10. It gives me carte blanche to use lower back pain as an excuse not to go on the charity Fun Run that ties up traffic in the center of town for hours and that people invite me to every weekend.
9. I can construct to-scale dragons, unicorns, and gryphons out of the thousands of little plastic I.D. sticks that come in bedding plants and sell them for huge profits at the Dungeons and Dragons Swapper’s Saturday at my local comic book shop.
8. A good poison ivy rash obscures the aging-dowager liver spots on my hands.
7. It makes pretty clear to my neighbor that I do not share his reverence for late-90s gangsta rap and there will be no need for that mix CD he’s always talking about leaving on my doorstep.
6. I heard a rumor from an old North Austin hippie that repeated exposure to massive doses of fire ant toxin bestows immunity to H1N1, AIDS, Alzheimers, annoying acid reflux, and being abducted by aliens.
5. Dirt never has anything but a kind word to say about everything and everyone.
4. An anagram for Austin Gardener is A Grandeur Set In.
3. Double digging in 105 degree heat quickly rids you of that pesky 10 lbs. of unwanted water weight and/or last night’s alcoholic bloat.
2. I love seeing the miraculous circle of life, from seed to tiny sapling to dried up, shriveled, and dead in the 105 degree sun.
And the Number One reason I garden in Austin is:
Scenes From The End
6 months ago