Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Phyllostachys allergy

I took this photo of my neighbor's magnificent oak today while lying flat on my back in the back yard, prostrate from exhaustion. I'd been digging bamboo for four hours—the bamboo that has wandered uninvited from my neighbor's yard. I have decided that if even my closest friends asked me to help them dig bamboo, I'd respond: "I wish I could help, but I am deathly allergic to bamboo. If I get within 20 feet of it, I go into anaphylactic shock."

You see, our new neighbor—bless his heart!—has started attempting to eradicate the jungle in his back yard, and so I have seized this opportunity to put a stop to the encroachment. Our lot is less than two-tenths of an acre, so we can't spare another inch of space for a bowl of panda chow that never gets eaten. To my amazement, the bamboo (planted decades ago by some silly person infatuated with its good looks) only started to invade last summer (our 11th year here). I was mowing when I spotted the shoots emerging about 10 feet into our yard. I gasped. Satan's horns! I think it was the shade of the gargantuan oak and competition for moisture that kept it mannerly for this long.

I've decided that if we were shopping for real estate and found our dream home but there was a grove of bamboo in the yard, we would keep on driving. Unless it was a self-cleaning house with a freezer that dispensed an endless supply of Edy's ice cream. Oh, and a staff of 12 that would dig bamboo 24/7.

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