One afternoon, I watched someone admiring the hydrangea bush in the front yard, look to her left, then right, snatch off a bloom and scuttle down the walk. I wanted to chase after her, but I was on the phone discussing something too important to drop. I knew she lived in the neighborhood, thought I'd wait till she walked by again, try the shame game on her, let her stick that in her corsage to display. Now, I know it's just a bloom taken, not something of great value like for instance, my truck. But the point is, the act of taking what isn't ours. And I'll be danged if not an hour later, another woman sharked around the hydrangea bush, yanked away another bloom. Foolish mortal. This one was not getting away. I sped out the door, caught her at the roses, said, "Hey, I"m happy to share. All you have to do is ask". Well, you would have thought I was speaking a Martian from the way her face scrunched up like tin foil, unresponsive, letting someones words fall out of the phone slipping away from her ear. Perhaps two conversations was too much stimuli, too much coordination required to function- a stolen bloom in one hand, phone in the other. I thought her head might blow up like one of those Fem-bots, bless her heart. This was getting fun. "I saw you rip-off that bloom in your hand", I said just to be clear. She finally responded, phone hanging from her ear like toilet paper stuck on a shoe. "Do you want it back", she asked? "No, what's the point in that?" "I'm sorry", she said, busied herself away. But her words were mouthed like a fish sucking air- useless.
Now, as a kid, haven't we plucked a bloom for our mothers, wild or from someones yard. We innocently thought, it's only a flower, or, it's a living thing. How could anyone own that? No one would mind just one bloom. And likely, most folks wouldn't mind a kid gathering affection for their mother. But the two folks in question were grown women, well-dressed, not stealing food to survive. Thieves in other words. I hate thieves. I work hard for what I have. Iv'e been robbed six times over the years, nearly mugged who knows how many. Last year, someone even stole the Buddha off the porch. Go figure.
I thought about boobie-trapping the hydrangea, waiting till the neighbor comes strolling up the walk towards my house , then put my boa constrictor in the shrub. But, snakes have such a bad rap as it is and Iv'e worked hard to change that image. Nix that idea. My sweetie suggested a recording of a Rottweiler having a hissy. We could tape the show, put it on UTube. I'm sure it would go viral. Wouldn't that be fun.
Instead, I made a sign - Flower thieves will be pruned, impaled it onto a bloomless stem. From where I sit, I can see everything that goes on in front of my house. Not that I planned it that way, it's simply a matter of practical furniture arrangement. Iv'e seen a couple of folks read the sign. It's sad, the lack of humor in this neighborhood. Maybe I WILL get that Rottweiler after all.