Out looking for a place to live, my wife and I happened upon a quaint little house in the city that we liked. There was a cyclone fence that wrapped around the backyard with an old-fashioned and weathered “beware of dog” sign on the gate. The front yard was grass.
We thought the yard and the fence would come in handy for those times when family stopped by with their dogs. In anticipation of the fun we’d have we even picked up a Chuckit and ball.
At no time were we advised there were plans to change anything about the house. The property management people treated us throughout the entire process like the rental scum that we were.
Finally it was moving day. We rolled into town in our U-haul and arrived at the property. It was so exciting. We hadn’t seen the house in two months.
Surprise. The fence was gone although the gate remained. It was no longer a place for dogs. The lawn had been replaced with raw dirt that would soon be the uber cool and trendy urban front-yard farm.
Sorry, dog. We’ve been victimized by bait-and-switch. There’s no place for a game of catch around here. But I do see a nice place where you can bury your bones. Please, feel free.
With no involvement or notice of the process, the landlord had already signed a deal with an urban farmer.
It was to be our job to provide the water. That’s treated drinking water from the city that costs about nine times as much as the place we lived before. Yeah, we hadn’t exactly planned on that in the new budget.
It was presented to us like a grand opportunity. “You provide the water and you can participate in the bounty. Lucky you! See? We’re planting rows and rows of shit you hate. How about 42 metric tons of kale shoved up your asses? Yummies!”
Fine. Whatever. It has been my lifelong dream to poop green.
It was truly the dawn of a new era. It works a little something like this:
- We water the farm using a thing called a “sprinkler” that has to be moved around and turned on and off by hand.
- The landlord shows up unannounced and knocks on our door.
- “Did you water?” we get grilled.
- “Yes,” we like to answer.
- “Are you sure you watered?” This is accompanied by disapproving looks of disbelief and judgement.
- Then follows one or more statements designed to make us feel bad, like: “Sure looks like someone hasn’t been keeping up on the weeds. *sigh* Oh well. I guess I’ll do it.” Go ahead, Eeyore.
I’m already fed up and the cornucopia of locally-sourced and organic vegetables isn’t even here yet.
I plan to hire Darth Vader to represent us and make them a deal they can’t refuse. Then, at the end, say, “Pray I don’t alter the deal any further. It would be most unfortunate if I had to leave a garrison here. Imperial troops like practicing their accurate blasts on poor unfortunate kale sproutlings.”
Mmm. Fried kale chips.