Thursday, April 5, 2012
The pianist and I were sitting in the car having lunch at Beacon Hill Park. It was cold today so we ate in the car rather than on the park bench by the flower beds. The Mallards, man and wife, two seagulls and several crows wandered around idly looking for a free meal. When the pianist had her fill of sandwiches she tore off the crusts to feed the ducks who were the closest and they began to vie with one another, but were polite, just ramped up the waddle and began to eat their fill. The seagulls of course noticed and rushed over, but the safe distance they allow an approach is further away than the ducks, so they were slightly out of range from the spoils. Now the pianist likes ducks better than seagulls, even if the gulls are more beautiful, but she is compelled to follow justice and fairness called "sharing"! They may be beautiful but they are stupid and when food looms they call all their friends rather than "shutting up", and when the others arrived they fought them for the food. Bad planning, not altruism. They have also learned to scream and beg by a head nodding up-tic. The pianist in the interest of fairness, justice and accommodation, took pity and hurled the crust portions to them as far as a crust will fly! I think this concern for equitable distribution is a female characteristic arising from the matronly urge to meet the needs of all, the long and the short and the tall, the noisy and the quiet! The cacophony from the seagulls drew the attention of the crows as well, who arrived in force, but they have an even longer safe distance to maintain from the human food source. It was impossible for her to meet their need. They looked forlorn as the pianist tried her best to break bread with the fearful and skittish. They just couldn't out muscle the gulls, couldn't cosy up to the humans like the ducks and the pianist couldn't throw that far. She did her best but despite the fact that the crows are the smartest birds around, they are going to have to use their brains instead of being pretty and tough! Or else eat alone!
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Soul vs Sense; Architecture vs Horticulture; Man vs Women. How the pianist has put up with my plant peccadilloes over the years is a tribute to her tolerance of my relative inanity! Since I am a known pruneophobic, I have so far succeeded in withstanding all efforts to curb both my enthusiasm for large house plants, and for not curbing them from wherever they want to wander. I am not a stern parent with plants, as I want them to be happy and free, as I am. They are more like my brothers. My 30 year old rubber tree is about 25 feet tall and the view of our stairs to the bedroom is now hidden in its underbrush. A female realtor carefully suggested, not to give offense, that the architecture of the stairway was of such interest it would be an advantage to see it. My equally old Hoya vine climbs up to the top of a 28 foot beam to the bedroom and balances the rubber tree. The realtor suggested that a mighty beam of that nature might usefully be seen advantageously as well, rather than assumed to be there! A second Hoya in the dining room had penetrated into the ceiling boards in an attempt to escape the room. This Easter weekend will be a watershed for these plants since the pianist, my daughters and the realtor all have agreed that I have reached the end of the road and must control my neurosis. They were kind and no one suggested I was weird. Radical pruning of the rubber tree will produce a pint of white sap to be collected so sheets over the rug below are a must. The Hoyas will cling to ceiling and beam, and we may hear them scream, so ear plugs are a must. Since I am an Asclepiad by profession , I am related in a sense to the Hoya (Asclepiadaceae), my cousin. I know that the women are right! I have strained the pianist's forbearance long enough. The heavy artillery has acted. Group intervention was necessary! It's tough love! I am my brother's keeper after all is said and done. Group therapy may be needed for us plants but that will come. The architecture and common sense has prevailed. Still, I hope romance is not entirely dead.