Whilst I wouldn’t go so far as to accuse a HOUSEPLANT of intentionally malicious behavior, it’s pretty evident that Medusa is as unimpressed by us as we are with her.
REALLY – some people (i.e. US) are simply not cut out for Plant Parenthood, despite their best intentions.
Those of us wise enough to acknowledge our limitations substitute a bit ‘o plastic and call it good (…and might I note: indoor plastic flowers have gotten SOOO much more realistic. Choose a good one and your guests will actually bend over to take a whiff of Mr. PlasticFantastic. Add a spritz of plant-appropriate scent and you have it: reality frozen solid in magnificence …. forever!)
Sadly, Unplanned Parenthood has occurred with the supposedly well-meaning gift of a live Mourning Plant (and, isn’t that a contradiction? Plus: its Giver is a self-acknowledged Nut Case with other less than sterling qualities, so the potential for some kinda Revenge Message couched in leaves is actually very high, in this case) The Bonzai Azalea we named ‘Medusa’ comes with a 15-page pamphlet of ‘care directions’ accompanying her delivery (…I extrapolate that the unnamed author of said pamphlet in actuality was a lawyer hired to write enough complex directions to explain away the inevitable: that an azalea branch haphazardly jammed into soil WILL DIE. When accompanied by a properly-drawn-up Disclaimer Pamphlet (nee ‘instructions’), that inevitability becomes YOUR FAULT. I rest my case…)
In the typical manner of Evil, Medusa has taken over our lives. And in the typical manner of Good trying to be…well…good, we attempt to not outright kill Miss M whilst we continue the search for a more appreciative owner boasting a Green Thumb.
Thus have the hours of our days expanded to include Medusa Care. To wit:
Miss M. requires basking opportunities not available Inside the House, so she is summarily carted Outside at dawn’s early light (along with a few loving curses), there to repose in whatever sunlight she can grab with her evil tentacle hair leaves. In true Medusa fashion her environmental requirements are actually quite specific according to the Pamphlet: no direct sun, no direct shade, something ‘in the middle’. Whatever that is. I posited that an oven set at 100 degrees with the oven light left on might be a good substitute; but The Peanut Gallery nixed the too-obvious murder setup conducted in the name of Good as being, in all honesty….not good.
Time to come indoors for a few hours of plant-appropriate music! Again I posited an appropriate choice (which by happenstance was the very same music we used to drive the Attic Rats from the house) was Mick Jagger doing ‘Can’t Get No Satisfaction’ (actually a VERY appropriate Medusa theme too, btw); but again Bill nixed the underlying murder attempt in favor of a leetle classical to the tune of ‘Rise of the Valkeries’. (Also Mr. Bill’s signature cell phone ringtone on my phone.) APPROVED!
Tea Time. Or in Medusa language: “time for that Special Water which does NOT come from the water-softened house and requires a flight of stairs to the non-softened sunroom sink or a teacup held out in gale-force winds and rains for the (preferred) Real Thing from Up Above.” (Ourselves: we pour a cuppa tea down da hatch and Call it Good. Yet another of my proposals for easier Medusa care rejected by The Peanut Gallery as ‘not good’…)
Time for a Spritz. After forking out good dough for the required SooperMister and filling it with the also-required ‘non-softened water’, the Instructions indicated that Medusa requires (of course) just so much leaf misting conducted in ‘just such’ a precise manner as to fall into the narrow (and dubious) range of ‘not too much and not too little’. Bill volunteered for the job when he found me in the shower about to simulate a rainforest deluge on an obviously indignant Medusa (…and if you think plants can’t show indignance, YOU climb in the shower with Medusa and watch her leaves shake with anger…)
Oh – so you think plants ‘don’t do dinner’? So did I – until the Instructions indicated very specific types of plant food (one, to be exact) that Miss M. needed to imbibe for supper. There was no indication of temperature, so Bill caught me heating the plant food to 400 degrees in the oven and he took over THAT job too. (GOOD LUCK on feeding Medusa, is all I can say. Da Man barely feeds HIMSELF!)
You’d think the early afternoon muzak program would’ve been enough, but soft – apparently even Evil likes a bedtime song. (‘Soft Kitty’ didn’t work, either.) Since Bill took over ALL the other Medusa-related tasks, I hung up my microphone and invited him to serenade Evil to sleep. He was gently strumming the guitar in the living room when I went to bed last nite, Medusa’s leaves happily swaying to his discordant beginner’s notes.
Methinx Bill has a lover.
And I am NOT green with envy.