How To Even…Start a Flower Garden

By Michael Gushue & CL Bledsoe

We all have stress in our lives. Work. Family drama. Bills. Timmy. What would be great would be if we could find a way to release some of that stress in a productive way that might lead to something useful or at least tangible. But there’s never time for that. Instead, we let the stress build and build until you’ve already been at work three hours past quitting and your boss is hovering over your desk asking you to come in early tomorrow, which is a Saturday, and suddenly you’re stabbing him in the throat with a pen and shoving his body into the trunk of your car.

And now you’re home and you have a body to dispose of, but you don’t have the time to do it properly. No pigs or lye at hand. It’s BBQ off-season. Whatever the situation — we’re not here to judge. It’s 2 a.m., and you’ve dug a massive hole in your yard using mostly your hands and a soup spoon, buried that fucking guy, and are left with a lot of loose dirt and a torn-up yard. Your neighbors are going to ask questions, especially if they heard all the yelling and crying.

Not to worry. Problems have solutions; you just have to figure them out. That’s why we’re here: to help you. Instead of paving over your yard — what are you, John Wayne Gacy? — how about planting a flower garden? It’s the perfect way to hide the decomposing body while also sprucing up your lame-o exterior. Turn those negatives into positives! Turn that frown upside down!

Or look at it another way. Everyone needs a hobby. Hobbies give you an opportunity to enhance your life. They allow you to relax while remaining mentally productive. Having a hobby promotes better health and lowers high blood pressure. It can reduce the risk of depression and dementia. Hobbies refocus your brain towards something that you enjoy doing. If the hobby includes a physical activity, such as lifting a heavy load out of the trunk of your car, digging a hole to dump it in, and then doing some landscaping over that very spot, it can create chemical changes in your body that help to reduce stress.

Deep breath.

A quick search on your phone tells you that the closest garden supply place opens at 6 a.m. That gives you some time to get back inside, clean off the blood and…other things, and generally get ready for the eventual investigation.

Pro Tip: We’ve all seen those crime scene investigation shows, which can be really intimidating when you’re trying to cover up an, um, accidental on-purpose life-taking-away-type situation. But in real life, investigators don’t even begin to have the kind of funding that would all require, not to mention the training or the time. They’ve got a massive backlog and their caseload is a freaking bonfire. New cases come over the transom every day. So go ahead and use bleach or whatever you have on hand to clean that all up. They’re not going to be that thorough. The crime labs are backed up 24/7. If you can get the stains out of your clothes, great. If not, get rid of them, permanently. Fire makes smoke, which can draw attention and linger. Perhaps loan them to your offspring or neighbor while expressly stating that they are to be returned ASAP. You’ll never see them again. Or Goodwill them. Think about the less fortunate for a change. Of course, keep in mind that we have no idea what we’re talking about.*

At the Garden Center

Now, you’re probably in shock, at least a little bit (if you’re not, you might have a career waiting for you in the exciting field of the for-hire killing of people). That means you’re going to miss things. Pay attention to how much you’re talking. Most garden center customers don’t babble full-bore about how much they want to murder burrowing animals — NO NOT MURDER HAHA I MEAN UUUUUUHHHHHH ELIMINATE, YOU KNOW, HUMANELY AND STUFF LIKE RELOCATE MAYBE I DON’T KNOW HAHA. Maybe count it out in your head. Say a sentence. Count to ten. Don’t miss what the guy is saying about hydrangeas (whatever those are), or whatever.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to just plant something where the uh mistake is buried. That might draw attention. You need to plant stuff all over. (Note: this could be a good opportunity to take care of some other “problems,” while you’re at it, like that neighbor who had your friend’s car towed before they parked in the wrong spot that one time.) All of this will depend on where you buried the uh thing.

So, you can get some kind of bushes to cover the hole you dug. What about all that extra dirt? You notice a display for something called raised beds, which looks like it would take a lot of dirt. You randomly select a bunch of flowers to plant in the raised bed. You also grab a couple saplings to plant because why not. Now you’re getting the hang of it, so you go through and randomly grab all sorts of stuff — garden gnomes. A bird bath. Wind chimes. One of those little concrete benches. Another bird bath.

You load everything into the trunk of your Prius — well, you start with the trunk, expand to the back seats and then the front seat, and end up strapping some things down to the roof. Quite a few of them survive the trip. You think. Doesn’t matter; daylight’s a-wasting.

You start with the grave site on the south side, plant your bushes and arrange the bench and water fountain. A tree goes over the neighbor’s yappy dog’s new resting place (you took a five-minute break from gardening). The dirt goes into a raised bed on the east side of the house, which covers the guy across the street with the leaf blower. You really wish you’d thought to get a wheelbarrow, and the spade you bought gives out somewhere around the water fixture. You randomly place all the things you bought, trying to make haphazard sense of them, to imply a plan, but it’s just your feverish imagination that makes you think it looks like anything other than chaos. Somewhere in there, you remember that it’s Saturday, which is good because it means you didn’t miss work.

It’s been a busy morning. Several of your neighbors are now missing — or will be, when someone misses them. Surveying your new garden, you realize that you’re naked and wonder how long you have been. Since before or after the gardening center? You try to remember the reactions of people you encountered there, but your memories are unreliable. You step in the shower, wash the dirt away. The tattered shreds that were once your fingers eventually stop hurting. You collapse into bed, proud of yourself for finally doing something to make your yard look appealing. You settle into a deep sleep, feeling exhausted but happy.

That’s when the ghosts come.

*Also, you won’t really think about this until Monday, but you totally left a big puddle of blood all over your desk and a trail of it leading down to your paring space at work, which you’ll realize when the cops come to arrest you.

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