Everything else in my yard can be dying, but a weed will shoot to redwood height on one thimble of water. I have to baby my butterfly bushes and plead with my petunias to stay alive for more than 24 hours after leaving the nursery.
Yet a snarky weed can take a hit from a Mack truck and radioactive waste and still double its growth every five minutes.
With spring’s arrival, I saw a tough new gang of smirking weeds advancing on my begonias and declared war.
The first step was a trip to Home Depot to procure my arsenal: three plastic canisters of “Total Vegetation Killer.” The skull-and-crossbones label warned that a chemical suit should be worn, and women shouldn’t bear children for five years after using the stuff. However, I’m past my childbearing years, so I chortled maniacally and loaded my ammo into my shopping cart.
Back at the frontlines, I prepared a canister, priming the spray pump and pulling on my work gloves. The weeds seemed unconcerned, hip-hopping in the breeze. I tiptoed close, took careful aim and shot a stream of noxious spray at a gang of hoodlum weeds. I threw back my head and roared in triumph.
And that’s when the wind blew a shot of spray right into my naked face.
I heard the weeds laugh. Not the innocent laughter of happy flowers but an evil, contemptuous sniggering that sent chills across my flesh. Or it may have been the herbicide eating away my skin.
Looking down at my soaked T-shirt, I figured the herbicide couldn’t be all THAT deadly to humans – and I wouldn’t mind a few genetic alterations anyway, so I continued dousing the cocky weeds until I drained the last of the poison. So what if my head throbbed, my sinuses burned, my vision blurred and my stomach roiled in protest from inhaling five gallons of malignant herbicide.
I threw back my head again and exulted in my victory – this time facing away from the wind.
To complete my conquest, I engaged in hand-to-leaf combat, yanking and straining until my back ached and my garbage can was filled with upstart weeds.
The following morning, I looked in the trash, expecting to find heaps of wilted weeds taking their last gasps, succumbing to my will and Home Depot’s Jugs o’ Death.
But as I said earlier, weeds are sarcastic – and evidently supernatural – plants. They grinned evilly at me. They didn’t even have the decency to look worried.
“What the –” I muttered despairingly.
I fished an empty cauldron from the trash and read the label: “Kills ALL types of weeds within 24 hours.”
I wanted to smack the smug looks right off their prolific faces. I went inside and shut my blinds. I just hate the sight of sneering weeds.
Besides, I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of seeing me gulping aspirin for my aching back, plucking dead nose hairs, and searching online for a home DNA test.