By Eric Poor

Buster is looking worse for wear. His goggles are hanging off one side of his head. His once bright orange shirt has seriously faded. One of his rubber boots has fallen off. His formerly trim figure has become … well, lumpy.

He’s supposed to be scary, but lately he just looks pathetic. And he no longer frightens the deer.

That’s his job. He’s the scarecrow that’s supposed to keep the deer away from my flowers. Lately, though, the deer aren’t taking him seriously. Not even the stink of the bars of Irish Spring soap in his pockets is working anymore.

My violets are grazed to the ground. The moment my hosta gets ready to blossom the leaves disappear, leaving the plants looking like just so many stalks of celery. The black-eyed Susan I bought for nine bucks three years ago gets eaten annually. I’ve never gotten a bloom but it won’t give up. It continues to come back, smaller every year. It’s doing better than the hydrangea that got nibbled out of existence.

The deer have obviously adjusted to the sad truth that Buster is all bluster and no bite. I may have to re-name him. I chose the name Buster in honor of the big scary Saint Bernard dog that bit me on the ass when I was eight-years-old. I’m open to suggestions for a new non-frightening name – Percy or something like that.

I’m also pondering my next move. I’ve narrowed it down to three options:

1 – Just forget about flowers. Who needs them anyway?

2 – Surround the flower beds with high voltage electric fencing, which feels a little funny. Who the hell keeps their flowers behind fencing designed to keep livestock in? No one I know.

3 – Only grow flowers deer don’t like – like daffodils, bleeding hearts and bee balm.

Or maybe I should get a Saint Bernard dog.