Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I was raised by a very superstitious woman.

We never slept with shoes above our head, threw our hair from combs and brushes into the trash or split poles.

Lord Jesus help you if you ever sat my mother’s purse on the floor.

And she wasn’t hardcore about her superstitions. Growing up I saw women actually sweep up their hair in the beauty shop, pull out a plastic bag and take it with them.

Now that my friends is hardcore.

In fact, I remember many of my newly acquired college friends being puzzled about why I would always flush the hair from my combs and brushes down the toilet. It took a nasty plumber bill I received a few years back for me to (kinda) stop the practice.

So it’s a wonder that when things are askew, I look at the occurrence as some type of foreshadowing. A sign from the spirits that something is about to happen.

The appearance of a lone corn cob raised all of my oft seen but close to the surface red flags.

You see it was the second corn cob that had appeared on my section of the back porch this summer. Naturally I thought someone was trying to tell me something.

But I digress.

In my quest for Chicagoland gardening supremacy, I normally put down two separate container gardens; one on my front deck and one on my back porch.

They both usually flourish and by now have the place looking like the Garden of Eden except that this year the back containers look like a bag of ass.

I was mystified why they didn’t take off like normal.

I gave them all of the love and the fertilizer that I normally give my babies. I watered religiously. I talked and coddled them like they were genteel hothouse flowers.

No go---nothing was growing on the back porch this year.

It was definitely a head scratcher.

What made it even worse is that one day when I was watering, I found a full corn cob buried in one of the containers.

Mind you my containers are suspended from flower box supports that extend from our back porch railing.

I know I didn’t include a corn cob in my soil when I was planting this year so obviously someone put it there.

My mind whirled with possibilities: Is someone trying to put roots on me? What significance does a corn cob have? Who in god’s name would put a corn cob in a flower box?

Eventually the other issues of my everyday life took over and the corn cob incident was soon forgotten.

Then last week another corn cob popped up on my back porch.

This time I knew something wasn’t right.

All the same questions popped up---Who’s doing this? What does this mean? Why are they doing it to me?

Add to the fact that a package of mine was stolen out of the mail last Friday, I was beginning to see boogey men around the corner at every turn.

Scant moments later, I happened to mention the corn cob incident to my neighbors across the hall.

Thank god not everyone was raised in a superstitious household.

They explained to me how our friendly neighborhood squirrels would take their prized booty and hide it from other woodland creatures----even if that means digging up a flower box or two.

Little bastards.

Hopefully the rats with good PR will leave me alone when I go outdoors as my neighbors now think I’m certifiably nutty.

Jesus take the wheel.


The North Coast said...

Great post, and very funny! Aren't those squirrels something?

We all have our little superstitions. Mine is about living in a place with an address that is an "odd" number an/or facing north. I don't know how I came by this little superstition but I want to get over it because there are some real bargains to be had that have odd-numbered addresses and face north, like about 25% of all Chicago dwellings.

kwintessential said...

You know Frank and his crew are gangster!