There are those that promote gardening as good for you. Sun generates vitamin D. Bending over and doing deep knee bends keeps the body from freezing up with the remote in one hand and a beer in the other. The product of gardening makes us happy with the beauty of flowers, the nutritious vegetables and fruits not only supply our bodies with the nutrients we need but tends to keep us regular.
There are many hazards in the garden as well, some of them obvious, others not so. But I will proceed to lay them out here in all their horror.
It gets everywhere and you tend to track it into your abode. Sometimes when you are working in a garden, tilling the soil, putting your hands into the orgasmic, warm, womblike soil, until… you discover through a process of neurons firing in your brain signaling that your fingers or hand parts have discovered something sharp. Usually, you already expect blood when you pull your hand out of the soil, which nature has conveniently designed to flush the dirt out of your wound. But sometimes it doesn’t. Then you see the little piece of broken bottle someone rudely put in the ground, waiting for you to discover it like Helen Keller discovered water. The only correlation with Helen Keller is that you often sound like her when reality sets in and the pain reaches it’s full apex in your cerebral cortex.
Duh. When you are out in the garden you expect to find bugs. But when you go inside to wash off the item mentioned in hazard one, and discover an aphid in your pubic hair, that’s when you have that freakout flashback to college. But then you realize that it’s an aphid, and the question then changes to, “How the hell did an aphid get in my pants?”
I’m not talking about the plaster, cement or plastic gnomes you can get at the garden center and quaintly place around your garden. I like those gnomes. In fact, I have a gnome sanctuary at my house in the Northend. (You can read about it here). Oh no, I’m talking about living breathing gnomes. It seems that every garden I am managing this year has an old person who, when I’m in a critical moment of putting in some onion sets, or pepper transplants I hear a cough or a wheeze from somewhere near the a fence, usually behind me. Being polite I get up and begin the conversation, which seems to last somewhere between too long and infinity about something I really don’t care about at the time.
By the time I am done being polite to my elders, I have stiffened up and have to work my way back down into the planting position.
4. Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver.
Why are these two people hazards in the garden? Because their sanctimonious preaching makes me depressed while I fret over weeds, food, and growing local food. They make me feel small, insignificant and totally inadequate.
If you’ve got some meaty man lobes like me, then sweat tends to collect in the creases and crevasses. It does however, provide for some interesting patterns on the old See Spot Walk t-shirts.
6. Crotch Rot.
It’s not a good one to admit, but when you’ve been out all day, in the tightest jeans you can find and form fitting Jockey briefs, you combine that with number five, a little bit of number one, and by 5 o’clock you’ve got a hot zone, baby. For the casual gardener only outside for an hour or two, then you usually don’t have a problem. But if you are a full-time gardener like me, then the ladies should luv you, especially on a hot day.
7. Body mud.
Combine number five with number one, hopefully not with number six. However, if your dirt has a nice clay content, with some volcanic ash mixed in, you can turn it right around and call it a spa treatment.