34 steps to growing Darwin’s favorite plant

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I was going to tell the story of an erudite fellow, formerly a grammatician, formerly a bovine grief counselor at an abattoir, who, at some prepubescent soccer game, where the word incompetence passed involuntarily from parent to parent, was regrettably caught streaking: he stood in the middle of the field, dangling his modifier.

Instead, I have returned to my favorite subject, ecclesiastical studies. But since developments in that sphere have been slow in the last several months, I have sought green pastures.

The 34 steps to growing Darwin’s favorite plant

Early in the process of writing this article, I made the strategic decision to skip the first 33 steps, as the handling of catarrh and buffalo faeces is not everyone’s cup of tea. Incidentally, buffalo dung tea is excellent with manuka honey–make sure to have handy a fly swatter though.

The legal maneuvers to procure carnivorous plant seed and import them to this island (which is by all measures much nicer than the Galapagos) make the bureaucracy of Jarndyce v Jarndyce look feeble in comparison.

I am a great admirer of CD (not Dickens, the other CD), even though some of his conclusions strike me as absurd, as we surely did not evolve from primates. This stupefyingly dumb theory is so typical of 19th century thinking–or rather, 19th century fantasizing–fostered in part by the infamous lingerie catalogues of the day, mostly originating from Paris, where bipedal fashion is made scintillating–and at times positively chimpanzeesque, if I can coin a term. Nevertheless, Darwin’s Origin of the Stiletto Heel is incomparable. But the more cogent theory that the whole shebang we call life was willed, is far more likely to find favor in the minds of so-called Millennials, including those perplexed by the notion of gender and who have difficulty making binary choices. What goes around, comes around. Incidentally, I once knew a man who thought himself a woman, only to later think himself a man. Please note that this is a far different person that the one who thought himself to be a man without ever revisiting the subject.

Clearly, I do not wish to split porcupine quills over the issue of gender. What is self-evident to me may not wash on Main Street, O.W.G (One-World Government).

New story published today

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A story about collapsible umbrellas and love…

This flash fiction story is appearing today on the pages of Flash Fiction Magazine.

Are You Crazy?

Don’t stand in my way of the sky

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Most bloggers would probably choose a photograph that in some way encapsulates the meaning and spirit of the post it is perched upon. This is a mistake. Wet-behind-the-ears bloggers–henceforward referred to as greenhorns–may attempt this strategy thinking it is for them a road to riches. I laugh scornfully. Such incompetence in the blogosphere, such bravado on the part of the greenhorn!

 

No, really–here’s the way to do it. Think of your subject. That’s the first thing. Then, let your mind wander to the far reaches of our planetary system. Now stop that. It’s worth doodly-squat and you are wasting your valuable time. Instead, think of your first job. Then think of the first person you encountered while discharging said duty. Was that person sloppily dressed? If yes, think of the object next to them at the time–maybe it was a cantankerous poster of Karl Marx waving a disapproving finger, a floor lamp vaguely in the shape of a giraffe, a full grain leather car seat (if you happened to be in a limousine at the time), or a large storefront window with vistas of dim-witted shoppers in mortal combat. Now you have your photograph.

 

If, per contra, the person was impeccably dressed, then trouble your memory for this: what was the dominant color of their handsome attire? Maybe a red scarf screamed out at you as through you were a bull in a matador’s laird. Maybe it was a yellow polka-dotted necktie as thin as Twiggy, the British model from a bygone era. Now photograph something of that color. Anything.

 

I hope some of this information is helpful to bloggers. It isn’t readily available as most successful bloggers will not disseminate this sort of information to the greenhorn. Consider yourself lucky that someone as magnanimous as myself would willingly, noisily part with a powder keg of trade secrets. But I do it for one reason alone. I do it for the money.

 

‘Don’t stand in my way of the sky’ is the name of a soon-to-be-released single by a nonexistent band.  Don’t look for it in stores.

Actually, it’s my advice to birds, but you already knew that.

And all this makes a perfect segue to “Lemonade Stand,” which you may marvel at now.

Rewriting it fourteen times allowed me to include every possible way the word ‘stand’ might be used in a fictional work. Naturally the editor I was assigned to had to be hospitalized by the tenth draft. I sent flowers, of course, but that’s only because I’m sentimental about things. I’m magnanimous too. Maybe I mentioned that.

Lemonade Stand

Pleasure

Adenium obesum

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Measure4Pleasure

 

Armada

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Governor’s mansion. Isle of Devils.
A flotilla of pirate ships gathers on Prospero’s island.
After several rounds of cannon fire, the armada disperses.
Breakfast resumes.

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Aloe excelsa

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More nonsense

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https://www.101words.org/large-bills/

Inca-peanut

Inca-peanut

I have compiled the following data:

Total revenue from writing: $0
Total revenue from Inca-peanut plantation: $300

Having studied these figures exhaustively, I have reached the tentative conclusion that I should concentrate my efforts on growing Inca-peanuts (Sasha inchi or to impress a Carl Linnaeus groupie, Plukenetia volubilis). Naturally I will have an accountant corroborate my findings. Statistical analysis is tricky business and I don’t want to prejudge the outcome.

Camu camu seedling

And for all of the doubting Thomases that said I could not grow camu camu (have you seen the price of camu camu powder?), there’s proof. Myrciaria dubia! in the flesh. Shouldn’t it be Myrciaria dubious? Okay, it isn’t exactly fruiting, but it’s still a small miracle (note to self–next project: miracle fruit).

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Here we have Eugenia selloi (formerly Eugenia neonitida–don’t ask: probably having to do with a sex change operation or something equally astounding). Needless to say, this is a rare Eugenia.

Eugenia seed

Finally, why not grow your own coffee? Kona (Coffea arabica).

Kona coffea arabica

Double

Adenium flower

I know many of you think I’m a rising star in the hopelessly crowded field of wannabe writers, mostly because you’ve been inured to the suggestion by my constant I’m-an-unrecognized-genius refrain.

And yet the proof is in the proverbial pudding (and oh how I love crème brûlée), as the folks at 101words.org, through some clerical error, are publishing a story of mine. But now that I think of it, can being a New York Times Best Seller be far behind? 101 words today, 100,001 tomorrow. It’s a mathematical certainty (for the genius-in-waiting).

Just so you know, it’s a story told (lavishly) in 101 words. Impossible? Practically, given my average sentence is longer than a stretch limousine.

Please leave your comment on ‘Double’ at 101word because it’s the right thing to do.

But more importantly, you are supporting the folks at 101 who are in turn supporting writers (some of whom are potentially geniuses, but I repeat myself).

And while you’re there, read a few stories, heck sign up!

The story is called Double and you can find it here:

http://www.101words.org/double/

Prospero Dae

(Pictured on top is the vainglorious Adenium obesum, with doppelgänger.)

green goddess

Arum lily

Illumed by harsh department store neons, ladies circumambulate the latest fashions, meanwhile, beyond, under an oyster-white sky, in large planters amid spicy nasturtiums, stand arum lilies with green-white spathes.

Arum lily

Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Green Goddess’

Arum lily