December 16, 2008
By Tim Monson, Amery, WI

“Give me the green light, give me just one night. I’m ready to go right now. We can go all night just give me the green light,” sang Steven, as he turned onto Franklin Avenue. His house was just a few blocks away. It was Monday, so that meant when he got home it was time for Monday Night Football. Steven was so pumped for football that he didn’t even notice the oddly overgrown vegetation overflowing into the street as he drove home. All of the trees down Franklin Avenue were dangling down into the street, the bushes overtook the sidewalk, and the flowers dangled into the storm drains.

Steven was around 6 feet tall and 200 pounds but pretty lean. His job at the local gym as a personal trainer kept him in great shape. He ate a lot but never seemed to gain an ounce of fat, so his job at the gym fit him very well, nevertheless he looked forward to Monday Night Football all week.

When Steven got home it was 7 p.m., so he was rushing to get his soda and chips ready for the game. Once Steven sat down to watch the game, he was in a trance. The only sounds in his two-story home were the TV and him screaming “Go! Go! Go!” at the television as his team broke away for a big play.

Soon it was 8 p.m. and nearing halftime when Steven noticed that it was oddly dark for a September night, but he just brushed it off because he was too into the game. By halftime Steven was pumped because his team was up by 21. Steven knew a lot about football so he didn’t need to hear the half time analysis. He got up to get more soda when he noticed his windows were not letting in any light. He walked over to the window to get a closer look when he realized they were covered with vegetation!

“What the heck is going on!” screamed Steven as he opened the window to tear away the plants. “I have to call Todd for an explanation.” Steven picked up his phone and dialed Todd’s number and wandered into the living room to check the game.

“What is it?” asked Todd when he answered the phone.

“Go look out your window!” exclaimed Steven

“I don’t see anything...”

“The plants are everywhere!” yelled Steven with a crack of urgency in his voice

“Just hold on, I’ll be there shortly.”

“They’re in my house…” said Steven as he dropped the phone. A plant had wandered its way through the window that Steven had neglected to close and taken hold of his ankle. Steven found an old lighter (from back when he smoked,) lit it next to the plant and watched it retract back to the rest of the growth. Instinctively he ran upstairs into the master bedroom and locked the door and windows.

Eagerly he moved over to the window to look at the rest of the neighborhood; none of the houses were overgrown! Suddenly the scent of smoke entered his nose. He then ran to open the door as a giant puff of smoke smothered the room. “I have to get out!” entered Steven’s head as he ran down the stairs into the inferno that used to be his kitchen. He frantically found the front door and ran out onto his lawn to find Todd standing there with a lighter and a can of hair spray.

“What did you do!?” screamed Steven.

“I took care of your vegetation problem” replied Todd.

“I was in there!”

“You didn’t answer your phone so I figured you had left. I decided to take care of your problem” rationalized Todd.
“Well… Call the fire department!” demanded Steven
“Already done, so relax” replied Todd
“Well…” began Steven as they heard sirens, “let’s keep this quiet and just blame it on my old stove.”
“Okay, well here they come.”

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