Sunday, September 10, 2006
Rainforest Coming Trough!
‘I like this one best’
We were in a garden centre, choosing a plant for the friends we were going to visit that evening. I’ve hated garden centres for all my life and I hold a grudge against all the women – my mother and my wife – who have ever dragged me there. So my wife was choosing the plants, and I was trying to prevent my skull from exploding because of acute boredom and lethal doses of chagrin.
‘You must be joking’, I reply when I take a look at the plant she is pointing at. ‘Plant’ is an understatement for this monster. It’s a giant sequoia, a complete rain forest in a pot. It’s almost taller than I am.
‘We’re never going to get that thing in the car.’
‘We can lay it down. Or put it behind the driver’s seat.’
‘It’s too big. Won’t we squash the leaves if we lay it down?’ I tried feebly. But resistance is futile and moments later astonished shoppers saw a giant green mass move by on it’s own, my feet barely visible beneath it.
My wife insisted that it would be wrapped as a present. I try not to sink trough the ground while the shop ladies call in reinforcements. Together they storm the towering mass of leaves with all the wrapping material they have. They have to restart twice, because someone went missing during head count and they find employees stuck inside the plastic wrap. Finally we can leave. When I get on the street, the wind catches the wrapped plant and I almost fly off like a sailing ship in a tornado. While I struggle to regain control, I try not to notice the sniggering passers-by. My green-fingered-life-partner is oblivious to all the attention and walks in front of my with a happy smile.
As predicted, it didn’t fit in the car upright, even with our new spacey Peugeot Partner. So it goes down, next to the carpets that we got back from the cleaner’s earlier that morning.
That evening, we get out of the car. Unfortunately, we found a parking spot right next to a café with a fully laden terrace. Despite the humungous green mass, I still think they saw my red face glowing behind. A small group of people on a stroll even offer to help when I finally put the thing on the ground in front of our friends’ home.
Only consolation: the stunned look on our friend’s face when he opened the door. I guessed he must have realised immediately that their just wouldn’t be any more living space for them once they unwrap that monster.