Now You Seedum by Col. Stoopnagle

            I have been working like mad in my garden.  My, but it's great to get out in the fresh spring air again and get your nose in the earth!  Old clothes, loose collar, a handful of broken-down spades and rakes and string and seeds.  Nothing like it. And that first spadeful of dank soil that you turn over.  Isn't it a thrill?  And those first pains that steal up your left leg and into the region of your sacroiliac!  Aren't they wonderful?  I have a sacroiliac which seems just as anxious as I for spring to come.  It is practically dormant all winter, except for a few pangs I get from bowling, but along about March 15th, my sacro begins rubbing its hands together and yelling: "Oh boy.  Another few days and Stoopnagle will be bent over with a pain in me!  He'll try to go easy at first, but he'll forget all about that after he digs up a few shovelfuls, and then about three hours later he'll be hot-footing it to the nearest osteopath.  Some fun, believe me!"  I suppose if a human being were without a sacroiliac, his spine would be around his knees somewhere, and that would look perfectly horrible, but why, just because many people like to get out and dig in the garden must their sacroiliacs begin to act up?  Everything that's fun has to have its compensations.

            I was talking to a couple of earthworms the other day...Mr. and Mrs. Ess (you probably don't know them anyway)...and I found it to be true that even the lowly night-crawler must face trouble as he wriggles aimlessly about in a garden.  The first to speak was Mrs. Ess.  "Colonel," she said shyly, as she turned without putting her hand out (that's how I knew it was Mrs. Ess), "My husband and I have been leading what I might term a somewhat sedentary life this past winter; neither of us has moved since last November.  Then came that awful rain a few days ago, and we were able to wriggle a bit and finally we made the surface.  We got one load of the headlines in the daily paper and wriggled right on back down.  It may be hard to tell which end of us is our head and which our tail, and we may be perfectly terrible-looking, but I'd rather be a worm in the ground than a human being above it.  Not one member of my family has died except from natural causes in seventeen years; I've taught them to get up late, so that the early bird...well, you know what I mean."  Wasn't that an enlightening bit of repartee?  One never knows where one is going to get one's next bon mot.  (And I wish I had the nerve to say right here that Old Bon Mots is Dead).

            I never knew until I owned my own place in Connecticut what a seedum is.  It's fun saying seedum.  Seedum.  Say it over several times to yourself, and I'll warrant you'll enjoy it almost as much as I do.  Seedum is anything that happens to come up, as far as I can understand it, -- that is, anything that you don't know what it is, except weeds, and sometimes weeds plant seedum somewhere and next year, sure as anything, there will be twice as much.  I only speak of this because I doubt whether there are many people who know what seedum is.  I don't.  But you can't deny that it's fun to say.  Seedum.  Now you seedum, and now you don't.  I ain't seedum in weeks.  Twiddle-de-dee and twiddle-de-seedum.  Quiet, Stoopnagle, you've gone berserk!

            I can't end this little round-table discussion of things that happen in the springtime without mentioning moles, those delicate little animals who so playfully ruin your nice lawn, the stinkers.  Did you ever see a mole?  I didn't, and I don't believe anyone ever did.  Look in the dictionary under m-o-l-e, and all it says is that a mole is an insectivore.  (Then you have to look   that  up).  No picture of one.  Ask a man versed in mole-lore, and he'll tell you a mole has a long nose, hardly any eyes, counter-sunk ears and fur.  But try to get him to produce one.  He can't.  He will show you a fur coat which he says is a mole-skin coat, but I have seen fur coats a guy said were made of sable, and which no more were made of sable than a chinchilla coat is made of ostrich feathers.  Some day not in the too far distant future, I am going to go searching for a mole who has an estate somewhere.  I am going to sneak over there on some dark night with a steam shovel and I am going to rip the living daylights out of his lawn.  I am going to gouge his lawn.  I am going to take the pieces and throw them over his roof, into his ice-box, stuff them into his furnace.

            Why, I am going to...pardon me just a minute; I think the little woman is calling.  What's that, dear?  You are reading in the paper where moles are expected to rid the countryside of Japanese beetles this summer?  Really?  Isn't that interesting!  Thank you, dear.  You see, that's just what I thought.  Moles are cute little dears; I am thinking of raising them.  Anything to get rid of those pestiferous beetles!

            I was glad awhile ago that spring has come at last.  Now...well, if I could only stand up straight without that shooting pain in my sacroiliac, I would be glad to tell you what I think.  But it wouldn't be exactly publishable.

            Seedum.

 

[From Cavalcade(?), May 1941]

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