While it’s been about 10 years since my last encounter with back yard human remains, the thought is always there whenever I do any significant digging or uprooting. Last week I tore out a stand of Sansevieria trifasciata, (also known as snake plants, mother-in-law’s-tongue, viper’s bowstring hemp, and Saint George’s sword) that’s been sprawling against the chain-link fence that separates us from the back alley. This stuff is unbelievable in its tenacity and adaptability. I didn’t plant it — it just appears, then multiplies, and takes over if left unmonitored.
Sort of like what Donald Trumpf says about Muslims and Mexicans.
In so doing I unearthed an ant’s nest that had established residence in the dead stump of a rubber tree I’d removed years ago — not fire ants, fortunately, but when they started swarming I figured it was time for a beer break — and a rather unamused rodent that came right at my bare feet before reversing course and scurrying down the alley. And the bone fragment shown here, beside the cup.
“Eye out” indeed.
In fact, in almost 30 years of excavating the landscaping around here I’ve never found even a nickel, let alone precious metal. All sorts of discarded construction materials, broken glass, aluminum cans, pulverized toys, and of course, both human and non-human remains. Fortunately I’ve never come across an electric line or water main.
It no longer even troubles me to find body parts like this. That’s what living in a less than completely civilized environment for 30 years will do for you. Maybe this bone is a thousand years old, and maybe it’s what’s left of some deadbeat who pissed off the Russian mob. Not my business. I’m just a sod buster.
If the snake plants are okay with this kind of fertilizer, so am I.