Last night, we had Big Perm over for birthday tacos. I was walking her out to leave and noticed some salesmen/evangelist type people going up the block, so I went inside and boarded up the house, put plywood over the windows, sandbags around the foundation. (Really we just turned off the lights and locked the front door).
About an hour later, we heard some rustling on the porch, the screen door opening. "They're here!" I said to Corey, "Hide!"
We paused the movie we were watching and tried to be very still and quiet. "I think they are putting something in the door," he said, "probably a flyer or something."
We waited until all sounds had faded away, until it seemed safe, and then he got up. We nominated him because he is more agile and mobile right now. He slowly opened the door, one millimeter at a time, to see what they left. "Is it a flyer? Were they republicans?" I yelled, with feet elevated.
"It's some kind of plant. Maybe it's a green movement?"
"Is it a flower? Was it the Veterans?"
He came inside with a very fragrant, beautiful potted basil plant. It was a variety I was unfamiliar with, and had pointier leaves, but smelled wonderful. We put it on the table in front of us and stared at it.
"Who put that there?" I needed to know.
Corey doesn't like to speculate about anything. He preferred to just pretend the plant no longer existed and he took it away from my sight line. I am not so easily fooled. I remembered that we had it!
"Why didn't they just ring the doorbell?" I began theorizing about the plant. I have been telling everyone who will listen about my abysmal luck with growing things this year. My tomato seedlings died. My zucchini didn't even sprout this spring. Nor did my cucumbers or gourds or corn. Basically, all I've got are some garlic plants and some replacement seedlings I had to buy at Home Depot. Even the basil seeds I brought back from Italy were a big, fat failure. And lots of people know about this. That basil plant could have come from anywhere.
Or it could be poisoned.
I decided I have no mortal enemies at this time and tried to think of the most thoughtful people in existence. I remembered how our neighbors mulched our bushes for us when we first moved in (and had bushes) and how they mowed our lawn while Corey's dad was sick and how they give us food and herbs and pretend not to care when I dig up their oregano with the Wovel or steal their mint every day to flavor my water. They must have been the plant deliverers. My basil Moses.
I sent J a text message to see if I was right, and felt very silly typing, "did you happen to put a potted basil plant on our porch?"
It turns out the neighbors ARE the basil faeries! They remembered my lament and wanted us to have some basil and just gave us a tall, fragrant variety. Still unsure why they didn't ring the bell, although our solicitor preparations may have scared them away.