Opportunity, or How to Prevent an Infestation of Middle Schoolers from Damaging the Garden

Opportunity is missed by people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. – Thomas Edison

There’s a lot of opportunity in my garden right now. Raking and pruning and mulching – I’m not sure I deserve all these opportunities. There’s also the matter of moving all the cement blocks that Jerkface MacGuyver thought would make a fine way of destroying lawnmower blades and trimmer strings marking the border of the flowerbeds.

He couldn’t limit himself to just the house. He had ideas about gardening, too. When I moved into La Casa de Tontería, the flowerbeds consisted of azaleas, dandelions, thistles, and a morning-glory-like vine that strangles other plants.

Homicidal plants. It makes me happy he never built a fire pit. *shudder*

Last weekend I bought a trellis and set it perpendicular to the shed and the privacy fence.  It’s too dark there to grow anything, but that’s not its purpose. Really, it’s a middle schooler barrier.

Rumor has it that in the Old Country, adults would hear the burping farting thundering herds of middle schoolers in the distance and they’d dig huge pits to trap them. But modern zoning ordinances do not allow for such structures. Pity.

I first noticed the infestation when my car was in the shop a few months ago.  I caught a few of them cutting across my property. They always followed the same pattern.

They’d be walking down the road that runs parallel to mine. Seeing no car in my driveway, they cut across Yolanda’s driveway and hopped the fence behind my shed, then ran along the side of it and down to my driveway. Because they’re clever.

On the way back, they reversed the route – except instead of using a stump to jump over the fence, they kicked off from the electrical box attached (for now) to the shed. Because they’re stupid.

That’s the Middle Schooler Paradox: How can creatures sometimes look and sound just like human beings yet inexplicably devolve to vermin operating solely by instinct? Moreover, how can their instincts be so wrong and yet they manage to survive?

There ought to be a scientific study about it, preferably involving electrified fences.

And piranha.

And videos of snowboarders injuring themselves in funny ways.

In the interest of repairing the track they’re wearing into the lawn – seriously, are they wearing cleats or is it their cloven hooves? – and of preventing my transformation into the Crazy Spinster Who Screams “Get Off My Lawn!”, I erected the trellis. Behind it I’ll lay down mulch and pile the useless cement bricks in a random way that sprains ankles. That ought to discourage them, or at least slow them down.

If they want to cut across my lawn, they’ll have to run fully-visible from the deck where I can see them. And lob squirrels at them.

Perhaps rocks would be more humane…

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