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Midday Matinee – Tuesday’s Tale: Oh Koi Then

May 1, 2012

Midday Matinee

Midday Matinee – Tuesday’s Tale: Oh Koi Then

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Welcome back to Tuesday’s Tale, a weekly feature where we collaborate to write a story. Previous Tuesday’s Tales include Leave It to Beavers and Drive-Thru in the Courts. We follow the basic rules of the “Yes, And” improvisational game – accept everything written so far as part of the story, and add your own paragraph (or so) where the last addition left off – except you needn’t begin your addition with “Yes, and.” I’ll start the story….

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Amanda looked out the back door, her lips pursed dubiously. It wasn’t the increasingly large hole that worried her, although she wondered where Kevin intended to put all that dirt and whether the lawn would grow back. She also wondered if Kevin would be able to climb out of the hole when he was done.

He’d probably brought the ladder from the garage, but she couldn’t see it over the stacks of lumber, sacks of concrete, piles of decorative stone, lengths of PVC pipe, and rows of potted plants. All of that was why Amanda worried.

“Dear?” she called. “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”

“Relax,” Kevin called between grunts. The words seemed to fly out of the hole along with the dirt flung from his shovel. “I bought a book on this. It’s right there on the patio table.”

Amanda had seen it. Building Your Decorative Koi Pond, Step-by-Step, its cover proclaimed. Maybe. Amanda would have felt more confident had the book been titled Learning to Crawl Before Learning To Walk Before Building Your Decorative Koi Pond, Step-by-Step.

“Would you like a glass of iced tea?” Amanda called.

“I’m good for now,” Kevin replied. “But could you bring the ladder from the garage?”

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Have fun!


  • winterbanyan

    So Kevin was in the hole without the ladder? They must have left that step out of the book. She wondered what other steps they’d omitted, and didn’t even want to begin to imagine what they might be.

    Oh, she had the greatest confidence in Kevin. She absolutely believed he was the world’s best accountant and tax auditor. She believed he was smart and bright and lovable.

    But right now she was wondering how deep a koi pond really needed to be and whether it would have been safer if Kevin had decided to build a moon rocket.

    When she reached the hole with the stepladder, Kevin peered up at her. “There seems to be a small problem.” Clods of dirt were rolling down the hole, and at this moment quite a few had covered his shoes and some even sat on his shoulders.

    As she watched, the dirt began to roll more rapidly down the sides of the hole.

    “Landslide,” Kevin said as his ankles vanished.

  • addisnana

    Kevin scrambled toward the 6 foot tall step ladder and began climbing out as more and more dirt fell into the hole.

    “Wow, you were lucky to get out of that, Kev,” she said. She led him over to the patio table and handed him a cold beer.

    “How deep were you planning on digging?” she asked as she flipped through Building Your Decorative Koi Pond, Step-by-Step “Were you planning a tank for a great white shark?

    Kevin replied, “Very funny, Amanda. It said to dig the hole 8’6″ deep and I am just following the instructions.”

    Amanda found the page with the dimensional drawings and showed it to Kevin. “Look here, honey. It says 3’6″ not 8’6″. Heck you’re on your way to China.”

    Kevin looked at the same page and swore he saw 8’6″. He started to sweat as he wondered which of the numbers in his job he had not seen correctly.

  • NCrissieB

    Kevin flipped the pages.

    “Aha,” he said, pointing. “The eight-foot depth protects the koi from wading birds and other predators. But two to three feet should be above water – that’s what the concrete and decorative stones are for – so kids can look at the koi without risk of falling in.”

    “This still doesn’t explain an eight-foot-deep hole,” Amanda said.

    “That’s true,” Kevin said, pulling out the half-buried ladder. “On the other hand, the hole isn’t eight feet deep anymore. So it’s all good.”

  • winterbanyan

    There was a rumble, and Amanda watched in horror as the partially filled hole seemed to grow. Sideways. Toward the house.

    “Uh, honey? Wasn’t there something about not disturbing the ground within four feet of the house?”

    “That wasn’t in the book,” Kevin said as he swung the ladder up and around. “Who said that?”

    “The house builder.”

    “Oh.” Kevin looked at the expanding hole. “It’s building the pond for me!”

    “Or you opened a sink hole.”

  • HurrikanEagle

    “Look,” said Kevin. “It can’t BE a sink hole. Between that book and all the home improvement shows I’ve been watching they never have sink holes. Furthermore, in those shows it does often look like the ground is helping them so I must be on the right track.”

    Amanda let out a heavy sigh and went inside for a phone and the phone book Google. She knew she had to call someone about this, but just not who she had to call. Besides she HAD told Kevin all those horror stories her neighbors had when they tried to put in their pond and how much it cost them.