Keep it Wet, Weed Free, and Secure

The plants are growing in the garden this week. The temperature has been in the 90’s and there has been no rain, so one would think that the plots would be nothing but mini dioramas of Oklahoma in the 1930’s. But if one thought that, it would be because one did not know the determination and fortitude of the Plotters.

The plotters are half agrarian and half Gunga Din. We plant and hoe and weed, but then we spend the better part of the summer carrying water to our plants to nourish them. I say carry water because when you are a plotter, you do not have ready access to water. You have to walk up to 100 feet to the nearest faucet and plotter rules forbid you from hooking up a hose. This means you have to carry pail after pail of water to your plot like a burro hauling borax through Death Valley. There may be a drought in the rest of the area but your plants will not suffer. One of the Plotters has even resorted to purchasing water for his plot. He’s buying Perrier because he’s raising French green beans.

At the end of the day, some of the Plotters get together to discuss important issues of the day such as:

  1. the lack of rain;
  2. how dry it is;
  3. Hot enough for ya?, or
  4. “Will you look at the weeds on that guy’s plot!”


You see, the Plotters like to keep their neighborhood tidy and when neighbors don’t pick their weeds, well, it brings everybody down.

Since this is my first year as a plotter, I didn’t know how serious these Plotter lifers were. Some of these Plotters rent the same plot year after year so they are very picky about their neighbors. Think about fixing up your home to be one of the beauties of the neighborhood and some guy in a double-wide trailer moves in next door. This is how the Plotters look at the slackers.

I would hate to see it resort to something like a citronella torch-lit rally on the weedy plot with the Plotters shouting “Hey, hey. Ho ho. Your ugly weed have got to go.”. I suggest that if somebody’s weedy plot is causing them stress, that they should just leave a note on the offender’s plot, “Pull your weeds or the zucchini gets it.” With this idea, the Plotters made me Sergeant at Arms.

Another big problem the plotters have to face is poaching. I know that local critters like rabbits, and chipmunks, and muskoxen, like to graze in gardens but the Plotters told me that their plots are subject to shrinkage of a different sort

In business, shrinkage occurs from shoplifting and other retail theft. In a Plotter’s life, shrinkage occurs when somebody other than you literally takes the fruits – and vegetables – of your labor for their own nefarious uses.

“How dare they” I said when the Plotters informed me of this drawback. “We should set up a neighborhood watch to keep poachers from snatching our squash.” I exclaimed, and was met with applause. It was then that I learned that securing this year’s crops was now my responsibility. After all, I was their Sergeant at Arms.

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