Photo: Steve Bender

Faithful readers, in preparation for the unveiling of the winners of Crepe Murder 2016 this Sunday, March 13, I thought you'd enjoy this extremely stupid episode that occurred in Grumpy's own neighborhood last weekend.

The snarl of a chainsaw is always disturbing, but never more than on a warm Saturday in late winter in the South. You just know what is underway. Some poor crepe myrtle is being butchered by a dumbbell feeling his testosterone.

I was correct (as I always am). There was nothing I could do to stop him -- I'm rather fond of my extremities -- so I decided to bear witness to this atrocity and record it with my phone.

Now let me explain what's going on in the photo above. The two young men are not at fault. They live in the house and are just moving brush. The guy in the white cap is the perp. I don't know if their mother paid him to do this, but he was so excited at seeing those big limbs fall, you'd think he'd just landed a 16-point buck.

At the end, he turned to the boys and said something that will surely be recorded in the Guinness Book of the World's Most Idiotic Statements: "The beautiful thing about this is you can do anything to 'em and they'll grow back." Yep, you can reduce beautiful, big crepe myrtles not planted near power lines or shading out the lawn to gnarled stumps and heaps of brush and the dang things won't even die. High five!

Here's the irony. A few years back, I photographed these very same crepe myrtles in full bloom to show what properly pruned crepes should look like.

emPhoto: Stev

And here's what they look like now.

emPhoto: Steve Bender/em

Wow, that's so much better, don't you think?

Yes, they will grow back. But their natural form is forever ruined. I have just one last question to the lunkhead in the cap. See that big maple on the corner of the house? How come you didn't cut it the same way?

But trust me, even worse examples of mindless pruning are yet to come. Meet me right here this Sunday, when the first winners of Crepe Murder 2016 are revealed!