Friday, January 29, 2010

The lady and the gardener

Dr Bill T. was an oldtime doctor who was a member of the establishment in Lotus City when I first arrived in the 60's. In a moment of utter madness he had purchased a large, old Tudor mansion on a seaside acreage in the high end district of the city. It was a beautifully landscaped property and he did the gardening work himself rather than hiring, as the rest of his neighbors were wont to do. He gardened in baggy, cast off trousers and an old slouch hat. Pruning, spraying, weeding , mountains of fertilizer and mulch . He toiled in the soil with his customary efficiency. A newcomer to the district seemed to take a particular interest in his work habits and eventually she came to Bill's fence and hailed him. She said, " I've noticed how you work and wondered if you might consider working for me as well. I'm close by. What do you charge? " Bill thought for a moment and said, "The standard amount, but the lady here feeds me lunch." "Oh ", said the newcomer, "I can feed you lunch"! "But", said Bill, " The lady here lets me sleep with her !" I don't know whether it was the slouch hat or the dirty baggy pants but that seemed to be the cessation of the negotiations. This is part of Lotus City lore, and for me it is hearsay, not of my own knowledge. It may be apocryphal, and is undoubtedly not original. It was said that despite the perhaps infelicity, at the time, they became good friends and enjoyed a laugh. It is however likely, that she was hesitant to become his patient.

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