Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Maintenance Man

I called Gloria in Shreveport on Friday.

We swapped keyrings because I didn't have a key to her car, and she takes mine on road trips.

"I have a few questions," I said.

"Go ahead."

"First off, what is up with this keyring? How many keys can you jam onto this thing?"

"I need all those," she said.

"Why? What are you--a jailer?"

"There aren't that many."

"And they're huge," I said. "Did Fischer-Price opened up a hardware store called My First Key?"

"How are the plants doing?" she asked, cleverly Tivoing the conversation through the key segment.

"About the plants," I said. "Taking care of them is more complicated than I thought."

"Complicated? All you have to do is water them."

"Well, the whole 'watering' concept is kind of a dark art, isn't it? I have no idea how you look at a plant and tell how much water it needs. Do you use a pentagram? Is there some kind of ritual involved?"

"Good grief," she said.

"I have a question about the pink flowery plants on top of the thing on the deck," I said. "I watered them, but one suddenly popped up four or five inches in its pot after I gave it a good soaking."

"That's because those are dried," she said.

"Good, because that whole popping thing looked entirely unnatural. I was going to recommend you get rid of that one."

A dark art, I tell you.

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