Friday, January 14, 2011

Getting Dirty With A Botanist

So, you know I said that I had to witness the planting of a tree?  What I didn't know, and therefore failed to mention, was that I actually had to plant the effing tree myself.  With compost and spade and dirty hands and everything.

Now, The Pant has been known to get down and dirty.  But not with actual dirt.  And generally, when I am getting down and dirty, I prohibit photography.  No such luck today.

Look, the chapel service wasn't so much a chapel service as an elderly man bleating down a microphone about some path these young boys must make with a bag full of stones.  The metaphor was completely lost on me.  I shudder to think what was going through the minds of these teeny little boy children.

And then Mr Very-Important-Headmaster stood up.  He took up his spot behind the podium.  Parents and children alike were anxious.  They hushed each other.  I didn't get it: he looked just like any other old man leaning against a bar looking for some younger lady skirt.  But the audience (congregation??) was in awe - mouths agape.

And he spoke.  And what he said struck fear right into the depths of my own heart.  Look, the man is a master of circumlocution but the gist of his speech had something to do with planting, with my bare hands, an actual tree.  I kind of thought he said in groups of ten boys.  But alas! upon arrival at the planting site, there were some 4 zipillion trees and even more bags of compost.

I tried to get Enormous Son of Maid to do all the work.  And it was looking quite good.  The plant was in its hole, the compost poured around it.  But a pile of earth was next to the scene and needed to get into the hole.  I sent ESM off to find a spade because I sure as hell wasn't getting my hands dirty.  At which point Old (like ancient) Botanist Man approaches me (in khaki teesavs, nondescript golf shirt and those hideous sandal things with hundreds of velcro straps).

Old Botanist Man:  That's too deep.

TP:  Shouldn't I be saying that?

OBM:  The plant needs to be closer to the top of the ground.

TP:  Okay.

OBM:  Can I show you?

TP:  Show away pal.

OBM:  Do you mind getting dirty?

TP:  With you?

OBM:  Of course I'll help.

TP:  Yes I do mind getting dirty, then.

(At which point Enormous Son of Maid returns with spade in hand.)

TP:  Okay guys.  Get planting.

I took the opportunity to look around and soak in the intricacies of human interaction.  At hole 63, the hole next to ours, was clearly a divorced couple who share only two things in life:  their son and their hatred for each other.  I laughed.  Not just inside.  But outside too.  It was like watching two children, forced to be Mary and Joseph in the Nativity Scene, when he stole her bike and pulled her hair in the playground earlier.  It was priceless.  Really.

And then Nouveau Riche man who couldn't find his hole (it's in between your sizeable arse cheeks, Sir).  He threw one mammoth hissy fit at the headmaster because he had his tree, he had his compost, and he couldn't find an effing hole in which to plant his effing tree.  Oh, how I chuckled.  Self-Important-Self-Righteous Prick.

One other thing.  How ugly are some people?  There was one lady, with a poodle under her arm, who, I swear, has had her hair done exactly the same way as her dog.  It's as though she drove the entire way from Namibia with her head out the window.

I'm exhausted now.  All that planting and eating of fingers really does take it out of one.  Trust me.


  1. Too Funny Pant! You make me giggle so much!

  2. Oops that was meant to be for 'Oh Em Gee. I forgot to say'. I remember the telling of that story many moons ago. I think I peed my pants a little then too.

  3. Ah my Smelly Cat - the number of times we've nearly peed our pants together.

    So looking forward to April - it's not the pant-wetting I'm looking that forward to, but rather the laughter that causes the pant wetting.