I've been spending most of my time the past few weeks in the garden. Mama Blanca and I have planted a few rows to hoe in her backyard. This past Friday we decided to christen our endeavor with a scarecrow. After all, birds were getting to be a problem and we wanted to involve the kids in some way. We decided that a Blanca-Weasel joint family scarecrow building event was just the ticket. Never mind that we ended up ordering the kids inside to watch a movie, while she and I finished the scarecrow, as though we were set dressers for the Wizard of Oz - carefully placing hay to have just the right disheveled oops-my-hay-is-falling-out look about him. It reminded me of how all our family tree-trimming events go at Christmas-time. They start with my visions of holiday bliss: the kids carefully picking ornaments out of boxes, tenderly unwrapping them from tissue paper and thoughtfully finding the perfect spot to place them on the tree, all while sharing the memories of Christmases past that each ornament evokes. The reality, of course, is that the boys end up breaking even the most seemingly unbreakable ornaments, and place the survivors within one eye-level square-foot area of the tree. Before we are finished, I summarily excuse them from the room and ban them from looking at another ornament or even thinking about the tree for the rest of Christmas. This was kinda like that.
So what makes a Scarecrow scary? Could it be the "Delta Airlines" shirt? Dedicating 13 years to a company that cuts your paycheck, hours, and benefits - that's scary. Could it be the Army issued desert camouflage pants? Spending time in Iraq during the first Gulf War, those pants surely saw someone die - that's scary. Or could it be that our scarecrow is dressed like a working/military man, but has the face of a blow-up doll? Totally disturbing.
We were never really banking on Cletus scaring any crows (we had already covered our plot with bird netting). Now we are just hoping he doesn't attract something even more undesirable to the garden.