Landscaping, by Ryan Krebs

Alright, is everyone here? We’re missing Bobby.

Hey, there he is. Sorry B, Didn’t see you there. Hop on up in your dinner chair.

Ok, so I want to thank everyone for taking a few minutes out of your schedules for this promptly called family
meeting. It won’t take long, I promise.

First off, I just want to say how great you kids have been for the last month. Really great work around the
house with your chores. I haven’t had to spot-clean Scooter’s messes in weeks. Samantha, you’ve been right on
that, and I thank you. It’s a real weight off my shoulders. You kids wanted a dog and you are proving you can
handle it. Great job. Let me be clear on this, each of your hard work has been appreciated and noted for future
reference — especially around the Holidays, right?! Haha…

Anywhooo. All that having been said, I do have a minor gripe I wanted to pass along to you kids. I was out
in the backyard last night firing up the grill for Burger Night, and out of the corner of my eye what do I see
popping out of the ground next to the lilacs? Your grandmother’s hand.

Yeah, I’m pretty surprised, and truth-be-told quite disappointed in you all. Hey, I don’t care whose fault it is.
That’s not important. What is important is that we cannot have Grandma’s appendages sticking out from Mother
Earth. It’s not even hidden that well. Right out in the open, plain as day. Heck, I can see it from here.

I don’t want to nag on you kids about why this is important, but you know we can’t let the police see it. That’s
just all sorts of trouble, and your mother and I don’t want you to spend time in juvie before you hit the “Real
World.” If Officer Friendly comes over tomorrow and says “Hey, looks like nothing weird is going on here, have
a nice da… but wait, why is there an elderly hand sticking out of the ground,” you know we’re in trouble.

But more important, aesthetically it’s really disruptive to the Zen Garden your mother has been working very
hard to create back there. We can’t have the neighbors over for Meditation Monday with Grandma’s hand
extended out of the ground. Can you imagine if the Dittmers or Logans saw that? No thanks. It’s a huge eyesore
on the landscaping.

Bobby, you do a great job mowing the yard – and might I say your stripes last week were impeccable. What
was that pattern? Plaid? You’ve got a gift, son. – But you know if Grandma’s hand is sticking out of the sod,
nobody’s going to be paying attention to your work.

And at the very least, couldn’t you take her rings off? Do you think Grandma would want the neighbor kids
stealing her wedding band? No, of course not. You have to take the jewelry off. We’ll keep them in the safe and
hey, maybe you can pass that ring on to your grandkids someday or we sell it for a 70” TV. I don’t know, just
throwing ideas out there.

We can’t have mistakes like this, gang. We all love living off inheritances, and to do that we have to be more
careful next time… which could be soon because your mother is out doing recon on Aunt Caliope.

I’m surprised because you had been doing so well. Uncle Barney, Great-Grandpa Vern, Mr. Carrothers from
down the street, all clean and buried. Admittedly, I’m not sure why we were in Mr. Carrothers’ last will and
testament. I think that was a Bobby thing.

But, you leave one hand out this time, and next time maybe it’s an arm, then next time it’s a head or an entire
torso sticking out of the ground. Eventually you may just stop burying bodies in the backyard altogether and
they start piling up. We can’t get into bad habits, ok?

Glad we’re all on the same page here. Alright, moving on to agenda item B: We’re thinking about painting the
dining room and we’d like your input on these color swatches…

Ryan Krebs is a writer from Chicago. When he’s not researching the legality of domesticated panda adoption, he can be found tweeting here.

The Humor Section features a piece of original humor writing each week. To submit to it, send an email to Becca O’Neal.

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