Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Random plant event: Dieffenbachia 'Tropic Rain' flowering

Content advisory: post contains castration-related imagery which may be uncomfortable for male readers with vivid imaginations. I mean, I didn't think it was that bad, but you never know.

This is very possibly a delayed response to the plant room evacuation in early December, but this particular plant had already been having a bad month. I'd let it get excessively dry, so it wilted, and I was sure it would pick itself up, like it always had before, but it stayed bent over this time. And then the evacuation, and I tried to prop it up against a wall in the living room so it would un-bend -- which kind of worked -- but I'm wondering now if the wall wasn't too cold for it to be leaning up against.

So this may be less an "I'm happy, so I guess I'll use some of my abundant resources to make flowers and reproduce myself" and more of a "Oh my god he's finally going to do it; he's really going to kill me this time. I'd better throw everything into some flowers so that at least some of my genes might be able to go on."

(If you're interested in weird Dieffenbachia flowering strategies and are too new to PATSP to have seen the last post on this I did, I recommend checking it out.)

I should probably cut the inflorescence off, rather than letting it develop. The plant doesn't need to be wasting its time on this, especially since I know there's no chance of it getting pollinated. But I have a hard time doing that kind of thing: it seems so darn benign for the plant to do what it wants to do, even if I know it's in its best interests not to do it. This is why I would make a bad parent.

Not that it's in children's interests to have their genitals cut off, of course! Or at least not usually. It might be worth your time if it's a situation like there's a bear dragging your son into a cave, and the bear is holding your son by the genitals. Possibly then, you could argue that cutting off your son's genitals would be a good idea, 'cause then it would be easier to get your son away from the bear. Except it probably wouldn't be a great idea even then, cause if your ungenitaled son survived he would resent you for it later, and if he was really young during the bear attack, when he grew up and was a teenager he'd be all like, oh my god, you let a bear eat my genitals? You're the worst dad ever! and would probably be a real pain about it, and you'd be all like, I should have just let the damn bear drag you into the cave and eat you instead of trying to be a hero; I wouldn't have to listen to all this whining.

But now that I think about it, this situation would never arise for me in the first place because I don't carry a knife. And even if I did carry a knife, it probably wouldn't be sharp enough to do spur of the moment amputations with, 'cause how often do you need a surgical scalpel? I mean really need. A scalpel. Especially in the woods. I mean, it'd be really awkward to be standing there, you know, next to the bear's face, just sawing away for a long time 'cause your knife wasn't sharp enough. So probably I'd just let the bear eat the kid, perhaps while yelling and waving my arms around a lot. "Hey! You there! Bear! Stop attacking my son's genitals! If you want to!"

Do bears even attack children's genitals in the first place? I mean, you never see documentaries on Animal Planet about the Dread Genital-Eating Bears of Alberta or wherever. And if there were Dread Genital-Eating Bears of Alberta, I think I would have heard about them, because it's a safe bet that there would be documentaries. The documentaries would be titled, "Holy Shit! The Fucking Dread Genital-Eating Bears of Alberta!" and they'd be narrated by someone super-serious and manly, like Patrick Stewart, and macho straight American guys would go up to Alberta all the time in large drunken groups for the purpose of shooting bears in the face because they'd seen them on TV.

You know how it would go. One guy would be all, I bet those bears aren't so tough, and the next guy would be all, yeah, those guys were just pussies, and then somebody would say hey, why don't we go up to Alberta and shoot us some goddamned genital-eating bears? And if anybody thought that sounded like a bad idea, they'd get mocked for not being manly enough to go up to Alberta to shoot the genital-eating bears until finally they'd say, okay, okay, I'll go shoot bears with you, Jesus, y'all are such assholes. And they'd get up to Alberta and the bears would get them and that would then be the material used to make the next documentary.

I'm glad I don't feel compelled to prove my manhood all the time. It sounds exhausting.

But. What was I talking about?

Oh, right. Plants aren't children. And I would probably be a bad parent.


Pretty bad.

Though I would tell awesome bedtime stories.


Claude said...

Very few bloggers are able to make me LOL, but you managed it... great post.

CelticRose said...


The strange places your mind goes sometimes!

Aaerelon said...

Lol great post! Sometimes you just have to let your mind roam free and stop pretending to be normal. Those bed time stories would be pretty awesome though. By the way... you could try scissors.

Anonymous said...

Oh lordie, next thing you know the search engines will pick this up and before you know it I'll be overhearing guys hanging around at the grocery (you know the ones, Duh, I know it's true, I read it on my computah) talking about the dread genital eating bears and how those d--n biologists who are always friggin around are introducing them to Maine and how you better carry an AK47 and a scalpel next time you go to the mailbox.

Hey, go ahead and castrate the Diffenbachia and explain to it that it's for the best.

Matt DiLeo said...

Ha! I didn't think your warning was serious!

Helen said...

Now there's a post that sets the mind reeling! Yow!

Unknown said...

BWAH! Good thing I wasn't drinking anything when I read this, or it would have been YOMANK (you owe me a new keyboard). Are you lefthanded perchance? Because my mind tracks off in odd directions too, sometimes, when I start writing something and I say it's because I'm lefthanded and right brained. Whatever the case, this post was too funny!

Kenneth Moore said...

My head is conked. I have no words other than "damn funny!"

forest said...


mr_subjunctive said...

So I guess I didn't need to worry as much?


No, right-handed. I do pick up writing styles from other people pretty easily, though, and I've been reading someone who does this kind of thing a lot, so that's the likely explanation.

RedQ said...

Please be my Dad!