Hello, and welcome to “Three Minutes of Gardening and 30 Seconds of Heavy Drinking.” I’m your host Garland Faunt-Lubberly.
You find me, as most of you find yourselves, in isolation; in my case, not merely from the outside world and all its devil-may-care viral concoctions, but also in isolation here at the manor, hiding as I must from my strapping young houseboy Vivian. One can take only so much strapping before one feels compelled to sequester oneself in one’s amply provisioned safe room!
Besides my current all-purpose self-isolation, I was earlier compelled to undertake 14 days of strict quarantine following my return from Xialapaloopa, Mexico, where along with my dear friend Lady Bechamel, I participated in the annual Running of the Bees. This is much like the Running of the Bulls except one cries out shrilly, “LOOK OUT! THERE ARE BEES!”
Needless to say, I became quite swollen. But my quasi-erotic tristes with Lady Bechamel are neither here nor even partway over there. At the conclusion of our journey, we each of us went our separate ways, I to the manor and Lady Bechamel to her remote, fur-lined cabin on Lake Algonquiconqua. Now, as evening sets and the air is filled with the restive sounds of Vivian rattling the doorknob, we wile away the hours via Zoom-a-phone, Lady Bechamel ministering me with essential services as she wears her jaunty surgical mask just so, and just so again 12 minutes later.
While the nights may be rife with long-distance Zamfir and bon-vivance, the days, meanwhile, tend to be longer than Captain Flounston’s yardarm after a turgid round of piking! Thus—and here we crack to the kernel of our modestly instructive nut—we turn to our precious garden! Even though the warm days of summer seem as remote as the possibility of ever again embracing a stranger on mass public conveyance, we can still prepare for that hopeful day with gardening tasks and an optimistic soak in the tub.
Planning, of course, is the key to success, and under that bust of Hedy Lamarr is the key to the emergency exit. Once you have secured your escape from the safe room, hasten to the potting shed, checking over your shoulder to spy Vivian in hot pursuit, his arms all a-flail in his ragged shirtsleeves and insensible shoes.
Hopefully, you will have adequately prepared your garden at the close of the previous fall and Vivian will plunge into the well-camouflaged Siberian tiger pit you built, mercifully lined not with deadly spikes but with the pliable pages of Maximum Dungaree catalogues. While this may seem cruel, it is important to remember that Vivian is incapable of keeping two metres apart. His handwashing is likewise suspect. In these times of contagion, digging treacherous man-pits is everyone’s business.
Now that you are ensconced in the potting shed, congratulate yourself on the brisk workout, the first bit of physical strain you have enjoyed in a fortnight. Your task, then, is to undertake an inventory of gardening materials and supplies. But, alas that is all you have time to do because, in our verbal and pastoral meanderings, we have used up our allotted three minutes of gardening! Be not chagrined, for such is the nature of isolation life: maximal ambitions, minimal execution. Quickly then: Prune! Prune, I say! Prune like your life depends on it! And if Vivian has his way, it very well may be.
And so to drinking: if any good comes out of this period of self-isolation, it is the opportunity to spend some quality time with alcohol. And there is no better time for libations than as a reward for doing the barest of work. But what shall we imbibe? No doubt you have heard of the quarantini. Why not try a quaranTomCollins, a quaran-gin-and-tonic or a quartoftequila? This is a challenging epoch in our lives—no time to be fussy, but oodles of time to be tipsy!
Happy gardening and heavy drinking!
To hear this and previous episodes of “Three Minutes of Gardening and 30 Seconds of Heavy Drinking,” visit soundcloud.com/ross-murray-7.