To some I’m super hero Irv Lubener – Raspberry Prunner. I wish I could say that I have super powers that capture attention like being able to develop funnel-webs with little more than silk thread and toxic waste or the ability to see through the fine print in legal documents.
My superpowers are found in various horticultural arts involving the Rubus occidentalis.
Today the odiferous duo of Rankin Smellie and his sidekick Jim Shue are covertly observing me. I have seen their kind before. They possess an intense desire for the fruit of my labor without the desire to invest in their own plot of terra firma. Of course their fatal flaw is a lack of personal hygiene, which tends to give them away.
Smellie and Shue were suspects in several berry-pilfering cases dating back to the spring of 1987.
I think it is hard for these two to view me as a super hero. After all I don’t wear a cape and my common superhero outfit is comprised of Dickies© overalls, a flannel shirt and a pair of steel-toed work boots. Tri-focal glasses and a salt and pepper moustache supplement this attire. Most bad guys simply view me as the gardner, which generally allows me to investigate unhindered.
Even if I hadn’t seen Smellie and Shue their odor would have alerted me to the third lilac bush from the back porch. Fortunately I knew exactly how to defuse the issue, “Gentlemen,” I called from the raspberry patch. I heard a distinct shushing sound. “It would be best if you two would come out from behind the bush,” I called again.
“Didn’t I say you was too noisy?” Smellie asked Shue as they pushed their way between the lilacs.
“It’s not my fault,” Shue replied. “You was the one who said we should come and get some fresh fruit. Now look.” Both men were upset.
“You two like raspberries, don’t you,” I asked in my best super-hero voice.
“Not especially,” Shue replied at the exact moment Smellie said, “I can’t get enough of ‘em.” Then the two attempted to alter their answers so they would match only to fall into polar opposites once again. Then they stopped, looked at the ground and finally answered in a miserable unison, “Yeah.”
“And you were waiting for me to leave so you could get some.” I replied as a statement.
“Well, now that you mention it,” Shue replied.
“What if I were to tell you these raspberries are yours,” I asked.
The duo seemed stuck between wanting to believe and that feeling that a slap on the wrist might be coming. Their visage was a bit like a short-circuiting computer. I was vaguely aware of smoke.
“What’s the catch?” Shue asked.
“Just let me know when you want some and they are yours. I simply want to know how often you want them,” I reply.
“We just gotta let you know when we want some?” Smellie asked.
“That’s right,” I said.
“What happens if we just come and take them without letting you know?” Shue asked.
“Oh, I suppose you could do that, but then again the bumble bees guards might not appreciate your visit,” I said.
“You got bees?” the due ask in union.
“Without the bees the raspberries don’t grow as well. I can help you find a time to get the raspberries when the bees are away,” I replied. “It’s for your protection.”
I’d like to say that the duo heeded my instructions, but they were so accustomed to pilfering garden produce that they still felt compelled to pilfer even though they had every right to my berry patch. I could always tell when I heard the sounds of Smellie and Shue yelling in the garden as the bumblebee guards protected their Rubus occidentalis.
Whenever crimes are committed against produce I’ll be there. My name’s Irv Lubener – Raspberry Prunner and domestic garner.
Someday people will learn to ask, until then we must rely on the sting of bees to remind us that we each have a sin nature destined to take what is not ours and use it without asking. Although in a purely heartless move I could give them Zucchini – the plant that doesn’t know when to quit.
Remember life is a garden, so watch what you plant and always get rid of the weeds.
I am Irv Lubener – Raspberry Prunner by day, corrugated cardboard manufacturer by night.
Until next time continue planting seeds – harvest won’t come otherwise.
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