“Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.”
-William S. Burroughs (an excerpt from Thanksgiving Prayer)
Some other possible titles for this post were:
When Life Punches You in the Taint… or
My World of Shit
After I slept on it, I decided that I should perhaps be a little more cheerful. God knows that this country has had quite enough shock, disappointment and all around shabbiness lately. Enough to last a lifetime. And I still refuse to wax political here even in the face of all this. Mind Your Dirt should be a safe place. So I’ll ignore the very real possibility that all the environmental progress we’ve made (what little there was) is now going to fall apart and unravel like a cheap cable-knit sweater while Muslim-Americans are goose-stepped into massive interment camps. I digress.
Oh you sweet and beautiful reader. My rock. My everything. I’ve missed you all so tremendously. As for you, you most likely fall under one of two categories. Either you’ve missed me every day while you sat by your computer waiting with baited breath for words of merriment and mirth or snapshots of fuzzy-butted chicken cuteness; or you didn’t even notice I was away for so long. Almost two months actually.
If you fall under the former category, allow me to explain a little. If you fall under the latter, kindly kiss my entire ass.
October rang in the third year of Mind Your Dirt. Did you get me anything? No, that’s okay. I didn’t get me anything either. What I did receive was only what I can describe as a shit-storm of wants and woes. While still recovering from my werewolf bite (my dog bite got upgraded since we last spoke), my car decided to kick me while I was down with a slew of visits to the mechanics that are still going on.
Then, I broke up with my girlfriend of five years. Which I really wanted to talk to you about, but then my laptop decided to commit suicide and I was simply of the mindset to say fuck it all. So I did in many ways. I unplugged from Mind Your Dirt because I couldn’t find much inspiration to write (or a laptop to write with even if I could) nor inspiration to work in the garden. Which was getting its ass kicked by the summer heat and drought anyways.
So please bear with me while I vent and gather what’s left of my strength and carry on. My laptop now has a brand new hard drive and is slowly being rebuilt with programs and such. I find myself well into my 42nd year of life and am thrown back into the dating pool kicking and screaming. Commercials and every song on the radio make me cry now as well, so that’s pretty sweet. I’m so grateful that I’m truly in touch with all my feelings and have been using these cathartic moments to bolster my soul. But, damn, I do miss my baby girl. I thought for sure that she was The One, you dig? But the decision was the right one to make and I am good at adapting and adopting. Shit, I said I wasn’t going to write about this. Oh well, you all know by now that my life is an open book. So here I am all raw and exposed for the world to see.
So, I’m here to say that I’m back, I’m resigned. I’d also like to say that in no time in the last couple months have I lost my cool or diminished my smile. Like all great tests in life, I know that this all will pass and there’s no justification for being grumpy or short-tempered with people. I’m soldiering on and taking it all in stride.
But that’s not what I’m hear to tell you about. I’m here to report on the recent release of my four guinea fowl into my urban oasis. In doing so, I feel like those before me that accidentally introduced an invasive species into a balanced ecosystem. Probably the way they felt with the cane toads in Australia. I’ve made a huge mistake.
They have been a loud and destructive force in the yard for the last month. Eating plants and tearing up every bed and path I’ve so carefully crafted over the past four years. Every time I went out into the back yard to try to find some motivation, it would always end up the same way. I’d discover some new destruction or a fresh pile of guinea shit to step in and I’d just stop and stare at these ugly bastards with only one thought in my head.
“How to kill them?!”
They must be able to sense this, because they typically follow me all over the place waiting for a handout of some kind. But when I begin to go over the practical steps needed for their destruction, cleaning, and cooking they tend to back away slowly. Which is wise, because I WILL be killing them shortly.
The other day, they dive-bombed me from the roof of the garage while I was heading to work. I jumped out of the way because these feathery demons crap on every square inch of my property so why would they stop short of my three-piece suit? I’m fully aware that they do love and trust me at this point, which is why they follow me all over and want to jump off of roofs onto my head. This sweet dependence is the only thing keeping them alive as I write these tired words.
My expectations for having guinea fowl involved two things; pest control and security system for chicken predators. In hind-sight, I’m realizing that neither of those two issues were large enough to come close to the destruction and general hot mess that these beasts bring to my once pristine oasis. Not to mention that they look just like the Skeksis from The Dark Crystal which only triggers old childhood fears as well as my still-raw mourning of Jim Henson.
And like the Skeksis, they are self-absorbed usurpers of all natural resources around them and bathed in pure evil. And they too seem to drain and consume my very essence until I’m left a shallow husk of a gardener bereft of any passion or drive.
They also seem to really enjoy scratching up every bed and tearing up or consuming random plants which no other creature would dream of eating or destroying. Even the chickens can’t hold a torch to these vicious rat-bastard mother-scratchers. Just look what they did to my yucca plants.
Who the hell eats yucca? Crazy people do. These babies are over five years old and decimated beyond repair in only a couple months.
Above is a typical crime scene of the majority of my beds. There used to be some lovely succulents surrounding those stepmother tongues.
And this bed contained lush society garlic blooms and a well crafted terraced spiral bed with hardware cloth to bolster and retain moisture and mulch. Now it looks like an impact crater of sadness and woe.
My lovely grassy knoll under my willow tree has also suffered from the foul fowl of destruction. Even after I made an attempt to bolster and refine it a few weeks ago.
They also love just messing up all my paths and cool hangout spots with a mix of soil, straw, mulch and fowl effluence. Observe…
So this is where I’m at right now people. Fighting off the overwhelming feeling of being totally pooped and demoralized by a constant onslaught of frustrating nonsense and heartbreak. When I was taking the feature image I can’t tell you how much I wanted sweet Sasha to tear into these birds and save me the trouble of committing homicide.
So think first before making the same mistake I did. If you want to mix up the flock a little bit, go for quail. Sweet tiny innocent quail. Or maybe a gentleman Indian Runner duck or two. Because these fools are driving me mad. I should’ve listened to all the people and articles that recommended that I skip these birds.
It’s not all bad news folks. I did get a sweet side gig a couple weeks ago. A full day of installing seismic mounts for these beautiful terracotta horses. Nestled right on the cliffs overlooking Blacks Beach in SoCal. Gorgeous right?
Oh, and I also got to play with my neighbors puppies last weekend. They just opened their eyes. Get ready for the cuteness please…