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Western Pennsylvania Mensa presents.... Quickmud

By Chris Sartori

Yesterday I discovered a new garden hazard-quickmud. The temperature made it up past 40 degrees, so I thought I'd dig up some parsnips. This little task turned into more of an adventure than I bargained for. I was in the middle of the garden when I started to sink. I had two nice-sized parsnips when I noticed mud oozing around my ankles. I tried to take a step and sank even more-up to my knees. Freezing water rushed over the tops of my Wellies and turned my toes into stubby little popsicles.

Since the spade was handy, I thought I'd just dig myself out. If you've ever tried it, then you know as well as I (now) know; shoveling mud is impossible. Maybe I could just step out of my boots and sort of, you know, lightly flit across the mud onto our nice solid brick patio. Yeah, that's it, I'd just flit across the mud. Ha! Very bad idea. 130 pounds of anything does not lightly flit anywhere. And let me tell you, stepping out of those boots was almost a fatal mistake. It does not feel good to be stuck in mud up to your knees with nothing on your feet but a pair of tube socks.

This is where it gets really embarrassing. I yelled for help, but it was late in the morning and nobody was around. Luckily, I had the cordless phone in my jacket pocket. I called the local police and explained my situation. "If you're not too busy with crime and things, could you please get me out of my garden? I'm stuck in about sixteen inches of mud." The dispatcher didn't even laugh! I was so impressed. She sent someone right away and he was like McGyver-no lie!

He reviewed the situation and within minutes I had a rope around my waist. Officer McGyver threw the other end of the rope over a beam in our pergola and rigged it up to the winch in front of his squad car. It pulled me right out of the ground and there I was swinging from our pergola with barefoot muddy legs, and who should come home for his lunch hour? My neighbor, Phil. Ooo! Talk about rotten timing! He helped the policeman get me down and untie the winch set. Which was rather nice of him, I must admit. The policeman left and never even let a little smirk slip out until he got to his car; then he let loose big time.

Phil wasn't quite so sensitive. He laughed so hard that he popped a button off his suit jacket. I threatened to belt him with a parsnip if he breathed a word of this to a living soul. Then I began to see the humor in the situation and we ended up having lunch together. We shared a batch of fried parsnip chips in between giggles.

Reprinted from the February, 1999 issue of THE PHOENIX,
the monthly newsletter of Western Pennsylvania Mensa,
Tamara Wardell, editor.   Reprinted with permission.



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