4/25/2007

When I am King: Flower Power

When I am King...

“A rose by any other name would still draw blood.”

I never look at a flower without hearing it screaming in pain. Plants can't make sounds, so how else would they express themselves besides with their colored petals? It certainly gets our attention, but then we mistake it completely:

Plant: OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!
Person: Oh, look at that beautiful flower!
Plant: I said AAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
Person: I've never seen that shade of red before. So brilliant!
Plant: MY UTERUS IS BURSTING!!!!!!
Person: It sure would look nice in that vase on the dinner table! [snip]

Some people are also misled by the aroma of flowers. It can't smell that good if it's bad, right? But think of all of the places in our lives where nice scents cover something awful, from the odorizers in mortuaries to perfume and cologne covering the lack of a shower. For me, the winning coverup odor is Lysol, which I can't smell without thinking of all of the carpet accident cleanups of my childhood dog, Bingo.

Flowers odors are just the same. Sure, they smell fine on the surface, but I know that it's just a pale cover for underlying putrescence. It makes sense, after all: flowers are only hours or days away from certain death. The odor is just there to make the patient feel better about their final torturous time among us.

This misconception of plants goes beyond flowers, however. I recall my first morning in Eugene, Oregon, walking around the university campus, which has many old-growth pine trees. It was a wet morning, something that occurs basically every day in Eugene, and the pine trees exuded a powerful smell of ... pee. It smelled like a pack of wild dogs had peed everywhere: on the trees, on the grass, on the buildings, on my leg.

I'm a dog person, so I'm normally okay with dogs going where they need to, as long as I don't have to clean it up and spray it with Lysol. But it's another thing to nurture plants that smell like it. It makes me wonder about those car fresheners in the shape of pine trees. Maybe people should just let their dogs have their way with the car upholstery instead.

People may talk about how beautiful flowers are, but they completely ignore the fact that their brilliant petals are indicators of horrific death throes. Similarly, people may wax poetic about how beautiful old pine trees are, but they omit anything about the smothering odor of urine.

In my kingdom, flowers will be fertilized with anesthetic, to ease their suffering. And pine trees will be regularly sprayed with Lysol.
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