Upside Down World

Do you see the red parrot turned upside down while the green parrot grooms him?

It’s just an upside down world.

Did you know that journaling is a great catharsis? I always tell myself that when something crazy, wild, bad, fun, exciting happens, I need to put it in a story. That’s how I live my life. It’s story material.

So here’s a crazy one. I hired a guy to take out a tree and replace it with one that won’t have to be trimmed to death to keep it from running into my house and the roots from tearing up my driveway. I don’t know why builders don’t think of long-term trouble. Anyway, so the guy and his helper tell me that the in-ground sprinkler has been cut in two places. Now, he proceeds to tell me just how one of the two shovels they were using couldn’t have done the job. He didn’t say anything about the other shovel. You know why? The one he was showing me did it. If I had taken forensic evidence from it, it would have shown it was the culprit.

So he says there’s no way it could have done it. The cuts were way too smooth. And he lifts the edge of the shovel to show it’s too jagged to have cut anything that smoothly.

It looked really smooth to me.

He says they had to be cut by a pair of scissors.

Tell me this guy is joking. That he can’t think I’m that stupid. That I would even consider buying into that malarkey. Nope. He really, truly, sincerely believes I will fall for his story.

I write stories for a living. One of the key elements is that you have to make them seem realistic. Even though mine are about shapeshifting cougars, and jaguars, and wolves, and bears, oh my!

“Well, it won’t cost that much to fix. Only about $3.50. It’s not that big a deal,” he says.

So why make up a cockamamie story and just fix it? He offered his services to do my yard. NO. WAY.

And, one of the guys tossed a water bottle behind my shrubs, thinking I wouldn’t find it. I was pulling weeds back there, and hey, my yard isn’t a trash dump, thank you very much. If you want to trash your own yard, go right ahead. That flowerbed is next to the house, a long way from the road, so it had to have been theirs.

“Nobody came over here and cut the sprinkler with a pair of scissors,” I said. For one thing, to have cut it where it was cut–in two separate places– someone would have had to have dug up all the dirt around that length of hose to reach it. I didn’t even think of that when he hit me with this unreal story. It’s almost as crazy as a parrot hanging upside down so his companion could groom his tail feathers.


The funny thing is that when I looked at the other guy to see his take on this ludicrous story, he was smiling. I smiled at him. We shared the secret. He cut the sprinkler hose.

The guys finally came back three days later to fix it, after I reminded them they were supposed to fix it two days earlier.

“We haven’t forgotten about it,” the guy in charge had texted me.

Me either! Since the water was shooting across the yard and not watering the tree that was just planted.

I couldn’t stop thinking about it the night they had done it. It wouldn’t have mattered in the least that they had done it–if they had just not made up a story to say they didn’t do it. Are we all kindergartners or what?

My neighbor’s son is my yardman, and I told him all about it when it first happened. The day after it was fixed, he was out mowing his parents’ lawn and came over to make sure the sprinkler head was set right. It wasn’t so he fixed it for me. When he cuts a sprinkler head by accident–because that’s all it is–he fixes it. No made up story at all.

I asked him why he came over and cut my sprinkler with a pair of scissors, by the way.

He laughed. I laughed.

Telling about it is a catharsis. And maybe, someday, it will be in one of my books.

Am I still mad? Nope. Sprinkler’s fixed, and I have a fun, true story to tell.

Hope you have a fun day and any tall tales you hear or offer will be just told in fun.


“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
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