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December 4, 2004

The Dirt on the Hoe

Inspired into action by a hot tip on the BBC’s brilliant gardening pages, I replaced my usual lazy ‘Spray’n’Slay’ anti-weed strategies by mounting a direct physical assault on the most malignent weed-insurgents - dandelions, bindweed, those small London trees that appear overnight and have grown thirty feet by the next time you go outside, deadly brambles, nettles, rampant clover..i.e. the pits - that were seeking asylum in my beautiful long and narrow Deptford garden from the evil regime of the Weed Conservatory nurtured by my Irish next door neighbours, armed only with a good old-fasioned hoe I bought down Deptford Market for £2.

After I had been slashing and slicing into the adamantine roots of these most ruthless of garden terrorists for half an hour or so, my young friend Tamara, aged 8, came wandering out of the house with her hands in the pockets of her pink dungarees after losing interest in The Terminator or Last Tango in Paris or whatever it was she’d been watching, and came out to watch me sweating away in righteous zeal instead.

After a while, she asked “What’s that thing you’re using?” pointing at the hoe.

“Its a hoe” I said.

“That’s such a dirty word” she said, “I can’t believe you said it.”

Rap/Jamaica have a lot to answer for.

Posted by Iain Stewart at 5:54 PM in language and modern life
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