Butler County Times Gazette
  • Patching drywall, not pumpkins

  • Socrates said, “The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing.”
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  • Socrates said, “The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing.”
    Socrates thinks I am the wisest in all the land.
    I’m no handyman. Neither am I a farmer. I know these things that I do not know.
    The only work I do well with my hands is type. And truth be known, I do that quickly but my three-finger claw method would make any proper typist – especially my mother - cringe.
    A few weeks ago, my son Blake started a renovation project in our entryway. He fell down the stairs and knocked a hole in the wall.
    Thankfully, that renovation stopped at drywall and didn’t include any of his bones or joints.
    I don’t know how to fix a hole in drywall. So I did what anyone would do. I went to Youtube and found a video showing how to do it.
    I was so proud. I even found a drywall repair kit at a local hardware store.
    I’m a genius.
    I placed the patch and smoothed the gooey pink stuff on the wall and waited. While I was waiting on the patch to dry, my favorite Ethiopian came upstairs and he had strange pink and white dots on his skin.
    No, he wasn’t sick. He likes to help.
    He found my putty knife and “helped” smooth out the patch. He even helped poke a hole in the patch. I should have known better. Not I do. I’m learning a lot.
    So I fixed it again. It must have been really good because my wife said, “It really doesn’t look THAT bad.”
    I felt like I had just discovered my super power and it is spackling.
    But as godlike as I felt after repairing that hole, I felt equally inept trying to grow a pumpkin for the boys.
    Last year, we saved the seeds from the jack-o-lantern carving. We were going to roast them but they got put away and never thought of again. So when they were discovered in July, I dug up a spot in the corner of the back yard and planted some seeds.
    It was like God Himself ordained these homegrown pumpkins. As soon as the seeds hit the soil, a years-long drought succumbed to some of the heaviest summer rains you have ever seen. Our lakebed became a lake. Our pumpkin seeds became some of the finest pumpkin vines ever grown in a backyard.
    But then it happened. Actually, nothing happened. We had all of these beautiful pumpkin flowers and no Great Pumpkins. So I did what every self-respecting farmer would.
    Page 2 of 2 - I went online and found a discussion on what to do when you have a plant that is too lazy to make pumpkins.
    It turns out that we were accursed with vines that have too many male plants, too little heat, lazy bees or something so we basically were watering a big worthless weed.
    That’s when I ran across a web page that had the answer to my problem - forcible pumpkin intercourse.
    Basically, at this point, I became the worlds largest bumble bee. I would go out every day or so and take one of those male flowers, peel back the petals and force that pollen into the female plants. I even took the boys out and showed them what I was doing. They seemed really impressed. (Sarcasm noted)
    And then it happened. A trip to the back fence revealed a little green pumpkin growing under a leaf. Success was mine.
    But that success was fleeting. The next day, we suffered pumpkin-o-cide. The fruit rotted on the vine. And now we are back to being leaf farmers.
    But even though I failed, I learned a lot.
    Mainly, I learned I don’t know how to grow pumpkins.
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