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Click any letter for a look at my prize-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You don't even have to buy a vowel.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Green Thumbs and Dead Mums

People in these parts are fraught with distress and alarm about the drought just because the lakes and rivers are drying up, ecological conditions are becoming unbalanced, and a bad case of static cling could start a wildfire that wipes out the entire southeastern kudzu crop. The last time we had a drought like this it looked like General Sherman was the official state gardener.

I’m just excited that everybody else’s yard looks like mine now. If it takes a green thumb to make things grow, I have thumbs the color of root rot. So far this year, I’ve murdered a fancy bamboo plant, a hearty pot of mums, and a Venus Fly Trap. To be honest, the Fly Trap was self-defense. I didn’t like the way it rubbed its leaves together whenever I ladled my hips into my stretchy pants.

Needless to say, my evergreens aren’t. My dandelions aren’t dandy. My weeping willow just sniffles and wrings its hands. And the Queen Anne’s Lace along the driveway has been demoted to Lady in Waiting’s Pompom Fringe. Even under the lushest conditions, the Black-Eyed Susans set the color scheme for my yard.

I once worked in a building that was destroyed by fire. There were two plants in my office, the kind that people always swear that you can’t kill. Thanks to my careful ministrations, these two fellas were well on the fast track to the happy flower garden in the sky. Then fire struck. Emergency crews responded, and the firefighters fought valiantly, but the building was ruined. The charred remains were enveloped in the sickening smell of smoke and standing water. Once the air cleared and the scene of desolation covered the parking lot, a large, heroic fireman appeared, gingerly carrying something he had unearthed from the rubble. As he drew closer I saw his arms were full of glossy foliage, coaxed into rebirth from the water of the firemen’s hoses.

I know when I've been beat. I’ve killed a lot of plants in my time, but I never had any that called 911.

5 comments:

Carolyn Erickson said...

LOL, Amy.

You make me want to be a better writer! :)

So funny! I have one living plant. It deserves the medal of honor.

Virginia Lee said...

Amy, it takes a special kind of black thumb to kill a bamboo plant. Bamboo is durned near as powerful as kudzu!

Bravo!

Kate Boddie said...

I thought I was bad when it came to gardening but I've never killed a mum! They're not called hearty for nothing! You should get a plaque for that one.

Nita said...

Amy you are doing so good with your blog, I love coming for a visit.

Maybe we're all a part of a club, the can't grow anything club. You, my friend, are our president and mentor.Anyone who can force her foliage to call 911 is a champion non -plant-grower.

plaidearthworm said...

Hilarious! I sympathize with your plant problems. I had a co-worker who told me, "Your plants must just shudder when you come into the room." Like you, I am the Dr. Kevorkian of the plant world. At least, after a while, people learn to quit giving us plants as gifts! :)