Dirigo

Cinnamon plant

On trying to grow true cinnamon: Cinnamomum verum  (formerly Cinnamomum zeylanicum, till the council decided that a name change would greatly benefit the world in some small, practically intangible way) is not easy to grow in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Maybe it doesn’t like saline mists. Poor baby. I like the sort of plant you can have shipped from some faraway place, such as Maine or–well, I can’t think of another place, so let’s just say from the jungles of Maine, near Quebec, where a spattering of French is sometimes heard spoken by local magistrates–and, in some unscheduled tempest, the carton containing jungle lianas and the like, falls into the sea and gets tossed around–only to later be discovered by a tribe of wobbly pygmies, whose idea of sartorial excellence centers around the artful arrangement of bits of tawny rope on  their person, accentuating flabby protuberances of soft, pygmy flesh, deemed immoral by the captain of the containership tasked with transporting exotic flora to undisclosed ports, who is now captive and tied to a rubber tree, waiting for the large cauldron within his line of sight to heat up and start bubbling, like lava from the pit of the earth;  and later, as a testament to the miraculous work of international couriers–unafraid of hard work or the scepter of cannibalism–the package containing the plants from Sagadahoc, a consignment of man-eating species and various sought-after spices, arrives safely at my doorstep.

 

If you found this 250 word post confusing, opaque, and irreverent, a 1,000 word story of mine called Are You Crazy? will be published with great fanfare on the pages of Flash Fiction Magazine on July 24. Do the math and you will conclude that the new story will be four times as confusing as this post on cinnamon, the stuff on your Kellogg’s Apple Jacks cereal. Full disclosure: I get a small kickback in the form of a free cereal box every millennium or two just for mentioning Kellogg.

Then there’s this ditty–

Slipshod Service

 

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13 Comments

  1. Your cinnamon plant–if that is your cinnamon plant—looks a lot better than the last time you showed it to us. And so the cinnamon saga inspires another brilliant post. I believe we left it where you were going to deliver some of your lovely cinnamon bark—if it ever comes to that— to my doorstep via camel.
    Naturally that would first have to involve an ocean voyage, so I can see why you were inspired to feature pygmies and rubber trees but must advise you that for export Sagadahoc has only pine trees and lobstahs. I’m sure of this because Sagadahoc Street runs into my own street and I can see the length of it out of my picture window as I now type.
    We don’t have “tempests,” here in Maine either, only Nor’eastahs and
    a few smollah stoms…though the Québecois magistrates might call them “tempêtes.” Still, I do sometimes think of you and your cinnamon tree when I grind a piece of Sri Lankan bark in with my morning coffee beans. Someday, you’ll have cinnamon. Maybe. Meanwhile, I will mosey on over to see what you’ve committed at 101 and certainly look forward to the unveiling of your other oeuvre on 24 July.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dang, I was sure the forests of Maine were oh-so similar to those in Sri Lanka. My bad. But Sagadahoc Street sounds lovely, cinnamony in a way, which is to say redolent of cinnamon in some opaquely metaphoric sense. And I am quite certain those Québecois magistrates are still busy trapping furs when not in court. Of course they presently wear shoes in the courthouse, as lobsters are known to bite at their ankles. I am available to produce a promotional video on Maine, so if you happen to run into the tourism minister over a cup of coffee (laced with bourbon and stirred gently a cinnamon stick or two), try to put in a good word for me. I know so much about Maine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • As you’ve cleverly entitled this post with the state motto: “Dirigo” (meaning “I direct” adopted long ago, before sophisticated political polling when the belief that the outcome of elections could be predicted by “as Maine goes, so goes the nation,” a truism that is no longer true) I should warn you that we— and I— no longer direct anything.
        I do try to direct my cat but she will have none of it. She’s a bit Marlene Dietrichish and gives me a look that says: “I work alone.” However I used to direct theatre productions, as I think back through the mists of time, and probably haven’t completely lost it, so I am available to direct your promotional video should you wish my services with that. I usually work for practically nothing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You, me, and Marlene. We’ll make a wonderful production team. Won’t the tourism department be glad to know that someone cares! Yes, I will direct (dirigo) your newest tourism video, taking care to change the state’s nickname to the ‘ankle biting’ state. Everything should flow from there.

        That is, by the way, a cinnamon tree!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sagadahoc’s county seat is Bath (according to Wikipedia) which brings me to the captain tied to the rubber tree staring at the cauldron. He needs rescuing, and I hope it won’t be too long before you save him with a further 247 words.

    Liked by 2 people

    • If this were one of your stories, he would be dead already–no continuation necessary. And good riddance too. Lazy captain, unable to take the simple precautions required to avert being captured by pygmies and then stewed in a pot. I’m not certain when this informative post about growing cinnamon took an unexpected turn and ended up being about cannibalism.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The connection between cinnamon and cannibalism is quite simple: the 2nd to 5th letters are reversed. I took your phrase “the artful arrangement of bits of tawny rope” to be a metaphorical reference to jumbled lettering.

        Liked by 2 people

      • We need to convoke a symposium (where bourbon is served) in order to sort out the possibilities. My personal view is that the pygmies function as a synecdoche: they are a part of humanity (albeit immodest and flabby), and their cannibalistic tendencies refer to humanity as a whole. I hope I’m not reading too much into this.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I was most pleased with your response, and even more delighted that I didn’t have to look up synecdoche.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. A controversial butty preceded by a tale of a captain’s woe, and some rather vivid scenes of fleshy bits wobbling about being chaffed upon a small person’s person (possibly a maid or pocket man servant? (nothing dodgy)). A nice slice of unusual subjects (could be a film title that eh?!). Your last paragraph above has me laughing a great deal too.

    By the by – there’s a film called ‘Synecdoche – New York’ that’s worth watching if you like odd movies. It would confuse some, but not you methinks *nods*.

    – esme considering cinnamon as a potential grower up on the Cloud – what buns she’d have then!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Esme, I’ve been reading up on Synecdoche, New York, hailed as a postmodern film. I may need to add it, judiciously of course, maybe in slices, to my dvd collection, comprised mainly–heck! who am I kidding–uniquely of Ren and Stimpy episodes.

      Naturally you have little time for this sort of thing, as making potato pancakes can be exhausting and demanding, but I highly recommend the eye-opening (apologies for the feeble potato pun) concept of collecting high art.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ren and Stimpy! – SALVE!

        http://www.toon.is/ren-and-stimpy-3×01-to-salve-and-salve-not-no-pants-today-video_348f736fa.html

        A fine collection to have sir. *grins* All the collection upon the Cloud are high because we’re in the troposphere. *falls about*.

        You will like your slices of Synendoche New York, i’m sure of it and have never been proven wrong in all my four hundred and odd years alive. I do like odd films mind you and even have a category for them, though my real passion is for ye olde bookes, of which my library sports around three hundred. There’s a category for them too which I am slowly filling.

        I collect categories see, as well.

        – esme nodding and waving upon the Cloud

        (ps – do feel free to erase any odds and sods, bits and bobs I post like links or general jibber that may clutter your threads, esme minds not one jot if tis felt necessary (she might mind two or three jots though, so, think on.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Erase bits of the stratosphere! ’tis a crime.

        Having been born once in 1566 and again in 1666, I am your senior.

        But anyone who collects categories is okay in my book, a leather-bound tome, sprinkled with pollen from any one of the numerous flower bouquets requisitely bestowed upon the dust fairy.

        Liked by 1 person


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