Hay: The better half birthday quandry part three

  • Jul. 29, 2017 3:30 a.m.

You know how it’s an astrophysical fact that in our known universe things come in threes? Snap, crackle, pop. Paper, scissors, rock. Trump, Trudeau and Twiddly Dee. The Three Stooges, the Three Little Pigs, The Three Musketeers. The Three Sisters mountains in Canmore, the A&W triple burger. I could go on. It’s uncanny, really.

The Rule of Threes, as we all know, can be good or it can be significantly less than good. So if you are going through life, minding your own business and an acquaintance says: “Wow, you look good, have you lost weight?”, and then you get stopped for speeding and the traffic cop says: “I’ll let you go with a warning this time,” you’d better buy a lottery ticket as soon as possible.

Or, if you get a flat tire on the insanely busy QE2 on Tuesday and undergo an emergency root canal on Wednesday, it would be wise to stay in bed all of Thursday. Why mess with a grumpy universe?

And so it is that I finish the story of the Better Half birthday girl quandary, on account of (unfortunately) there is a part three. Two weeks ago I commiserated about what a rocky road it is deciding on what to give your spousal unit for her birthday. I thought about a nice new chainsaw, or perhaps Pay Per View tickets for the latest UFC cage match “GoreFest 34,” and then almost went for a new Swiffer mop – the kind that squirts cleaning stuff onto the floor.

But then, part two, I decided to build a “simple” plant stand for the garden, which turned into a personal three day ordeal of blood, sweat and tears (and I’m not talking about the band) for my DYI building project that resulted in a wonky pile of wood the size of a small car. Which brings me to part three.

So, to complete the birthday surprise, I figure the B.H. needs something nice to go onto the pile of wood that is supposed to be a “ladder plant stand”. True story: I’m in the store and I spy what I’m looking for: a nice big yellow watering can. Problem is, the only yellow one is on the very top shelf. About 17 feet (12 meters) above me. The staff girl is on the phone at the other end of aisle, busy ignoring me. So I grab a nice long shovel hanging nearby and by poking it way up I can just barely reach the watering can with the pointy end of the shovel and I slowly… lift… and drag…the bright yellow can… to… the… edge… and CRASH!! Four big heavy watering cans come hurtling down off the shelf. Onto my head. Nearly knocked my glasses off. (Watering cans can hurt.) Also, you can imagine how loud it was once they reached the floor. The staff girl was not impressed.

Still a true story, I decide for forego a trip to Emergency and headed to an outdoor garden center – where, in spite of the severe head pain and blurred vision, I somehow spot the long narrow plastic window plant boxes. Why is everything always on the top shelf?

I stand on my tippy toes, reach waaay up and pull down the 30-inch plant box. It fulcrums straight over and whoosh!! A roaring deluge of 8 gallons (12 liters) of ice cold dirty liquid cascades onto my previously wounded head. Did I mention the shelves are outside and one of the recent storms had made sure the plastic plant boxes were completely full of water?!

Next year, all she is getting is a birthday cake full of candles. What could possibly go wrong?

Harley Hay is a local filmmaker and writer.

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