Cupcake; the Queen of Accessorizing, has a horrible addiction. As usual, in cases of cruel dependencies, the first ‘hit’ was free. It happened some years ago when I received a lawn gnome as a prize at the Annual Dart Windup and Binge Drinking Festival. I thought the homely gnome was a booby prize since I have little use for garden ornaments and it usually takes someone with boobies to appreciate them. I did get a brain-wave, however, and it became a Mother’s Day gift for Cupcake. I thought at the time the gnome at least saved me the ten bucks I’d have blown on a card and a gift and I congratulated myself on being cleverly frugal. I was certain my Scottish forbearers were beaming at me from above, (or below, considering they’re my relatives.)
Unfortunately, throughout my life, whenever I’d thought myself most intelligent were often the moments, in hindsight, I revealed substantial stupidity. The gnome incident is an ideal example.
Despite thinking I’d pulled off a coup, in retrospect I should have snuck it into some old lady’ garden who already had numerous gnomes, trolls and whatnot. The newbie could have mingled un-noticed with the rest. Instead, Cupcake fell in love with it and even named him; Gnorme. Eventually, she began attributing human thoughts and feelings to it. She even came to the bizarre belief the ornery ornament looked grumpy because he was lonely and needed a companion. To save poor Gnorme from a life of solitude, she bought another gnome, “to keep Gnormie company”. I must say, personally, when I’ve been in need of companionship, a short, hideous, mute guy would not be my first pick, although if that’s someone else’s thing, have at ‘er.
Unsurprisingly, Cupcake’s gnome duet quickly became a trio, then a quartet. I was getting nervous she was trying to form an orchestra and decided to suggest she had enough gnomes. I’ll admit I wasn’t 100% sure she was buying them or if they had some means of reproduction I’d rather not imagine.
“Do we really need an entire herd of poorly painted, grotesquely-disfigured ceramic-based life forms in our flower bed?” I asked tentatively. “Just say ‘No’ to gnomes already!”
So she stopped buying gnomes. Instead, however, she branched out into solar lights. She bought scads and oodles; everything from Dollarama cheapies that poke in the ground to long strings, like Christmas lights only dimmer, and less merry. There’s even a dog with a solar powered lantern. Why a dog needs to light his way when he has better night vision that any human, I couldn’t say.
There are solar powered flowers and butterflies and angels and every darned thing you can imagine. It’s sort of like an artist who can’t ever stop adding more paint to his canvas, never seeing it as being really ‘done’. Her flower bed became so populated with garden kitsch, there wasn’t room for plants.
“We need to make another garden. We can put it along the fence between the sidewalk and the gazebo,” she proclaimed, bandying the “we” word about like it wouldn’t be a one-man operation.
“Like you have the time, the inclination or the hips and knees for gardening?” I asked, foolishly trying to inject a little logic into the proceedings and avoid back-breaking labour. She would not be thwarted.
“I already have that figured out. We will use that recycled rubber stuff that looks like tree bark and put in plastic flowers. That will give me about 75 square feet of rubber garden to fill with beautiful accents!”
By ‘beautiful accents’, Cupcake must have meant the heaps of solar-lit fake rocks, angel statues, lighthouses, and countless more decorative doodads she bought. It radiates so much illumination; pilots approaching the airport use her rubber garden as a guidance beacon.
I thought she had finally maxed out on her garden fashion frenzy until she went to visit our friend Tammy and was taken for a tour of Tammy’s “Tranquility Garden”. According to Cupcake, it was lovely, serene and had so much stuff, it made her No Name garden look barren; like the stark landscape of some remote rubber planet somewhere in the galaxy.
“I must get more stuff! I need more tranquility in my garden!” Cupcake said, panicking as if it’s a requirement to tart up your property to get into Heaven.
I don’t blame Tammy. I mostly blame Gnorme. That Tranquility Garden didn’t help, though. I guess I do blame Tammy, too. Darn you, Tammy!