Kevin Costnar had a voice whisper to him from the cornfield, “Build it and they will come.” If that same voice was to whisper to me there would be a couple of differences. First, it would most likely be the voice of that creepy little Malachi from Children of the Corn, and second, it would say, “Plant it and it will die.” Yep, if I plant anything other than my ass in this chair, it will die a long slow death before going up to the greenhouse in the sky (or the festering compost pit below depending on the moral character of said vegetation). While others have a green thumb, I have a black one. Now, it’s not particularly evil (like it’s cousin Toe J. Simpson–that’s a story for another blog), but it kills shit, nonetheless. It wants to be sweet to the plants: love them and squeeze them and water them and feed them….and accidentally kill them. My thumb is like Lennie from Of Mice and Men.
My thumb = death
Because of this tendency to commit botany-cide, I pretty much refrain from planting things, but that doesn’t mean I don’t give it a try every once in a while. There was the one year my mother brought over her BIG, BEAUTIFUL house plants to live on my glassed-in patio. In less than a month, they withered from a green canopy fit for howler monkeys down to something wilty you’d pull out of a dish of lo-mein. But I’m not taking full responsibility for this manslaughter. Sure, I didn’t really water them outside of an occassional spilled beer, but I also think it was the withdrawal from the constant stream of Marlboro smoke they received at Mom’s. The proof was that they made a full recovery when she rescued them from their deplorable conditions at my place.
So I stayed away from plants for several years until around 2009 when I decided to plant tomatoes and peppers in pots on the patio. And they did well!! I was constantly shocked when I’d go outside and they were not only still alive, but producing little veggies (or maybe they were tumors). That went great until I woke up one morning and they had been reduced to twigs that Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree would have made fun of. On the twigs were big, fat caterpillars with horns. I deal better with animals than plants, so I decided that at least we’d get to watch them turn into the Hawk Moths they would become. They started making cocoons and then the birds found them. Talk about a massacre. You’d think that would be enough to convince me that God would just prefer if I left his leafy creations alone, but I have a short memory, so I tried again.
I went way out of my norm and tried this crazy thing called “watering.” I did that to the azalea bushes out front and then went really crazy and planted flowers. For the first time ever I had a colorful front yard. That lasted exactly one week before the mother of all hail storms came in and beat the chlorophyl shit out of the garden. The storm was so bad that it made our fence look like somebody had taken a machine gun to it. 40k in damages. 8k on just one of my cars alone. The flowers should have been the least of my worries but I was furious that my one moment of botanical glory was taken away by a freak storm.
Now it’s 2013 and that’s been more than enough time to make me forget about the two plagues already sent to warn me to cease my bad behavior towards plants. This past Saturday my ADD whispered “Let’s plant flowers” in my ear and I drug all 3 boys to Lowe’s and loaded up on petunias for the sunny spots and impatients for the shady. Things have gone alright in my opinion, but I recently found out that not everyone feels the same. One particular flower wants to tell his story by sharing his journal. At first I wanted to shut him up so I could keep up my little charade of gardener going, but I just learned another hail storm in moving in tonight, so this may be the only thing we’ll ever hear from Tommy the petunia, so here we go…
Meet Tommy the petunia and some of his roomies.
I’ve been moved with all of my neighbors I’ve gotten to know in the greenhouse. It was a long, bumpy ride, but I’m still stoked about seeing the world. I can’t wait for the freedom to stretch out my roots and really see what this world is all about. Til tomorrow –Tommy
Wow! Finally made it to this country called Lowes. It’s really crowded so I’m guessing it’s a pretty metropolitan kind of place. Not all of the locals are friendly and I don’t understand some of the languages, but its all kosher. Me and my bunk mates have settled in at this little hostel on shelf 2 of aisle 6. I at least got a shower to wash off some of the dust from travel. I can’t wait to see what the next leg of the trip will be. Laters– Tommy
Dude, it was a crazy freakin’ day. There was like a parade of these huge people like the ones I’d see in the greenhouse. They came in and out, taking entire trays of my friends with them. I was getting a little down, thinking about all those lucky bastards getting to head out for their next big tour. But then–THEN, it was my turn. This woman came in with 3 smaller humans. They were really loud and talked about farting a lot, but the smallest one snatched up my bunk along with my 5 roommates, and put us in a cart. There was another bumpy ride and then I was unloaded. The leader of the group they call “Mom” seems really excited, but in a “needs some meds” kinda way.
Don’t look her directly in the eyes.
She at least took me and some of my mates out in the sun. It feels good to be alive and out enjoying God’s green earth . Ahh…Wait. What’s that? It’s big and shiny…
Oh…I see. I think she’s just making a soft new pad for me to chill in. I’m totes cool with that. Ok, she’s picking me up and…Wait! Wait!! Oh, sweet Jesus, she’s turning me upside down!!! Oh, God!!! Stop the shaking! Please stop the shaking!!…Oh, holy hell!! She’s pinching my ass…I’m falling…Oh, God, I’m falling. Somebody help me. I’m naked and her fingers are in places that they shouldn’t be…Oh, hey…wait. She’s putting me in that hole she dug. Wow. This is nice and warm. I’ve got room to stretch. Not bad. I feel like a total tool for acting like a punk-ass wuss. The boys aren’t going to let me live this down. I just need to chill and… Oh, my God!! What the hell is that?!?!?
Oh, wait. She’s just making my bed extra soft. Yeah, I know– call me “Mr. Overreaction.” I must have some sort of jet lag or something going on. Maybe somebody slipped me some bad stuff in my food while I was in Lowe’s. Never know about some of those crazy foreigners. I just need to chillax and take some deep breaths. Photosynthesis meditation, baby- Carbon dioxide in…oxygen out…All better…and hey, there. The scenery is improving…
…How you doin’? Nice buds. Wait! Where you going? She waits ’til I get all chill and then she leaves me. I guess that’s chicks for you. Oh, well. Time for a slumber. Laters– Tommy
Things are going pretty well. The sun is up and birds are chirping. I’m getting to know my neighbor, Carl. He’s as chill as they come. Nothing shakes his mellow. A fat bumble bee was swarming around him and he was all like, “Hey, brother bee. Come partake in some of my pollen goodness. Use part of me to make your sweet honey.” He’s like a purple Yoda. I think I can learn a lot from this dude. Check ya later– Tommy
It’s another awesome day on planet Earth. Things are going pretty good. I guess my only complaint is that I don’t get the regular showers I had in Lowes. I’m feeling a little parched but nothing to complain about. I think I’ll spend the day basking in Carl’s wisdom. Peace and love, brothers– Tommy
I’m feeling a little dry today. The sun here is great and all but it’s getting a little too hot to go without a cool beverage. Carl’s just taking it all in stride. I just need to suck it up like him…Oh, wait. It looks like I have a visitor. Maybe she brought some water.
Oh, God!!! That so wasn’t water. Where am I? Why in the hell did I deserve that? I’m good to people. I mean, there was that one time I didn’t call that hot little begonia the day after our roll in the mulch, but she acted like she’d been in more than one greenhouse, if you get my drift. This sucks!! I have to get some water. Oh, wait!! Yes! It’s one of the two-legged people. He’ll help a dude out.
Why?!?! Sweet god of geraniums, why?!? I thought humans used toilets. Why do the male ones pee on everything? That was so not cool, dude!! Go get a REAL waterhose and wash me off. In the name of Miracle Grow and all that’s holy, please get me some water.
Still no water. My face is feeling crispy. I keep stretching my roots as deep as they can go, but no water. I got bit by a grub today and a bird shit on my head. I’m starting to realize I’m in hell. It’s like a horror movie. Carl isn’t looking so good either. If water doesn’t come soon, I’m not sure what will happen. Pray for me– Tommy
We lost Carl. He’s gone on to a better place. He’s the lucky one.
February 12, 2013- April 15, 2013.
My prayers have been answered. There are clouds in the sky. Even these serial killing assholes who have me captured can’t beat nature. Come to papa Tommy, sweet mother’s milk. I’ll drink it in and grow strong again. Then I’ll avenge Carl’s death. Just wait, crazy garden lady. Just wait.
To be continued…