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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Scoundrels on Little Rascals and the Women Who Chase Them

Last summer, our neighbor across the alley had a very nice fence put up around his backyard, replacing an existing fence that was also very nice.

The truck that brought the materials for said fence pretty much took up the width of the alleyway.

I am just finishing watering my little alley garden and walking back toward the house when a large middle-aged woman in a “Little Rascal”/motorized cart appears.

Of course, it is abundantly clear from the beginning of the alley, six houses down, that the enormous truck/trailer has it blocked. I watch her, from my backyard, as she comes down the alley. Zipping from one garbage can to the other, she lifts each lid, digs a bit, moves on. The wire basket at the fore of her cart contains a lamp, a number of plastic cups, what may be a pair of pants, some aluminum cans.

You know. The usual.

And so as she approaches my garage – and where the truck certainly blocks her path – I expect her to turn around.

But the Little Rascal will not be denied.  With the grit and determination rarely found in a woman on a scooter, she wedges herself between the delivery truck and my garage, a space wide enough for her only if she chooses to drive through the plants.

Which she does, her wheels digging into the freshly weeded and watered earth, fully dividing a hasta, the Russian Heather, and a good-sized patch of Bee Balm.

I run toward the alley, my mouth hanging open in shock.  I reach her in time to see her wheels bog down as she accelerates through what is rapidly turning into mud.

The scooter, wheels spinning furiously, leaves an impressive rut of shredded vegetation in its wake.

Who drives through a garden?

I pick my way through the devastation. Now three houses down, the woman on the scooter lifts the lid of another garbage can.

“Excuse me,” I call.

She turns around, turns back, drops the lid, and hauls cart down the street.

“Hey!”  I shout.  “You just tore through my garden! Why did you do that?  Don’t you care?”

She turns around, still at full speed, and hollers what I should’ve seen coming: “Forget you!”

Only she didn’t say “forget”, did she?

What? What?! Did she just – she ran over my flowers and now she – what?!

“Forget me?” I say, incredulous. “Hey! Forget you!”

Nice, huh?

By the time I decide to chase her -- a gleeful suggestion by the short, squat man residing toward the back of my brain -- she is already round the corner.

I run, barefoot.  By the time I get to the corner, she has gone a block up and is turning down another alley. Over the next minute or so, I pursue her.

She is now less than a block ahead of me.

Asthmatic lungs wheezing, I dig my cell phone out of my pocket; and in a move that amuses me/concerns me still, pretend to dial and then have a loud and imaginary conversation with the police.

“Yes, 911? I’d like to report a case of vandalism, please. Yes, of course, I can hold, I’ve got her in my sights.

“Yes, 911? I’d like to report a white gal in a dreadful tee-shirt on a motorized cart. She just ran over my flowerbed and doesn’t care. Yes, yes, you could describe her as a “big girl”, yes. 

“You what? You say you have a car in the area? That would be great, yes I’m still chasing her…”

And then she turns down a freshly tarred/freshly graveled alley.

Just a few strides in, I stop, panting.  I will be pulling tiny shards of gravel from my feet for the next 30 minutes or so.

And she escapes on rubber wheels.

(Not the woman I was chasing.)

It’s probably for the best.  Like a schnauzer chasing a car, I had no idea what I was going to do with her when I caught her, anyway.


Optimistic Existentialist said...

Oh my gosh is this a true story? This is hilarious (but not for your garden though). I hope there is YouTube video of this incident out there somewhere :)

Shelly said...

It was good you didn't catch her. She could have been a part of Hell's Rascals, the scooter gang so notorious it's difficult to separate the fact from myth.


Lin said...

Oh my gosh. I'd be infuriated too. How rude of that woman.

I think people who drive those things don't care who or what is in their way--I've had way too many encounters in the Walmart with the same. And why are they always obese?!

Should Fish More said...

You've just convinced me not to get rid of the stinging nettles that are taking over my backyard near the alley.

Silliyak said...

Garden rage, a "growing" problem in our cities. Will it turn you on, or will it turn on you?

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Forget her perhaps? ...or would that just be plain wrong... YAM xx

Pearl said...

True story.

I was SO angry. My beautiful flowers! I'd worked so hard...

Remind me to tell you of the time entire plants were stolen.

Some people's kids...

Mandy_Fish said...

Hell's Angels has got nothing on a lady on a Rascal.

P.S. I have always wanted a Rascal. True story. Now you've written the new Rascal tagline: TEAR IT UP!

Steve said...

Not funny, but you had me in stitches. Sorry about your garden. I gotta get one of those scooters.

Launna said...

This is one of those stories that is funny after the fact... I do not understand how some people think they are privileged and feel they can do what they want... I am with you though... what would you have said to her if you caught her... ?

Terrible for your garden though...

jenny_o said...

Well, at least you put the fear of Pearl into her. We think. We hope.

Outrageous behavior. I love the last two lines, and the fact that you can write a perfect story based on a moronic act - upcycling is as good for the sanity as it is for the environment.

Let us now take a moment to mourn Pearl's garden.

vanilla said...

Between the sadness for the loss of your little garden and the laughter caused by your description of the chase, I was able to find a small wedge of time in which to commiserate with you as you pick rocks from your feet. I feel your pain.

Forgetting Slob must have had a souped up scooter!

Linda O'Connell said...

You crack me up! I think I'd have tossed tin cans at her and yelled, "Here! Take this!"

Bossy Betty said...

Oh dear. Your poor garden! Something tells me you'll be on the lookout for this woman!

Jono said...

I would have chased her with a vehicle outfitted with a towing chain and hauled her sorry ass back to the scene of the crime, dragged her out of her chair and set her in the garden to fix what she had done. Then when I got out of prison I'd come looking for her again.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Souped up pea shooter time! She might have gotten away but she'd have the lumps on her head she deserved!

Gigi said...

I'm speechless...absolutely speechless! Your poor garden! Some people can't even be classified as human.

Sioux said...

You could stick a screwdriver into one of the tires of her Rascal.

joeh said...

Those rascals just give a bad name to enormously fat disgusting slovenly people.

Daisy said...

I would have been furious! So sorry to hear this, Pearl. If only you could know ahead of time where she will go next to dig through garbage cans. You could "plant" something special for her to find like a snake or a rat or something else that could jump out at her when she lifts the lid!

Daisy said...

So sorry about your garden Pearl. I would have been furious - maybe get one of those spike belts the police use and put it around the flowers...that'll stop her! It would also be deeply satisfying if all her tires were flat.

Geo. said...

I fear, with an aging Boomer population, scooter crimes will only increase.

River said...

On the bright side, you now have two Hostas...and freshly turned earth.

the walking man said...

Hardcore audience you have here Pearl.

kt said...

Hey, congratulations on your latest book. Looks like you have been working hard since I left the blogging community a few years back.

I am trying to return to my blog, but it is more difficult than I remember, to get back into the swing of things.

If I were you I would set up a well pklaced sprinkler that you can turn on quick should she grace your little garden again. kt