Confessions of A Serial Plant Killer
This is the third day of my incarceration in a maximum-security garden center. The florist glares at me from behind a bouquet of roses with tiny Samurai spikes, and she thinks I’m the dangerous one.
I think we’re both the same, but she’d disagree. She cuts off the stems of plants. I cut off their heads. They look better that way.
Just ask my neighbor. Then again don’t. She’s not a fan of the work I did in her yard. I called it pruning. She called the police. “Attacked begonias with malicious intent,” the police report said. “Killed them in their prime by cutting off their heads.”
If only I had seen the camera hidden inside the Lawn Gnome’s mouth. It’s not surprising I missed it. I have an aversion to Lawn Gnomes with their evil little grins and pointy hats; I avoid them whenever I can. This was one of those times I shouldn’t have given into my gnome psychosis.
At least I had the pleasure of seeing their heads drop in the dirt before I was hauled off by the plant police.
They came for me as I stood in my garage clutching a plastic bag and duct tape for a crime I was about to commit. But they put the kibosh on it, prevented me from kidnapping a prized orchid at a garden competition. The ransom money would have paid for an electric hedge cutter I was saving up to buy.
Damn plant police! They drove up to my house in a golf cart with a bonsai planter on the roof. They wore green pantsuits and floppy potted hats. I tried holding them off with a tomato plant duster, but they restrained my wrists with twist ties then perp walked me down the driveway.
As the wind picked up, I heard a broken shutter bang against the siding. It reminded me of a snare drum at an execution. Though in my daydream, I was the executioner lopping off the heads of plants with a guillotine.
The horticultural shrink asked me why I enjoyed killing plants. Of course, she had her own theory. She thought it had to do with the first time I got poison ivy. I had to go to school covered head-to-toe in calamine lotion. The kids called me pinko the clown and threw erasers at me. The chalk dust stuck to my calamine-caked arms and legs in a pink and yellow mosaic. I looked like a walking board game.
But the shrink was wrong. They always dig too deep into the dirt for answers and end up with mud.
It wasn’t the poison ivy. It was something less complicated than that. It was lime Jell-O in fact. When I was a kid, I was forced to eat the quivering green goop. My mother said it was good for me because it was green like the grass. Just looking at it made me sick. But she made me eat it anyway, as she knelt by the garden shoving plants into the dirt.
So, I gagged on lime Jell-O as she buried flowers in their makeshift graves, keeping their heads above ground facing the sky, while I stared down at dirt coughing up Jell-O into a 12-inch pot.
That’s why I did it, because of lime Jell-O and all the hype about photosynthesis, which has nothing to do with cameras and everything to do with sunlight. I’d rather bag the remains of every last rotting plant than to ingest another cup of lime Jell-O.
But that’s a conversation for another day with the horticultural shrink.