Tomorrow afternoon a big rain front is coming in, but in the morning we’re going out for topsoil. This is the big end-of-winter garden event of the year, and the neighbors are already taking an interest. I sent out some mild broad hints that it would be fun to see them standing around when we unload the sacks and break them open and start spreading it on the 40 foot bed. Many hands will make light work, or at least we’ll get some entertaining remarks from the kibbitzers watching it happen.
Last year good neighbor C. offered to drive me, so we two women went and got the topsoil. Earlier this year Captain Wing offered, but it didn’t seem right taking his time away from the family. So I asked neighbor C. instead.
Well, neighbor C. ran into Captain Wing, which is hard to avoid because he is everywhere all of the time, and they got talking topsoil the way people do, and she asked him to send me profound apologies for not being available this weekend to go buy the dirt. This came as a little surprise to Captain, who was under the impression that he’d be buying the soil himself. He got on the phone right away.
I was making a batch of kimchi when the cell phone rang with the Wing family phone number. When I picked up, Captain said “You do realize, of course…?”
I didn’t realize. I was supposed to chime back with the correct ending for that English sentence. The correct ending comes from any Bugs Bunny film, and is “this means war.” I don’t know anything about Bugs. I need research scientists from China to call me on the phone and explain that line, and to clue me in about my own popular culture of yesteryear. That’s pretty funny in itself.
“You are in trouble now,” he affirmed.
“Again? For which reason?” I asked. I figured he meant for spading the patch with Aziz’s shovel.
But no, he’d been talking to neighbor C. and learned that I’d gone right past him in my topsoil quest. So over the phone we confirmed our plans to go hit pay dirt tomorrow morning.
What about the egg?
That new bed sheet has been such a hit, and is moreover such an attractive pattern, that it seemed a natural match for one of Mrs. Wing’s pickled duck eggs. I added ground punkin seeds for texture, and put them all together in a shaft of wintry late-afternoon light. The result made me happy. It reminds me of some modern art poster from a warehouse loft museum with hardwood floors and stark white walls and soaring industrial ceilings and exposed copper pipes. But it’s really just my floor with a sheet on it and a bowl with an egg.
Off to call the garden store and see what time they open in the morning…