A Loco Viewpoint
Zucchini Gang Rides Again
They say “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. I’d add “Scorned women have nothing on ladies who’ve had their vegetable garden pranked.”
To recap; last year my neighbor, Cam, and our buddy, Grant, snuck a large zucchini into Cam’s wife’s garden. Cec’s veggie patch is her pride and joy and she was delighted. She attributed it to her uncanny gardening ability, despite not planting any zucchinis or the zucchini wasn’t attached to any zucchini vines, nor that she hadn’t noticed it, as it grew to be the 18 inch, 8 pound beauty it was.
Cam and Grant advised me of the zucchini’s checkered past, after Cec had excitedly shown me the wondrous green squash which had magically materialized amongst her Swiss chard. My laughter instantly ceased at the sudden realization I’d become an accomplice to the deed. If the truth came out, I’d be a “dead man walking”, much like NSA leaker, Edward Snowden. I considered how much a flight to Russia might cost.
Cec’s giant zucchini’s past came to light at the 2012 Greater Calmar Ladder-Golf Tournament and Libation Convention. It was held in their back yard and as each guest arrived, Cec proudly showed off her botanical skills using the notorious zucchini as proof. When Cam announced to all how Grant had snuck the zucchini into the garden, to everyone’s gleeful mirth, Cec’s cheery elfish face turned darker than the sky before a prairie thunderstorm. As feared, I was dragged into Cec’s list of co-conspirators since I’d failed to rat out Cam and Grant. The assembled merry-makers immediately dubbed the three of us, “The Zucchini Gang”.
This year, as the 2013 edition of the tourney approached, I was sitting in Cam’s backyard with him and Grant when the subject of Cec’s garden cropped up.
“Okay,” Cam began, accusatorially. “Who planted the row of radishes in Cec’s garden? She’s livid.”
The icy fist of fear clenched my sphincter. I knew, whoever the culprit was, I’d be included in Cec’s list of suspects. However, both Cam and Grant plead innocence as convincingly as I had. There was an unknown subject in the midst; an “Un Sub” just like on “Criminal Minds”. We immediately tackled the mystery knowing failure solidify the direction of Cec’s wrath our way; and wrath it was.
“Vengence is mine,” sayeth my diminutive neighbor. “You better tell any other members of your radish planting team that I take an eye for an eye without blinking an eye.”
“There’s no “I” in team,” Cam said unwisely.
“No,” agreed Cec. “but there are two eyes in idiot and all my eyes see right now are three idiots who dared go at my garden. And why radishes? I HATE radishes!”
‘Ah ha!’ I thought. ‘A clue! Who knows Cec detests radishes? This narrows the field significantly.’
After Cec stomped off (she’s so cute when she stomps) the gang discussed our new competitors. Names surfaced including Gloria, a friend of Cec’s who works at a store that sells, yes, radish seeds. She was a natural fit. So too, mentioned Grant, was Leah, another pal; a delightful, upstanding person with a mischievous streak kilometers wide.
“Since the radish row is perfectly straight leads me to believe our quarry is definitely a woman,” I asserted while crouching and whipping off my sunglasses like Horatio of CSI; Miami. “Any one of us three would have just spilled the seeds on the ground.”
“Like that Onan guy in the bible?” Cam asked to Grant’s bewilderment.
“These were just radish seeds, thankfully,” I responded, my nose wrinkled in disgust. “So, Gloria has opportunity; she checks out Cec’s garden often and has access to seeds. She has ability; no one questions Gloria’s green thumb, plus motive…”
“What motive?” Grant wanted to know.
“You have met Gloria, haven’t you?” Cam put in. “She’s sweet and all but if she thought she could pull a fast one on Cec and implicate us three, she would leap at it with all the gusto her short little legs could muster… in a heart-beat, too, if she had one.”Grant shrugged.
“But Leah has the same opportunity, motive and ability as Gloria,” Grant pointed out. “Maybe they’re in league!” I added in full conspiracy theory mode.
“The Un Subs will reveal themselves at the tournament,” Cam deduced. “The perps will be dying to discuss them. Like a firebug, they’ll return to crime scene. Do not mention the radishes to anyone. Let’s see who mentions them. That will be our guilty party, guaranteed.”
The day of the tourney was mostly sun-filled and completely fun-filled. The boozy Jell-O shooters were flowing like water, if it was really thick, tequila-spiked, fruity, gelatinous water. I forgot all about radishes, making a mockery of my homemade “Private Eye” card in my wallet. In my defense, no one brought up radishes that I can recall.
The night of the tourney, after most had left and Cec had gone to bed, The Gang held a meeting in Cam’s garage. I claimed to have watched the radish patch diligently but reported no one had brought them up to me. Cam related a similar experience. Grant, however, who had called the meeting, had news.
“So I talked to Gloria about the radishes,” Grant grinned. “She says it wasn’t her and I believe her. I think it has to be Leah.”
“Hey!” I said in consternation. “We agreed we wouldn’t discuss it! Why did you bring it up to Gloria? Remember, we said whoever discusses is probably guilty.”
“Yep,” grinned Cam. “Looks like it worked. Planting those radishes wasn’t very nice of you and Gloria, Grant. No wonder you keep blaming Leah.”
Of course he denied it. We know, however, he’s likely full of, ahem, fertilizer. Case closed.
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