It all started on a warm spring day when Bubby was out in her backyard tending to her little garden. Dressed in a floral print robe and wearing her best Walmart slippers, she was tiptoeing through the tulips which had come to full bloom – when suddenly she froze in shock. Someone had picked over a dozen of them. “Oy vay! Vat’s dis? I’m going to plotz! Who vould do dis to me? Vy? Crooks! Crooks!” she shouted out with arms raised to the heavens. “Oy, yoy-yoy… vat have I done to deserve dis?” Feeling dizzy, she sat down on a bench, lamenting her loss. That’s when she saw several tulip petals loosely spread on the grass around her and began searching the area. Except for a few weeds, she didn’t see anything more.
While Bubby pondered her dilemma she adjusted her girdle, as it always crawled up into dark, uncomfortable places when she was upset. “Vat now I should do?” she sighed and was about to go back inside her little house when she noticed some footprints in a muddy patch near the gate. She went over to investigate and saw a couple of tulip petals beside them – and they led into her neighbour’s backyard. “Dat son of a beech,” she said. “I know deez footprints… only one man has da big toe missing!” Carefully avoiding the mud, she peered over his gate and saw several other tulip petals on the ground – and even some on the stairs to his porch. “Dis means war!” she cried out with anger, then once again needed to adjust her girdle. That night she stealthily made her way into his backyard and stole his garden hose.
Over the next couple of months the battle was on. Bubby would get up early in the morning and check her garden. If something was missing she would wait until he left for work and then steal things from his yard. She now had a new set of garden tools and a constant supply of fresh tomatoes. He on the other hand, was stuck mostly with flowers and a couple of lawn chairs. Near the end of the summer, after finding her girdles missing from the clothes line and hanging on the branches of a tree across the street, she lost it. “Dis is it… no more Mrs. Nice Guy!”
Her neighbour, a crotchety old man, held great pride in his herb garden, especially his ‘special’ dill herbs, as he liked to call them. Seeing as her son and his family were coming over for dinner that weekend, she thought chicken soup with fresh dill would be perfect – so she got up in the middle of the night and stole over half of the patch, almost falling over while struggling to pull them out from their unusually deep roots.
Now Bubby didn’t have a really good sense of smell and took little notice of the strong, pungent odor of the herbs as she cleaned and then tossed them into a huge pot of simmering chicken broth. She set it to a slow boil and came back every half hour or so to stir it – and do a taste test. By the time the soup was ready, Bubby was dancing with a kitchen chair and singing along to Alvin and the Chipmunks’ greatest hits.
When the family arrived that weekend, she answered the door in her full girdle, first putting down her mug of fresh chicken soup from a new batch she had made. “Don’t vorry, be happy,” she sang, welcoming them in with cheerful giggling and blood shot eyes. “Here, have some chips,” she offered, pulling out a tin of Pringles from a case she bought that week. Instead of saying a prayer before the meal, she had them all stand up and dance to Justin Timberlake’s ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’, followed by a rousing rendition of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’. She had prepared a big dinner, but chicken soup was not served – as she wanted to keep it all for herself. When her youngest granddaughter spilled some juice on the tablecloth, instead of scolding her she said, “Chillax my shayna punim… vy cry over spilled juice?” By the end of the evening her family was not quite sure what to make of everything but somehow liked her new attitude. They hugged and kissed goodbye and promised to come back the next weekend. Bubby on the other hand had other plans. She had made peace with her neighbour and they had a date to binge watch Game of Thrones – and enjoy a few bowls of chicken soup together.