Re: [gardeners] The Neighbor

George Shirley (
Wed, 10 Jun 1998 17:19:32

At 04:38 PM 6/10/98 +0000, you wrote:
>Some of you may remember my "flamingo war" with my one unpleasant neighbor 
>(not the one that died in the kitchen; the one that told me if I wanted to 
>be a farmer I should move out of town and quit offending his sensibilities 
>by having the temerity to grow tomatoes [in chic yuppie bamboo teepees, no 
>Well, yesterday the Tomato-Trashing Neighbor reached the pinnacle of 
>suburban achievement in Atlanta, Georgia. He won the highly coveted (by 
>some) Yard of the Month award.
>The ever so tasteful sign appeared on his clipped-to-within-a- 
>millimeter-of-its-life Zoysia lawn yesterday morning. My Nice Neighbor 
>across the street called me in a dither...a snit...a sputtering Southron 
>"Catharine! Go look out your window at Meader's front lawn!!! You just 
>won't believe it. I'm seeing it but I still  don't believe it. I can't 
>believe it. I am going to call the Design Committee and tell them I am 
>ashamed to live in this neighborhood if *that*'s held up as an example." 
>(15 second pause while I am still fumbling to get the phone placed on my 
> is 6:00 a.m., you see, and I wasn't out of bed yet.)  
>Finally, I find a voice. "Er, Gloria? Is that you? What are you talking 
>about? Do you know what time it is? Did somebody Gnome Meaders?"
>"Get out of bed, Catharine. Meaders won Yard of the Month!! And he hasn't 
>even edged along the curb in the last two years. I know it's been two 
>years. I keep track of these things. Somebody has to."
>After asking Gloria to hang on, I roll out of bed, peek out the window and 
>sure enough, there it is: Yard of the Month. It must have been bestowed in 
>the night. Like night soil.
>Since this neighbor has not planted a tree, a bush, a shrub, a perennial, 
>an annual, a biennial...not even a six pack of impatiens in the 5 years I 
>have lived next door I told Gloria that I can only surmise that The Lawn 
>does indeed reign supreme in Atlanta. Followed by The Annual Pansy 
>Display, of course.
>Gloria promises all out war. She said she was going to protest to the 
>Design Committee (that such a committee actually exists and runs around 
>granting such awards is, intself, mind boggling). She said she would bring 
>me an update tonight. I'm on pins and needles waiting the news....
>Catharine, who has a fundamental mistrust of lawns and suburbia
You should see the Sulphur Garden Club, it's a bunch of old, uhh, elderly
women who do flower arrangements. I went to an open meeting and asked if
anyone grew vegetables and a hush fell over the room, followed by a group
deep breath, followed by a vigorous whispering campaign. I left, figuring I
was out of place because a) I'm very obviously male, b) I grow veggies, c)
I could give a hoot less about flower arranging. But yet they bestow the
Yard of the Month sign. Only to members of course.