So, hey, what about this whole spring thing, huh? (nods head, gives knowing look) I know, dude! It's here! And woo boy has it been exciting!!
Obviously! Because the other night I had the greatest dream! I mean, I even woke up with one of those happy, little, that-was-the-greatest-dream-in-the-history-of-dreams-smile on my face. See, in my dream, there I was, kneeling in the flower bed in front of my house, digging through the dirt with my bare hands pulling out root after root after root of crab grass, and, as the weeds mounded higher and higher in my Disney princess bucket (stolen from the children) I felt a calm, a rightness, a connectedness to all of nature descend over my very soul.
And then I woke up. And realized the best dream I'd had in weeks was about weeding.
No. Seriously. Weeding, people. W-e-e-d-i-n-g.
Stop reading and let that sink in for a minute.
Ok. That's enough sinkage. You can start reading again.
And not even weeding the area around something pretty in my yard, like my Weeping Cherry Tree. Oh, no! Instead, I dreamed about weeding the area in the middle of The Stupid Bush. Which, yes, is it's real name. Because any bush who's not smart enough to keep the middle of itself alive in a place that gets, on average, 52 inches of rain a year doesn't deserve a cool name like Weeping Cherry Tree. Stupid gluttonous northwest vegetation....
Obviously, this is unacceptable. Because normal people don't dream about weeding. They dream about being a race car driver, or eating the world's largest chocolate peanut butter Easter egg without getting nauseous, or being back in college and telling that freaky English professor to shut up about how smart he is and just teach the class and also TO QUIT STARING AT YOU ON THE BUS, FREAK MAN!, and maybe, now and then, a dream about puppies. Because they're cute. But weeding? No. Just no.
Luckily, my kids like to pick out random books for me from the library in order to expedite their own journey to the children's section, and they had picked out the perfect antidote: The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer. That's right. Tonight it's SPY DREAMS!
Now, before I go any further, don't spoil it for me, because I haven't finished the book yet. And for the love of all that is good! don't tell me why an eight month pregnant woman was touring Venice by herself, somehow runs in to a double agent, becomes friends enough with him to find herself in the middle of a cross fire while the good guys try to bring that rogue agent in, and when the double agent is gunned down on the streets of Venice, basically right before her eyes, goes into premature labor, births a daughter, and then ends up marrying the good guy spy fake-named (obviously) Charles Alexander,who had been shot three times (twice in the chest) by the double agent and was bleeding to death (but didn't die!) beside her mere weeks later! Because the answer to that has got to be the key to solving this whole puzzle!
However, after reading part of the book, I've come to realize, most international (and probably non-international) espionage can be thwarted by a good old fashioned block party. And the occasional slice of bundt cake over a cup of coffee.
Case in Point 1:
Spy says: "Oh, wow. That's super. Listen, can I use your bathroom? I've been waiting for my girlfriend, Marie, all day. She just called and it looks like I've got another half hour. You mind?"
Neighbor says: Sure. By the way, is Marie the one with the wooden leg or the urban chickens? You know what, who cares! Come on in! Feel free to break into her apartment while you pretend to use my bathroom! Mi Casa es su casa!
What the neighbor should have said: Um. Dude. Marie doesn't even have a boyfriend. She hasn't felt emotionally stable enough since the Estonian Count dumped her on her birthday four months ago! I mean, I can't even count the nights I've spent with her, crying into pints of Chunky Monkey, mocking every endearment he ever said in the voice of the count from Sesame Street. Walk on, spy. Walk on.
Case in Point 2:
Spy says: "Uh, excuse me. I'm here about Angela Yates. She's my sister."
Neighbor: Let's out an audible gasp, then buzzes the spy in.
What the neighbor should have said: You're a spy. Go away. Angel never had a sister. Only guinea pigs. And a parakeet that one summer.
Case in Point 3:
Spy says: Hold the door, please! I need to get in and check the foundation and make sure it's earthquake certified!
Neighbor says: Holding!
What the neighbor should have said: The building super got that paperwork last week! You're a spy here to replace poor Angela's sleeping pills with poison! You just want to kill her! Murderer! Spy! Bring your pitchforks! Bring your overheated hair dryers! Bring your baseball bat! Charge, neighbors! CHARGE!!
Aaaannnnd. Point proven.
Now, excuse me, I have some weeding to do. In my front yard. In the middle of my neighborhood. Not because I want to see if I can recreate the utter peaceful perfection of my weeding dream in my waking hours. Obviously. But, because, um... I have an international spy to catch? Yeah, that's it! And there simply isn't enough time to bake a bundt cake.