Last week, on a pleasant spring evening, the Official Asymmetrical Information Spouse and I were sitting on our front steps, drinking wine and admiring our fledgling front yard. As I believe I've mentioned, when we moved in, the front yard was covered with awful red lava rock that had been put down 8-10 years ago, according to the neighbors. Over time, it had sort of migrated and clumped. Mounded behind the chain link fence that we still can't afford to replace, the effect was quite horrible.
Over three weekends, we raked and shoveled out all the rocks. We dug trenches in the soil--clay so solidly packed that it really looked like you could make ceramic figurines out of it. Laboriously, those holes were filled with pricey garden-store soil, day lily bulbs, and climbing rose bushes that are supposed to cover the unattractive fence. We mulched and watered. And on this balmy night, we sat down to admire our work.
"Mom says we should get earthworms," I said meditatively. "They loosen and improve the soil."
"Can we order them on the internet?" asked the OAIS, who is a very clever and forward-thinking man.
I whipped out my iPhone and loaded the Amazon app. It turns out that earthworms are not only available on Amazon, but get excellent reviews
. We received 1,000 earthworms this morning, tidily packed in a little bag full of peat. Per instructions, we raked up an 18 inch square and dumped out the bag of dirt on top of it, then covered our little wrigglers with wet newspaper.
As the OAIS tweeted a few days ago, "The future is ordering earthworms on your smartphone." And the future is here.
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is a columnist at Bloomberg View
and a former senior editor at The Atlantic.
Her new book is The Up Side of Down