Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Sister St. Aloysius is an...unusual...person. I've mentioned that she is a brilliant mathematician, sought after by think tanks. You'd think someone like that would know the difference between a black can full of worms and a green spinny thing that is a compost heap.
But she didn't. So today I had an "Andy of Mayberry" moment with my own personal Barney Fife in a half habit.
I've been in a bit of a slump. I'm turned around from the change of time zones from my long trip. I'm not done cleaning the house, even though at this point we've found both Jimmy Hoffa and Amelia Earhart. I fully expect to walk into the bathroom and find a bespectacled man in a safari hat. "Doctor Livingston, I presume, " I will say to him. And my poor worm farm is a beehive. I've barely had the wherewith all to offer the whole thing up for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. Too bad one can't to that retroactively.
(One can't. Don't even try it.)
That's why it took me nearly a week to suddenly have my light bulb moment. "The compost heap!" I thought to myself, like Archimedes in the bathtub! "I don't have to toss out the table scraps! I'll put them in the compost heap!" In my mourning for the worms, I had forgotten it completely.
So out I danced with a handful of strawberry tops and shriveled blueberries.
The compost heap is not a heap. It's a round drum sitting on a little base that has rollers on it. You open the lid, toss in the garbage, close the lid and give the whole thing a spin. Then, when you want to use the compost, you can actually roll the whole thing into the garden. (If you don't mind getting gooey goo and mud all across the floor on the way. Why should we mind that? Jimmy and Amelia never complained.)
I opened the lid. How is it that the mind goes so slowly when bizarre things are happening? I know there is a scientific explanation. No doubt, Sister St. Aloysius has told it to me. I was amazed that the compost drum was so full that as I cracked the opening, compost began to spill out. And at the same moment I realized that I wasn't looking at compost and all, but at a lot of angry bees. In the next millisecond, they were pouring out of the crack in the drum door. I can't remember when I started hearing the buzzing. The air was full of buzzing.
For another moment there, I thought about how strange it was that we have two beehives in our front yard that's not a yard. Our front blacktop. Our driveway. And of course, then I realized that somehow my PhD Sister in Christ didn't know the difference between the worm farm and the compost heap.
"You beat everything, you know that, Barney?" Isn't that what Andy used to say?
I marched back into the house, still holding the strawberry tops and shriveled blueberries. No bees followed.
"Sister St. Aloysius," I said, "the beehive is in the compost bin."
"We have two beehives?"
"No (Barney)," I said, "They are only in the compost bin."
"No," I explained, "they were never in the worm farm. That green thing is not the worm farm(,Deputy Fife). The black thing is the worm farm."
"Yes, the black thing that we park the old lady shopping cart behind." We have one of those carts you drag behind you to the store so we can walk there sometimes, to help make up for my Dad causing Global Warming. (Why, just today, my Dad caused a tornado in Brooklyn.)
"I haven't seen it."
"You beat everything, you know that, Barney?" I didn't say that. I was thinking that. That and some other things that I'll confess on Saturday.
I marched back outside with the strawberry tops and the shriveled blueberries. I prayed for the intercession of St. Therese the Little Flower, the patron saint of people who are annoyed by the annoying habits of other people. The truth is, the worm farm is covered in MORNING GLORIES. So is the old lady shopping cart behind it.