Landing in the lawn on my stomach in my spectacular touchdown dive, I managed to save a bowl of black raspberries from spilling as I freed myself from the clutches of a particularly viscous clump of cane. I was laying there in the crabgrass thinking, “Oh crap!”, because I had just spotted a ton more berries from my new angle—ankle high, looking up. This year these canes have gone ape-shit (or hog-wild, to be a bit milder) and instead of the usual waist and shoulder high heighth , they are way taller than my head and so thick that I might find Sleeping Beauty back in there...or the Prince!
I learned from past experience that wearing a tank top and shorts are NOT the way to fend your way through a patch unless you want to look like a lacerated fool, so I usually don army pants, long sleeves, and heavy shoes, which tend to trip me up.
I want these berries for the final Raspberry Liqueur wedding cake, so I was working up my resolve to head back in to get the lower berries. (Don't squat down in the midsts of thorny brambles until you tie your hair up too, unless you want to experience what a mammoth felt like in the La Brea Tar Pits.)
My dad gave me some raspberry shoots years ago; his patch was linear, tied up, trim and neatly controlled. I was thinking of this when I remembered an incident from several years ago...NOT all the plants were from HIM!
An old house down the alley was going through a restoration and part of the interior was torn down to 2 x 4's. The back yard was a wild mess of weeds, rotten lumber, and raspberries. Naturally, I had to 'save' the plants from future demolition, so I asked a worker if they cared whether I dug them up. “Hell no! Take what you want!” I said I'd probably walk over after lunch...
I returned a short while later with a wagon and shovel, but only thought it polite to let someone know I was back, just in case they'd changed their minds. I hollered at the house because I heard banging and then finally stepped inside-- to a freakin' bizarre scene: A lone, blond guy was standing there in a g-string, sweating up a storm, installing rolls of pink insulation between the walls... I gasped and wheeled around, frozen-- didn't have a clue what to do or think!
Oh my God! I think he asked if I was 'uncomfortable' and I didn't actually turn back around, yet still carried on a conversation while pretending to be nonchalant.....Oh my God! To think that someone would be messing with itchy insulation all over their bodies...I wondered if he really was just plain hot like he claimed, or if he did it on purpose to freak me out. I think it was for the reaction, which I wasn't about to let on that I thought anything was wrong and give him that smug satisfaction...
Well, I dug my plants, wheeled them home, then forbid the kids to play out back for the rest of the week.
Ahhh well, these raspberries are awesome anyway, despite the pricks!