Tuesday, August 18, 2009



Explanation: When I first got out of college way back in nineteen ninety mumblemumble, I started my first grown-up job and moved into my first grown-up apartment. As a favor to help add a little liveliness to my new digs, my sister volunteered to come up and help me pick out some houseplants. The two of us went out and found several very nice plants, knowing full well that the plants we bought would have to be resilient to the fact that I was a young single guy who would neglect them like no plant has ever been neglected before. We bought five or so plants and returned to my apartment to choose the perfect places for them. And that was that. I had pretty plants and my apartment was that much more cheerful.

Time went on and the plants began to drop off. Some fought mightily for years. Some didn't make it too long. By the time I moved into my townhouse a few years later, I believe the plant tally was down to two. By the time I moved to New Jersey, only one plant remained: my aloe plant, whom I had affectionately named Spike.

Over the six years that I was the sole caregiver for Spike, he fought through some hard times. There were great droughts and torrential downpours. There was dust. There was darkness. He saw it all and still survived. He is a trooper. He gave me hope that I can actually be responsible for another living thing and not kill it accidentally.

Then something wonderful happened in Spike's life (and mine). I got married. My wife is great with plants. At my insistence, she kept the ratty old aloe plant in our new house and began treating him just like she would treat any other plant. This was quite a change for Spike. He probably doubled in size that first year. He had to be pruned back, or "decapitated," as we described it. Little Spikes started sprouting out of his pot. He was pruned again. He flourished under her care. Spike loves my wife.

File photo with Spike in background. (2008)

But still, Spike is not what you'd call an aesthetically pleasing plant. Apparently, six years under my neglectful care left him a little scrawny and asymmetrical. My wife keeps him because I love him. But two weeks ago, something tragic happened.

We were planning for a big family gathering at our house. We have a small table by the front door on which we keep a plant my aunt and uncle gave us. Unfortunately, during past gatherings, we have learned that the table can be easily knocked over and that anything atop it is in danger. (Nihad, I'm looking in your direction) So, a pretty outdoor plant was purchased for the table and it was moved to the front porch. This started a tragic chain reaction which resulted in the plant from my aunt and uncle moving to Spike's spot. Poor Spike was banished to the garage.

And thus was born the "FREE SPIKE" movement. Despite protests from local Spike supporters, the poor guy has been imprisoned out there ever since, longing for the days of love and care that he had finally become accustomed to. Join this grassroots movement to get Spike back in the house. Free him from this unfair incarceration! Get him the life of water and Miracle-Gro that every living being so richly deserves! Call your local representatives! Write your senators! Invite others! Join the movement! Free Spike! Free Spike! Free Spike!

Special Blog Disclaimer: When informed of the grassroots movement being started in today's blog post, Spikes captors issued the following statement: "You have hands too, you know. Just move him back inside instead of whining about it."


Willie Y said...

Aloe it be thy name, not Spike.

Anonymous said...

Wait! Spike is an aloe plant?? I always wondered what happened to Fonzie's cousin.

Heather said...

Please recall when shopping I was told to purchase, "Plants even I can't kill." NOT "Plants that will pretty in 6 years if I neglect them." Hope the baby is aesthetically pleasing in six years..or I'm going to start checking the garage during parties!

Heather said...

Note: I suspect she will be better than aesthetically pleasing, but it's alot of pressure...