Flying Bananas

For some time I’ve had a little problem with exploding banana trees. OK, they’re not really banana trees, they’re giant bird of paradise plants. It’s more fun to say “exploding banana trees.” And the trees themselves didn’t explode, but their roots regularly blew out the sides of their terra cotta pots. We tried replacing the pots with new ones, but the trees just blew out the new ones. So I contacted Syndesis, the makers of Syndecrete. It’s twice as strong and half as heavy as concrete. They made me some lovely planters. The only problem was getting them into the back yard.

You haven’t lived as a homeowner until you’ve seen a 6′ Syndecrete planter dangling inches from your house, while guys scream at each other in several languages and try to remember what the hand signals might be for the guy running the crane . Since Crane Guy’s behind a big wall and can’t see what’s going on, you don’t really want to give him the wrong signal. (I’m now pretty fluent in crane myself.) I told everyone if I heard a big splash, it had better be a workman going into the pool.

The planter guys didn’t really know how to get the straps out from under the planters once they were in place. Sitting right on the straps. You would think this would have come up before, but no. So my poor gardeners had to try to slide shovels under each (1500-lb!!) planter, lift it a few inches and slide the straps out. This took some time. Then the banana trees were up in the air getting put into the planters, with my old dog Bailey right behind them, wagging her tail and waiting for someone to notice that this was all a VERY BAD IDEA. Nothing big got broken and my back yard looks much better, but it was a busy morning.

Next I went to OSH and had another little drama there. For some reason I decided I need to own some power tools. I got most of the stuff I wanted, but I was mystified by the power drills. I kept picking one up, then putting it back. Next thing I knew a helpful guy from Bundy Lock & Key took me under his wing. Why I would trust the stranger in the aisle more than the staff just shows you my general opinion of OSH. I am now well outfitted should I ever decide to um, make something. Or fix something. Hey, you need something drilled, I’m your girl.

Which led me and Lock Guy to the scene at the ONLY checkout where you can buy tools. The guy ahead of us had found some ancient demo ceiling fans, on sale for 75% off. Which saved him a whopping $30 or so, so you can appreciate the high quality fan we’re talking about here. Well, OSH may give 75% discounts, but they do not apparently have any way to enter such a thing at the cash register. I lost count at four managers who tried. We briefly tried to offer the guy in line $30 to go away, but he was a man on a mission and would not be swayed. In fact, he tried to get the rest of us to take a trip up to the attic to get our own dusty used ceiling fan. Not a green one, though, Mr. Shrewd Shopper got the only green one. FINALLY they discovered the process for the elusive discount was to (ready?) push “discount”, then enter “75%.” Who woulda guessed?!?!? Then Lock Guy got up to the register and announced that he didn’t have his card or know his number, or have any ID that he worked for Bundy Lock except the T-shirt he was wearing, but he wanted to charge his $7 purchase to the company account. No, I didn’t hurt anyone. That day.

Now after all this, why I thought it was a good day to connect the new scanner to my balky computer, I have no idea. But amazingly that worked just fine. I guess I was due for an easy project for a change. Computers are now mostly operational, banana trees in planters that so far haven’t exploded. Paula’s off getting some snazzy new remotes (gate AND garage on same tiny remote that fits on your key ring) and Discount Wednesday McDonald cheeseburgers for the dogs. In the middle of the worst back yard chaos this morning I looked over and there was my Basset, Hennessy, asleep on the chaise by the pool. Occasionally she opened one eye and cocked an ear to remind the guys to keep it down during her nap.

Copyright 1999 by Janine Smith. Not to be reproduced or distributed without permission