Alcohol… drugs…  gambling… wild women (yawn) have never been issues in our marriage.  No one has a stronger moral compass than Dearly Beloved.  He is kind to animals, delightful with children, and friendly to adults.  He is non-violent and has never owned a gun.

HOWEVER,  let that sonofagun get his hands on a pair of loppers or large pruning shears and Freddy Krueger is a mild-mannered manicurist by comparison. Neighbors run inside and lock their doors with when DB, armed and wild-eyed, approaches.  If it’s something  gas or electric-powered,  the skies darken as birds flee, some carrying their nests on their little backs.

Nothing is safe when the unsupervised Mad Pruner is on the prowl.

A couple of years ago, he neatened our prize Japanese maple by cutting off the graceful, drooping branches and turning it into a Tootsie Pop.   We agreed that, to save the marriage, he would not prune without supervision.

Daughter Boo and I share plants, so I have been e-mailing photos to show her the wood poppies, hostas, ferns, and trilliums which came from her garden and now brighten mine.   As a joke, I snapped this picture of the 50-year-old camellias on one side of our house.

Dad's pruning job

That’s how I labeled it and when I sent it to her,  I also e-mailed a copy to DB.   My bad.  My bad, bad, bad!!

This is how the shrubs looked in March:

Blooming camellias

Tuesday I went over to have lunch with a friend and see her large, lovely rose garden.  I was gone about three hours.   DB was in the sunroom at his computer when I returned.  Without even looking up, he said, “I did that pruning  job while you were gone.”

My blood ran cold.  DANGER!!!  DANGER!!!!

I think I know how Bambi’s mother must have felt when she smelled smoke.  I rushed outside, almost bumping into our neighbor as I rounded the house.   He was looking at the side of our house.   When he saw me, he held up his hands in surrender and started to back away.


The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them.   The neighbor, whether shell-shocked at my language or the carnage before him, solemnly intoned, “Dearly Beloved is in deep doodoo, isn’t he?”

The city collects “yard waste” on Fridays, so here is the scene at our curb this morning:

Better call for big truck backup, Guys!

Now, as I hum TAPS softly and if carnage and  mutilation do not make you ill, take a look at this picture of the victims, if you dare.

The scene of the crime.

I love this man and want to save our marriage,  but something has to be done.

Will I need a permit for a stun gun?


16 thoughts on “Stunned

  1. This is…. wow… I’m so sorry… I have a mad pruner too, but there have been limits set. There are certain things he CANNOT touch, I’m the only one allowed to prune them.

    The only thing to do is get him the t-shirt that says “Runs with Scissors”. Maybe it’ll help warn the neighbors and the community at large, at least.


  2. Honestly, you need crime scene tape around the poor things. Um…I’m assuming biology wasn’t DB’s strong suit in school. Plants need some leaves for photosynthesis to take place. I’m just seeing skeletons here. The horror…..

  3. I couldn’t comment before because I was laughing too hard! My own DB always buys these gas-powered (sometimes electric) monsters in sizes meant to landscape the Biltmore House. If big is good, then huge must be better. Then (because it’s so powerful) he thinks it’s a shame not to use it to full potential. His favorite time of year in WI was the first rain after my lovely huge peonies blossomed. He couldn’t wait to whack those drooping blossoms. And don’t even talk about the Lilacs.

    He gives these machines NAMES! Our snowblower in WI (Big Bertha) could have plowed the Milwaukee streets in no time. I’m just sayin’.

    Go for the stun gun!!!

  4. Ah, yes. I’m familiar with this problem. We worked for years to grow a pyracantha arch over our garage doors and it was a gorgeous thing. They tend to get bushy, so I asked DH to trim ours back.

    Stun guns might not leave an adequately lasting impression, I fear. I rely on bringing that story up several times a year…like every time we get together with our friends or family. Women never forget.

  5. Holy crapola!! I would be putting this man in the dog house for a long long time, girl! And have him make up for his faux pas by buying me something special that I’ve been wishing for. Can you lock up the tools? Sheesh! He would never be allowed near them if he was mine. LOL Good luck. Although they look hideous now, perhaps they’ll be okay next spring. (If you haven’t pulled them up before that….)
    🙂 Sue

  6. I really kind of understand him.

    We have jasmine growing around an arbor the serves as a back entrance to our patio. That stuff smells great, but grows like mad. Being a dutiful husband, one day I trimmed the suckers.

    “You destroyed my Jasmine,” my wife screamed.

    She was exaggerating. It grew back. After a while. After a long while.

    I’m no longer allowed to trim.

  7. Sharon

    I’m stunned! That picture of the blooms is absolutely ravishing. The picture of the pruning camellia shrubs is devastating. Hopefully, they will flush out and be gorgeous again. I’m really, really sorry.

  8. “Don’t tase me bro!”

    I am jealous of anybody living in the warm enough climate where jasmines and camellias can thrive. Perhaps DB was channeling Mr. Miyagi when he was doing the pruning? “Think like tree.” Only he thought of a mini tree…


  9. Pingback: You Want Prunes With That? « Merrilymarylee's Weblog

  10. cw

    I had to come looksee after reading your post this morning – I missed this one… OMG, please, tell me –

    WTF was he thinking when he started, while he was ‘at it’, and when he finished????

    lololol…… good thing DB is so dang cute, huh?lolololol….:):)

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