Saturday, June 17, 2006

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Dear Dr. Bleak: It occurred to me the other day while watering my plants that they never think to water us. Why is this?

A. Many laymen are confused on this issue. Plants are insentient, they have no means of locomotion, and they lack many things that we humans have in plenitude, such as limbs with opposable thumbs.

Q. Dear Dr. Bleak: There are many people whose limbs end in leafy growths, ballpoint pens, claws, sexual devices, feet, and things too awful to mention. In fact, most people one runs into don't have limbs with opposable thumbs, but they still water their gardens, or their employers' gardens. How do you explain this?

A. Those are purely local phenomena peculiar to the village of Widworth, and are quite artificial, as our local research scientist, Dr. Praetorius, is very keen on medical experimentation, and he contributes vastly to the store of human knowledge on a daily, even an hourly basis.

Q. Dear Dr. Bleak: Really?

A. Yes.

Q. Dear Dr. Bleak: Even so, it's my observation, and I have photographs, that a great many plants are in fact sentient, have powers of locomotion, and have limbs with a profusion of complex and utilitarian digits. Isn't that true?

A. Again, these are purely local phenomena, due to the necessities of scientific research. They're quite artificial. And these activities are generally nocturnal when most of us should be fast asleep.

Q. Dear Dr. Bleak: But I still have to water the fukken pests every day, day in, and day out. True, I get a cottage on the estate for myself and my family, and an income, rather a pittance, I might add, in return, but the plants themselves give nothing, absolutely nothing, in return for my careful labor and ministrations, which are hardly confined to watering. Why should this be?

A. Plants give us many things in return. They emit oxygen, which replenishes our atmosphere. They bear edible fruits which nourish us, as well as nutritious seeds, roots, leaves, and other parts. Most of all, their foliage and floral displays give us the great wonders of natural beauty that aesthetically enrich our lives.

Q. Dear Dr. Bleak: I don't know what planet you're from, but the plants hereabout are ugly, oozing, noxious buggers, who scare the everlovin life out of me every damn day. My wife is a gibbering wreck these days and won't leave the house. My poor children used to cower in the shadows, quivering pathetically, but now they're starting to display strange behavior like standing in the yard during a rainstorm and opening their heads when the sun comes out. You can't seriously maintain that this is normal?

A. Again, local conditions, research, artificial, etc. You can always move to another locality and get a traditional gardening position, although it wouldn't seem you're temperamentally suited to that, either.

Q. Dear Dr. Bleak: I can't go anywhere. These vegetable things have blocked all of the roads out of the village, and leer threateningly throughout the town streets, making strange sounds that make one's head hurt, and getting all tangled up in your feet, legs, thighs, and higher up. Did you know that these things bite? And I don't mean a little friendly nip, I mean great chunks.

A. Don't let your imagination get the better of you. It's well known that many plants have thorns as an evolutionary protective adaptation, e.g., the divinely beautiful rose. As to their "leering threateningly," plants have no faces, hence no features, hence no expressions. They certainly have no interest in the doings of human beings, or the animal kingdom in general, as their passive interactions with us affect them only on the genetic level, on the vast scale of evolutionary time. I'd suggest that you've been watching too much late-night television, or perhaps video nasties. You should get more rest.

Q. Dear Dr. Bleak: Who can rest with these bloody things making those godawful slathering, gooshy, buzzing sounds all night long? I do watch television, but not much, as every damned channel is these plant things emitting high-pitched blasts of sound that will shatter your eardrums if you don't keep the volume off. No faces? Come on. Sure, many of them don't have anything that's recognizably reminiscent of anything on God's green earth, but an awful lot of them do have faces. One eye, three eyes, plenty of mouths, sometimes several heads. And people do try to leave the village, and you think they're gone, but their features turn up in large plant stalks and it looks as though they're trying to scream.

A. Again, what in your hyperbolic account is not due to local conditions suggests that you drink to excess, a common failing among your class, I'm told. I broadcast regularly through WBLK-TV, a public service network supported by the generous donations of people like you, and we don't have plants making noises. That's because our mission is educational -- to inform, to advise, to uplift, and to foster the values of higher culture. But I suppose you'd find all of that "boring" -- "What's all this talk?", "How about a good game of soccer?" "Looka the knockers on that one!", etc. When did you last contribute?

Q. Dear Dr. Bleak: Fine, fine. I see it's no use talking to you. You obviously don't have to put up with the hypnotic poisonous gases and the seeds that infest our lungs and change our bodies and the fruit that leaks sticky fluids that burn and the disappearance of your children and the raising of the dead and the unthinkable sexual attacks. They've even taken all of my hedge clippers and gardening tools, including the lawnmower, and they're learning to use them, too, slowly but surely. You're living in a fool's paradise and will soon rue the day yo e;'>>

A. Thank you for all of your questions. Frequently asked questions may be frequently asked c/o this blog, and we appreciate your continuing interest.