a good pluck

To understand carrot weeding, imagine tweezing a 200-foot-long eyebrow. You're uprooting tiny, unwanted weeds by the root, listening for that ripping sound that signals you got the whole bugger. One by one, the strays are eliminated, revealing a clean, straight line. At the end, there's an undeniable sense of satisfaction that exceeds even the stinging, burning redness that accompanies a job well done.

Except carrot weeding is done on all fours, with the weight of the upper body resting on the forearms and the head no more than 10 inches from the ground. The stinging and burning set in immediately, as the hard clumps of dirt under your knees make themselves known. Neck and shoulder muscles complain. The back protests. After an eternity passes, you look up and realize you have 199 feet and 10 inches to go--on the first of three rows on the first of three beds of carrots. You do the math: If breaks for the cigarette habit you vow to adopt are kept short, you might finish by Thanksgiving. You'll look like Quasimodo's lactose-intolerant sister, but won't the carrots be delicious in a butter dill sauce.

Somehow, incredibly, it gets done. Members show up and help out. Coworkers distract the mind with debates about flight vs. invisibility. After many hours and several days, the three beds of carrots start to look like nine very long, fresh-from-the-spa eyebrows.

Though I'm sure my sister, the patron saint of the flawless brow, would still find strays to criticize. For that is what she does.


Anonymous said...

shame on you for bashing your sister like that, I am sure she is only trying to help.

Anonymous said...

Your sister knows - when something is that stinging, and the rewards so great, why leave room for discontent. If the goal wasn't exactitude, your sister would likely praise the imperfect. My nose is brown - 10 shades from dirt?