‘Soldier, you’re surrounded’
My liberal friends contend that the only way to deal with your adversaries is through a process of diplomacy, sanctions and negotiations. To a point, I agree. But there comes a time when, even for a Kerry Democrat like me, when the only course of action is to kill your enemies. I’m here to tell you it’s kind of fun. I, Biff America, am on a noxious weed jihad. I owe my conversion from bunny-hugger to plant serial killer to my new neighbor, Ken. I walked over to his home last week to welcome him to the neighborhood. His courtyard was a majestic myriad of landscaping and yard ornaments. Ken is a big man with the hard eyes of someone familiar and comfortable with flora genocide. He was standing over a mound of pulled and tangled weeds. His large arms were crossed over his chest as he glared down at the cache of freshly uprooted villains. His stance and demeanor caused me caution. His resemblance to one of those guards featured in the Abu Grhaib prison photos was uncanny. I introduced myself and welcomed him to the block. When I pointed to my home and yard he said simply, “Solider, you’re surrounded.” We walked over to my homestead and Ken gave me a quick tutorial on invasive weeds and the danger of plant-pest coddling. Unbeknownst to me, my yard has been harboring a gang of noxious front yard-plant terrorists. Some of them had already flowered, and even looked pretty, but I soon learned looks can be deceiving. Ken told me, through clenched teeth, “If you let them get a foothold, they will take over the entire neighborhood. They need to die.” Upon closer scrutiny, I saw the evil behind the beauty. There in my yard, creeping ever nearer to my door, were oxeye daisies, yellow toadflax, and leafy spurge. To make matters worse, there were quite a few Russian knapweed, a vicious Commie pest from the former Soviet Union still fighting the Cold War. When I suggested to Ken that I borrow a lawn mower or Bush-wacker to cut down the non-native interlopers, he hit the roof. “You don’t understand Mister. Those bastards have roots deeper than Alex Haley’s. This is no time to be weak-kneed. Either yank them from the earth or use poison. Kill them all and let God sort them out.” I looked over at Ken. There were flecks of spittle on his lips. Since that day, I’ve given my neighbor a wide berth. But after getting a second and third opinion, I have taken his advice. I decided against chemicals. I reasoned that if you felt strongly enough to kill something, you should at least have the guts to look your victim in the eyes. After putting on knee pads, gloves and sunscreen, I engaged my foe in deadly conflict on the battlefield in front of my home. The weeds won that first skirmish. Ken was right. Weed roots go deeper than Michael Jackson’s neuroses. My back seized up after an hour. I limped back into the house for anti-inflammatories, vowing to return. It is no surprise that plants and animals have a leg up over humans in terms of design, durability and adaptive qualities. Animals are faster, stronger and don’t require toilet paper. If they had thumbs and could operate a trigger on an automatic weapon, they would be hunting us. By the same token, plants can live, flourish and adapt to environments that would kill the hardiest of humans. What we have over plants and animals is the ability to reason, technology and credit cards. Because I can, I went out and bought a Weed Hound. A Weed Hound is a 4-foot metal pipe with sharpened prongs at the end. You stick the Punjab prongs into the heart of the pest and push down with your foot. At the opposite end of the prongs is a crank that produces a death grip on the weed’s vital organs and allows you to rip the creature from earth, roots and all.My yard is now rutted and pocked marked like the craters of the moon. It seems that weeds made up the lion’s share of my landscaping. Without them, my plantation looks barren and bare. I’m OK with that. Working late into the evening, armed only with beer and my Weed Hound, I have the satisfaction knowing I’m doing my best to keep my town and neighborhood secure. I looked down the street toward Ken’s house and saw the glow of his night vision binoculars. I know he is watching, and I’m guessing he approves. That somehow makes me feel like a patriot. Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of “Biff America” can be seen on RSN television, heard on KOA radio, and read in several mountain publications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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