterical: Francisco? It's Laurie, please can you come over today because... there is a swimming pool in my backyard.

Francisco: Ah Miss you know I do not swim. I am Francisco.

Me, to myself, also keep in mind I have not had coffee: [You are Francisco ...? Is that like, a declarative sentence in which you state the reason for your actions in life is 'I Am Francisco'? I HAVE GOT TO TRY THIS. Would you like sour cream on that? No! Because I am Laurie! Would you help me with this power point presentation? No! I am Laurie!]

Me, out loud: Francisco. It's ... a lake. The sprinklers are... broken? Or maybe really really overactive? Because there is water all over the backyard.

Francisco: I see.

Me: ...!!!!!!!

Francisco: Yes. I will come and save save the sprinklers.

Me: Because you are Francisco.

Francisco: huh?

Indeed, I had discovered really exciting lake-front property in Encino, which was in fact very new and rather alarming as it is Summer (and Summer in the valley means Never Rains Everything Dries Up Dies Is Dessicated Catches On Fire) and I myself had quite the tropical paradise happening out back. There was a chair floating near the pumpkin plant. I believe I saw a squirrel jet-skiing in the back forty. Rather than join the assorted bugs and wildlife partaking in the watery goodness, however, I had to haul ass to downtown because apparently I don't have the cajones to tell my boss, No, I cannot come to work today! I am Laurie! Also, I pay the water bill for this lake!

Work was very happy as you can imagine, with me trying to decide if the house would flood, or maybe begin sinking, or that otters would swim up and start building a dam with what used to be the patio chairs and before long the opening sequence of CSI: Miami would be filmed right in my own backyard, complete with airboats and alligators and one David Caruso, who takes off his sunglasses and surveys Waterworld Encino, and then as he slides his dark glasses back on, he punctuates it with a quippy line such as, "It's murder ... Miami-Encino style. I Am David Caruso!"

Anyway. All's well that ends well and also ends with no otters on my doorstep, and I left work and Francisco came over and stopped the River Encino from growing into a canal and he did manage to SAVE THE SPRINKLERS. The yard is another story all together. Mucky is the new chic, yes? The drought-tolerant ice plant is now floating like so many waterlilies out on the bayou. If I find any crawfish swimming back there, I'll invite ya'll for dinner. You will need to utter the secret phrase for entry into the pond, though:

I Am Francisco!


watergarden-river.jpg


watergarden-weeds.jpg
I couldn't get any further than the sidewalk to take muckier, more bayou-like pictures, because I was not wearing my waders, and Lord knows what could be swimming back there, revived from the primordial ooze. Hey, want to come over? Primordial ooze! Fun!

Posted by laurie at May 31, 2006 9:30 AM