(If you scroll to the bottom ahead of reading it steals the punchline. It's a short posting I promise.)
Not sure why this just came to me but I realize it's been an awfully long time since I logged in here...
Way back in the spring, on the same day that I crashed my bike into the ever dangerous concrete floating street curb (it was ducking and diving so much it was impossible to avoid), I posed this video showing my neighbors gardening to gangster rap. I didn't know this lady at the time, and with her short plump build, constant stoic appearance, apparently over-sized offspring, affections for gangster rap, and incessant work ethic I pegged her for being Eastern European. It was obvious she was stuck here in North Vancouver after the boat she solo paddled across the Atlantic Ocean slammed into Nova Scotia, at which point she figured she could just walk home via Sarah Palin's bridge from Alaska to Russia. Upon completing her 8,000km trek on no sustenance other than rain water, she discovered that no such bridge existed. Undeterred, she settled on residing in North Vancouver until she could build yet another row boat off the land. Able to afford nothing but seedlings she had obviously taken to gardening in an attempt to grow a single oak tree before she turned 108 so she could row back to her homeland for her passing, much like the salmon returning to their coastal waterways in the fall.
With this highly intuitive and accurate knowledge of this lady firmly entrenched in my brain, she finally spoke to me one day in passing,
"You like fix?"
Thinking to myself, shit, did she just say that? There were painters here yesterday that aren't here today. Dammit she's gonna put me to work like the Canadian child they wouldn't let her adopt...act stupid...
"Umm...(awkward silence) what?"
"You like fix?"
Shit, she didn't even crack a smile. This lady is tougher than Bruce Willis in Die Hard, not Die Hard 2, 3, 4, or 5, THE ORIGINAL DIE HARD.
"Ummm" sweating bullets "Ummm" can't think, scared for life, just run, she knows where I live, SAY SOMETHING, "Whaaat?"
Now she's getting pissed. This is not what I want. She huffs a little and stares straight through my soul as if to say 'listen you little shit, you either help me fix my house or your gonna be my fertilizer'
"You like fix?"
Petrified that even the slightest delay may cost me my life,
"YES!" YES, please God have mercy on me, I'll fix anything you want lady!"
Oh shit. Of course I have to follow her, please don't let this be in her basement, please don't have posters of Anthony Hopkins and Kathy Bates on your walls, please don't hurt me, I'll do whatever you say lady, I'll dig six feet deep as long as it's not for me. I'll wear a skin suit if it fits. I'll put the lotion on the skin. Whatever you say lady just LET ME LIVEEEE!
"Take" as she points to a ladder.
At which point I stare 30 feet up in the air at her near vertical rooftop and contemplate faking an injury. She knows I was on crutches all winter, just fall down. Just fall over Gary. If you want to live FALL ONTO YOUR DAMN FACE NOW!
Then she has me set up the ladder under a tree in her yard, and SHE starts ascending it. Slowly, one agonizing rung at a time. Clang. Clang. Clang. The bell tolls for thee. Clang. What's she hiding up there? Body parts? Locusts? A treehouse of death? Is it...
OH NO, oh God NO what could it be...
"Figs. You like Figs?"
What's that they say? Something about books and covers and stuff. Of course I knew she was a sweet ole Italian lady named Rosa. Knew it all along I did.