Monday, July 21, 2008

STOP The Flower Barrel Abuse!

FeetMeetStreet rarely goes serious and normally maintains
a rigidly anti-social stance. However, I interrupt my own dedicated lack
of decency to bring you this important community announcement.

I don’t know if you are experiencing this particular brand of garden terrorism in your area but here, in Michigan, we have an epidemic afoot.

People, or Serial Tippers, are mercilessly abusing innocent, decorative flower barrel buckets. Beautiful, fresh flowers have been tenderly planted in an oak, antique whiskey barrel bucket and placed by a curb, in a front yard, or, commonly, outside of a restaurant. At some point – WHAM! – a serial tipper knocks it right over half spilling the flowers out of the violated bucket.

Buckets that should look like this:

Instead, look like this (cover your eyes if the image of desecrated flowers offends you):

The humanity!

I’ve seen this many times on my runs. At first, I would stop, scrape the remains of the flowers and soil back in and upright the overturned bucket. While I enjoy hobbies such as orphanage robbing and kitten stomping, I have a certain tenderness for spilt flowers. The next day, the serial tippers had already knocked it back down again. The problem is so prevalent that I rarely see a flower barrel bucket that is NOT overturned.

Who are these animals? And why do they hate the flowers? Or is it the old, antique oak barrels? I have my own hard feelings with oak* but, c’mon, there’s a time and a place to confront oak.

My community is clearly frustrated and in deep despair. I once stopped mid stride to stand up the same oak bucket outside my neighbors home three days in a row. On the fourth day, the home owner screamed at me from his front window to “leave the bucket alone.” I almost wept tears of sorrow. They’ve given up. People are leaving the remains of their beautiful flower baskets as defeated effigies. The garden terrorists have won.

I’ve tried to ignore it. When running, I’ve turned the volume up on my mp3 player to drown out the shrieking wails from the raped blossoms and groaning oak baskets. Social Distortion is not distorting my eyes however. I can't just look the other way and remain colder than a pimp's hug. **

The running community has an advantage. We are out on the roads constantly like an unaffiliated Neighborhood Watch. We can make a difference. We must ban together. Keep our ears and eyes open. The serial tippers walk amongst us though we know not who they are.

If you see a wounded barrel basket, stand it up. Scoop the flowers gently back into place. If it’s down again the next day, fix it again. The tippers think they can outlast us but we will outlast them. No matter how many times it takes – or how many angry threats from frustrated home owners – we must endure.

Your community will thank you.


Consider this your call to arms.

* Elm rules! Suck it Oak.
** From "Prison Bound" by Social Distortion.

Let the Detroit Marathon training begin! And did I mention it is HOT out?

11.0 miles
1:16:44 time
6:58 mile/pace


Xenia’s Wizards of Blogland is hilariously cutting well deserved folks down to size. And shamelessly cheap shots one person along the way.


Viper said...

What's with all the political activism around these parts?

Personally, I think we need to make these poor half barrels whole again and put them back in the service of whiskey-making!

Kristina said...

I have nothing witty to say. I just wanted to bow to you and your "Suck it oak" statement. You win. I am not funny.

nwgdc said...

Those are mighty big words from a Elm, considering the Emerald Ash Borer is DOMINATING YOU right now...

Jenn said...

I try to stay out of too much political talk, but this is just too big of an issue to ignore. Once, years ago, I actually had a flower pot tipped over ON my car. Now that more than just bizarre landscaping.

Marcy said...

"colder than a pimp's hug" Now that is sweet! In fact I'm gonna have to use that. Love me some pimps :P

Marci said...

Where do come up with these ideas? Ha ha. Funny post.

P.O.M. said...

This problem has spread across the country and there are frequent offenders in my 'hood, as well. Let's fight these flower haters!

tfh said...

If it were me, I'd assume my neighbors all had seen me attempting to right their pots but somehow instead assumed I was the vandal, hence the angry shouts. How easily one act of kindness can so easily turn into a melodrama of mistaken intention, rage, and retribution...

SLB said...

Maybe the barrels are just tired and want to have a lie down?

Strip mall to come, honest I promise, there is one near me, no really there is!

Runner Girl said...

Awesome job on your run! when is Detroit?

Xenia said...

Frickin' vandals are everywhere these days. Punks.

Thanks for the link.

Kevin said...

The Horror! I am just speechless

Viv said...

flower barrels remain calm Nitmos will be breezing by to save the day and still maintain a killer pace.

MizFit said...

do you run whilst wearing your superhero cape or does it give you too much drag?

Vanilla said...

Perhaps these are the same people who tipped over RazZDoodle's tree? Maybe the problem goes a lot deeper than we think?

Marathon Me said...

As a runner and a long time social distortion fan, I have to correct your lyric. The line you are looking for is "Colder than a Pimp's Heart", not hug.

I think a Pimp's hug might be pretty warm, what with all the feather boas, and fuzzy outfits.

The verse in question is:
"Well it's cold and it's clammy
Man, it's colder than a pimp's heart
But I've gotta do my time
There's a lesson to be learned here
But what a price to pay

sRod said...

Really? This is your calling?

Reluctant Runner said...

I blame the garden gnomes...

Lily on the Road said...

The barrel spillage has reached epidemic proportions in Canada too!! Just who are these
horticultural terrorists???

Kate said...

This is one of the funniest posts I've read in a long time! There must be a special breed of flower-tipping vandals in Michigan, I have yet to see this phenomenon in CA . . .

Marathon me said...

I actually have another Social Distortion lyrics you could have used, this came to me while running this morning.

[NOTE: This assumes you see some pots tipped over in the evening]

When you see these pots, perhaps they give you:

Cold feelings in the night
You know, this feeling just ain't right.
And though I try I just can't hide
Cold feelings in the night