I am on my second cup of coffee and I still can’t face the day (sorry Mr. Lightfoot). Why? I am scheduled to witness, firsthand, the premier of manual labor, a play I would rather not attend. Since the fourth First Lady’s acquisition of an unusually large garden plot, the task of clean-up and planting preparation has been hanging over my head. I run through my mental checklist before leaving for the plot …
Irrigation? Check. Not designed and installed yet, but those soaker hoses and that timer you bought yesterday should work. At least there is a hose bib with running water.
Planter beds? Check. Not installed yet, but those raised bed kits that you bought yesterday shouldn’t take too much effort to assemble and fill with steer poop.
Crop cage? Check. Framework installed and in relatively good shape, except for all those places where the chicken wire overlaps and needs to be secured. Those zip ties and wire clips you purchased should come in handy.
Oh well, glance at the watch, it’s not quite yet gotten to be 100° before noon, so it could be worse.
As I run through my checklist, I notice that my cat awakens from her nocturnal slumber, perched upon the counter-height chair, visions of rogue mice beginning to fade from her cat brain. She glances my direction, slow blinks, jumps from her perch and immediately begins her morning routine of cat yoga….assuming her favorite position of downward feline.
Mr. Narrator (interrupts): “Richard Edward, it’s not getting any cooler outside. Quit stalling, get your tools together and get on with the garden site prep.”
Richard Edward: “You’re right Mr. Narrator. I’ve been putting this off. There really is so much work to be done, even before the actual work of planting and harvesting, that the reward of organic vegetables appears diminished. Anyway, I’ll grab the rakes and hoes and meet you and the fourth first at the car.”
As I step into my garage, the lizard portion of my cortex lights up. Rakes and hoes, why does that seem so familiar? Then I realize that the ‘rakes and hoes’ tools that I seek now are in reality, those very political actors that I loathe so much. Now I understand why I don’t want to do this; these tools of the garden are simply representations; its really about the bogeymen of my political awareness — professional politicians.
Mr. Narrator (interrupts again): “Richard Edward, stop! Not all politicians are rakes and hoes. While I do see some similarities with the current administration’s leadership, many of those political actors are not solely consigned to behave like the ‘lower tools’ in life’s garden. Rakes and hoes may be basic tools, but it doesn’t mean that they are base. There are some honest folks in Washington.”
I hate when Mr. Narrator makes word play.
Richard Edward: “Ok, I’ll play your garden word game. You just might be correct. But even so, in the garden that is D.C., there really are tools, rakes, hoes and more than a few weeds that need to be removed.”
“Rakes? I’d nominate Slick Willy, Hunter Biden and yes, even Joey Robinette in his younger days. John Kennedy was also reputed to be something of a rake, no?”
“Hoes? Well, there are far too many to mention in gentlemanly conversation, but how many pols have you seen that will do anything for a (lobbyist) buck? While its not the world’s oldest profession (navigators will tell you that someone first had to lead the customer to find them), it appears that many legislators and those in the administration have decided that selling one’s integrity is a profitable enterprise. I mean, how many folks on the CDC staff are eligible for royalties from drug patents?”
“Tools? The list is long Mr. Narrator. Crazy Nancy Pelosi, Fang Fang Swalwell, ‘Guam” Johnson and that shifty, bug-eyed dude from CA who always has the ‘goods’ on everyone but just never delivers, Mitt Romney and then any Democrat member of any oversight committee. So many tools they could open a big box garden store. C’mon man, name one Democratic legislator who is smarter than a hand trowel?”
“Weeds? Don’t get me started! Toxic, strangling the life out of legitimate political endeavors. … The weeds could be the worst of the bunch in the political garden; spreading poison amongst the legitimate programs that are trying to bear fruit. Weeds compete with good crops for water, soil, sunlight, nourishment and yet they produce nothing. (Looking at you AOC, Bernie Sanders, Auntie Maxine, Ilhan Omar.)”
Mr. Narrator: “Okay, Richard Edward, enough. You’ve made your point. We obviously need a new master gardener in D.C.”
Richard Edward: “Yes, Mr. Narrator, I knew in my knower that you’d see my point of view. Good gardeners help create life-sustaining environments, tend and care for both seedlings and mature plants, ensure access to water and food, make sure every plant in their garden has its own space and place to grow, and they keep the weeds from choking the good plants.”
“Good legislators do kind of the same things for their constituents. They help create lawful and peaceful environments, promote legislation and administrative programs that benefit the young and the old, help their constituents stay employed, stay in school and ensure that they have access to programs that are designed to promote personal and/or professional growth. As always, the good ones try to keep the weeds from showing up in their districts.
If you think about who represents you, maybe its time to pull a few weeds and if you have to, hire a new gardener.”
“If you think that good gardeners might make good legislators, please let Richard Edward and Mr. Narrator know why you think so. … And if you have one, happy gardening!
— Richard Edward Tracy