Friday, November 21, 2008

See, I Have This Friend...

No, really. When you hear the story, you'll know for sure there really is a friend...because what I'm worried about could NEVER happen to me.

I think my friend is in danger of inadvertantly composting her home and family.

My concerns started small. The daily trips to Starbucks to pick up coffee grounds set off a little alarm bell, but it was still entertaining at that stage--especially when she got stopped at a DUI roadblock and was very surprised that the cop on duty didn't want to talk about composting.

Then she went off to meet a stranger she'd met online because he offered her some free manure. The only comforting thing about that was that I figured a serial killer would use something more universally appealing as bait, and so this guy probably really did just want to unload a truck full of horse shit. He did. She was delighted.

But, okay. I mean, to each his own, right? I don't garden, and so maybe I just didn't understand the importance of this stuff.

But I started to see strange shifts in the way she perceived the outside world. For instance, one day she was reading my friend Barb's blog, and she sent me a link to a picture of Barb's garbage can. (So, see, I have some nice, normal friends, too. I mean, comparatively speaking. Photographing your garbage and posting the pictures online is way more normal than seeking out horse manure, right? RIGHT?)

Anyway, my friend was very concerned about this photograph--so concerned that she thought sure I'd see the problem right away, too. The problem, apparently, was that the garbage can contained tomato peels that COULD HAVE BEEN COMPOSTED. I ventured that I'd wondered whether it was the failure to recycle the paper that had troubled her, but oh, no. I'm a step behind, it seems. Paper, too, can (and apparently should...nay, MUST) be composted.

And then, she got worm poop for her birthday (and it wasn't a gag). She liked it.

I was on the fence. I don't like to judge, but it seemed that maybe an intervention was in order. Still, I kept reminding myself that I wasn't a gardener and maybe there was something to all this that I wasn't getting. After all, not long ago a blind couple in New Jersey risked prison in order to compost.

But the scales tipped.

She told me she had something wonderful to tell me and something funny to tell me.

I got confused early in the story and thought the wonderful thing was the funny thing, because the wonderful thing had multiple parts and they were all about fertilizer.

The first part was that the city had agreed to deliver as many dead leaves as she could handle.

The second was that Starbuck's had agreed to save their coffee grounds for her, eliminating the need to race the other mad composter in the area for their discards each day.

The last one was about manure. Enough said.

And then (because, of course, I had a completely straight face at this point), on to the funny thing. The story started like this: "I saw some leaves I wanted sitting by a curb down the street..."

Since I'm outside my area of expertise, I could use some help from you gardeners out there. Is there a 12-step program for this? 'Cause I'm starting to have images of this giant mound of leaves and manure just enveloping the house and everyone in it, gradually decomposing the structure and the furniture and at least one really cute kid into high-grade fertilizer.


absolutelytrue said...

Wonderful post Tiffany, but I do have to point out one error.

I *loved* (not "liked") the worm poop that I got for my birthday, and I am nurturing those baby worms that came in it, along with the other pound I bought.

Come on, you've never been so focused on some "trash" on the curb that you've opened the door of a strangers house?

Who hasn't?

Compost is love.

Anonymous said...

Compost isn't's
black gold! I am not talking
about oil, the Texas Tea, either.
People pay big bucks for good,
rich loam. Which is another
fancy term for compost.

Thank you for the laughs.