You may have thought the suspense building up to the Oscars was overwhelming, but that was nothing -- NOTHING, I TELL YOU -- compared to the incredible angst and excitement generated by Grumpy's Crepe Murder Contest. Your response has been both humbling and mind-blowing. And now the time has come to announce the three grand prize winners of uber-quality Corona Bypass Loppers like the ones I'm wielding now.

But first, for those of you unfamiliar with Southern horti-culture, let Grumpy explain what "crepe murder" is. Crepe murder is the odious and idiotic practice of cutting back your beautiful crepe myrtles to ugly stumps each winter.

Why do people do this? Because they see their neighbors do it. Doing what your neighbors do is almost always a terrible idea. So the next time you see the guy next door gardening in a tutu, tiara, and big, fuzzy slippers, restrain yourself from doing the same -- unless he's a character on "The Modern Family."

OK, here we go! Grumpy's first Grand Prize Winner for Crepe Murder goes to David Lorberbaum, a 2006 graduate of the University of Georgia's Landscape Architecture program (oh, I'm sorry, Bulldog fans -- School of Environmental Design.....sniff sniff).


Ah, David, it's comforting to know that UGA is still teaching the sound and time-honored horticultural techniques that have been the linchpin of Georgia landscape design lo these many years. David says a chain saw was involved and these are really his neighbor's crepe myrtles. Sure they are.

Our second Grand Prize Winner for Crepe Murder is presented to Martha Bishop of Huntsville, Alabama. Grumpy admires Martha's bravery, artistry, and downright sneakiness by introducing the human element into this photo without being observed and subsequently attacked.


Don't you just love the implied feeling of accomplishment captured in the photo above? You can hear the homeowner's proud thoughts: "My work here is done."

And now, it is time to announce Grumpy third and final Grand Prize Winner for Crepe Murder. Drum roll, please.......................It's Trish Ivins of Evans, Georgia! (David, UGA has obviously taught its citizens well.)


This is Grumpy's favorite photo, because in one instant, Trish managed to capture the message that the Grump and his legions of followers are spreading from sea to shining sea: "Stop Crepe Murder." Well done, Trish. Please forward this photo to the University of Georgia's School of Environmental Design.

Grumpy Thanks All of You

Many, many people submitted excellent examples of crepe myrtle at its worst. Grumpy wishes he could give all of you a prize, but alas, he has only three loppers to distribute. He will be contacting the winners shortly and getting their prizes to them. To everyone who participated -- YOU ARE AWESOME! Let us commit right here and now to continue embarrassing our neighbors as long as it takes to finally end the crime of crepe murder.