Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Bet

 This is a true story except for all the parts that aren't.

***

It began as a bet that ended as a dare. I should have backed out or just refused to cooperate but I didn't  Confident I’d win the wager, I laughed off the consequences and sat smug in my presumption of victory. I looked over at her, a sly smile playing across her lips.
 “I can’t believe you’re making me do this. I thought friends prevented each other from being stupid. I swear the whole thing was rigged.” I slipped off my shirt and watched nervously as the sun peeked above the tree line. We’d known each other for too long and she knew my naked days were over.
“I’m a responsible adult now! How the heck am I ever going to explain this?” She snorted and chuckled, a rumbling that erupted into a belly laugh. “Naked gardening is the newest thing”, she replied, coffee spilling from her mug as she tried to stop laughing. A heap of clothing lay on the floor as I stood shivering in the early morning light. “Can I wear my gardening clogs?”
“Buck naked, baby!”
            I quietly shut the door behind me and snuck into the garden completely nude.  According to the bet, I had to spend 30 minutes gardening naked and couldn't do it in the middle of the night. Squeezing as tightly as possible against the brick, I slipped through the garden and into the overgrown shrubs on the side of the house.
“You can’t hide in the shrubs!” Ann hissed.
“Yes, I can! I’m pruning.” I knew she was timing me and began to slowly cut away the viburnum. Inch by inch, I cut each tiny branch. Anxious not to jab anything tender, I moved along the wall, careful to remain hidden. No sounds came from my neighbor’s house and I moved slowly towards the exterior of the shrubs. I grabbed a thick branch and pulled it to the side, my bare feet loud on the dry leafy mulch. Grabbing my wrist, Ann pulled me towards the grass.
“It’s about damn time! Get out here!” she yelled.


I'm so glad they're wearing flip flops.

Shocked to have been exposed, I loosened my grip on the branch, the tight wood slapping sharply against my shoulder. My knees slammed into the grass and I threw out my hands to break the fall. Bent over with my bare butt sticking out from under the shrubs, I froze at the slam of my neighbor’s door. Rounding the corner camera in hand, Percy Clutterbuck was an enthusiastic photographer who often took pictures in my garden. A myopic mumbler who rarely needed another person to carry on a conversation, he often chatted with himself as he worked, tripping and stumbling across the garden. Desperate not to be seen and hoping he wasn't wearing his glasses I crawled towards the shrubs, severed sticks crisp under my knees. 
“I say, I've found a butterfly! It looks like a Purple Spotted Fritillary. I've never seen such a large specimen.”
I could hear him snapping off the lens cover as he fumbled for his camera, my hands moving frantically. A long thin branch caught my hair, pinning me in place as Percy took picture after picture. Hazy memories of a late night out with Ann and a sore butt flooded my thoughts. Percy’s prized specimen was my college tattoo, a purple butterfly inked onto my right cheek. Reaching behind me, I grabbed a tall branch, pulled it to the ground and let go as he leaned in for another photo. The branch shot upward, slapping his shoulder and sending him tumbling. Cussing and mumbling as he fell back, Percy dropped the camera and I ran. 
“I don’t think that was a Purple Spotted Fritillary at all!” he mumbled. He adjusted his glasses and sighed deeply. “That’s a Giant Freckled Dumbass! They’re not rare at all.”  

**Secateurs is another name for pruners.

This piece of FICTION was written for Jennifer at Three Dogs in a Garden.

62 comments:

  1. LOL! That was wonderful, Tammy. I was laughing throughout. I have never tried gardening in the nude, but it must be quite liberating. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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  2. Ha! I was relieved to read it was fiction. The photo is a little scary! ;-)

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    1. The photo is so serious and so funny at the same time. :o)

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  3. Priceless! (Funny and very well written - thanks for the laugh!)

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  4. Thanks for the good laugh! We had a neighbor when we lived in the Netherlands that always hung her laundry out to dry wearing bra and underwear. We were rather amused and after a while just got use to it.

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    1. That is awesome! Really, lingerie isn't much different from a bikini. But I avoid bikinis, too, so I think I"ll stay fully clothed. :o)

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  5. So hilarious! Its a jolly good break from flora and fauna. Now do tell us which part is fiction and which is fact since you said that its a true story :) And the picture is from somewhere!

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    1. It's a piece of fiction. The only true part is that I have a wonderful friend named Ann and that I was quite crazy in college. The picture is from Google images. :o)

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    2. Aha, I knew you wouldn't be so courageous. I was hoping that the lady in birthday suit might be you. Very creative of you to cook up such a story based on a photograph of three mature bodies.

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  6. Great story Tammy!! As I was reading I was thinking of where I could garden naked (if there were neighbors) What a riot!

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    1. I think if I lived somewhere really secluded I might be tempted to garden in my bathing suit, but not my birthday suit!

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  7. You know I think there is actually a National Nude (or Naked) Gardening Day on the first Sat of May. Not that I have ever participated. But I have been known to garden barefooted!

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    1. I have been known to use my shirt to wipe sweat off my head and accidentally flash my neighbors, who were probably horrified by how dirty I was. I read about National Nude Gardening Day. Bravo to anyone brave enough to do it!

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  8. LOL! Tammy, I think this story is very true! The naked man could not find a Purple Spotted Fritillary, it's rare butterfly there. I love your sense of humor, dear college!

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    1. Thanks! The story isn't true but if I were crazy enough to go outside naked, it would be just my luck to have someone take my picture. :o)

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  9. Well written, Tammy! Have a great Thursday!

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  10. Haha, too funny! Well done! Cheers.

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  11. Oh my goodness Tammy, you are one crazy lady....that was a well written story which made me burst out laughing. I'm trying to have my morning glass of juice here...
    If I did not have neighbours on either side, I may have considered nude gardening on hot days in the sweltering heat.
    Furthermore, who are you trying to fool that this was fiction?????

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    1. Gardening in the sweltering heat? Ok, I think shirts should be optional at that point, the more I think about it. Put on a cute bra and go for it!

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  12. Hilarious! I find the whole idea of gardening in the nude rather worrying, I cause myself enough damage when fully clothed and gloved...

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    1. Ha ha ha! Me, too! I'd end up with injuries that would be hard to explain!

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  13. Now I have coffee all over my shirt, from snorting with laughter as I read this with my breakfast. So silly and a whole bunch of fun to read : )

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  14. Wonderfully titillating. Truly.

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  15. Funny lady! Thanks for the morning chortle!

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  16. A Giant Freckled Dumb-Ass! I've heard of those. They aren't nearly as rare as people think. Great story--fiction, or not.

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    1. I meet them all the time. :o) Some days it seems they're everywhere.

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  17. Ha ha, thanks for making me smile :-)
    By the way, if you Google Abbey House Gardens, UK you will find a real garden where clothes are optional, where you actually can find people mowing the grass wearing absolutely nothing :-) ...although you won’t find me there!!

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    1. I Googled that garden! HOLY COW! They are serious about being naked! No one appeared the least bit self-conscious. I'd be hiding in a giant shrub the whole time. I doubt I could walk through those gardens with a straight face. :o)

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  18. Is that your new tuteur or are you just really glad to see me? Naked gardening will not be trending in my garden anytime soon although I have to confess to occasional naked dashes to and from my hot tub and the house. Fortunately the tub is not in the direct view of any neighbors.

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    1. LOL! Love it!! I would have a very hard time keeping my eyes at eye level if I were in a garden full of naked male gardeners. I just may have to use your line. ;o)

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  19. Haha, not sure i would want to garden in the nude, glad it was fiction!!

    Sarah The Diligent Gardener

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    1. After reading the comments and considering the weather, I've decided I'd have no problems gardening in a bikini top/sports bra and shorts but that's about it. Nude is never going to happen! :o)

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  20. Funny, creative fiction. No doubt somebodies somewhere are doing the real thing.

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    1. There are quite a few somebodies actually who do garden naked. I am just not one of them!

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  21. Hi, Tammy! I have something for you in my blog...Please, visit!

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  22. A great story to end my day. Hmm, what part wasn't true?

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  23. Fantastic fiction. It really made my day with me rolling in laughter. I also have the same question -- which part was true and which wasn't :-)?

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  24. Such a good story, made me smile over and over. Never in a million years would that be me.

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    1. Considering how many of my students are my neighbors, it won't be me either. :o)

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  25. Thanks for the funny story! It was a bright spot on this dreary January day! Despite our warm temperatures, naked gardening would never catch on here, unless one wants big itchy bug bites on one's butt!

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    1. The idea of bug bites in weird places is enough to make a person put on extra clothes instead of taking them off. :o)

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  26. Ah the giant freckled dumbass. :)

    I used to think hell might consist of weeding the same patch over and over (something difficult, like bermudagrass) while the horrendously hot sun beats down on my bare head. Now I see that being naked would have to be included too.

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  27. I think a horrible sunburn would be included!

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  28. I was rather hoping the tattoo was fact ;) Love that photo, the flipflops just put it perfectly over the top.

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    1. The flip flops crack me up! So funny and bizarre! The tattoo is absolute fiction but the freckles are real. :o)

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  29. Fiction? Fiction? Are you sure? LOL
    David/:0)

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  30. What a good story - I would have loved it to be true. I have gardened in my underwear before now - it would be a great feeling to be able to garden in the nude - away from prying eyes of course.

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  31. That's awesome! My neighbors are extremely close so if I went out in my underwear or nothing at all, they would all see it. But I have been tempted on very hot days to garden in my bra and shorts. :o)

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