Steve Bender

Send Grumpy embarrassing photos of your neighbor’s gross butchery

It’s late February again, the time when we look forward to spring blooms, the return of songbirds, and a parade of maimed crepe myrtles reduced to stumps by bored guys with saws.

Every year, Grumpy rails against the horrid practice of stupefying stumpification, but people do it anyway. Why? Because they see work crews doing it to trees around parking lots at the mall. (One can never go wrong taking gardening cues from the landscape at a Galleria. Eye roll.) Or because they see all their neighbors sawing away and don’t wished to be labeled a “no-cut nut” on Facebook. (Social media can be so cruel.) Or because they planted a crepe myrtle variety that grows 30 feet tall and wide six inches from the front door. (You, of course, know better.)

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Crepe murder may never end, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept it. That’s why I’m once again asking you to report and shame the perpetrators of this heinous crime before the entire universe. When you spot a crepe myrtle that has been savagely chopped into a grotesque monster, surreptitiously take a photo of it with your phone. Email the photo – together with your name and the town and state where you took the photo to me at facebook.com/slgrumpygardener. Let everybody see.

You may think yours is a futile gesture, but I assure you it is not. If nothing else, your participation will remind you of how enlightened you are. Send me your photo by March 16, 2018 and together we will exact revenge. In the words of British statesman Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing.”